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Minister of State McEntee calls for action to support Women Farmers across the Globe

Shane McEntee TD, Minister of State at the Department of Agriculture, Food and the Marine today said that achieving gender equality was a key element in the global fight against hunger.

Minister McEntee was addressing the Conference of the UN's Food and Agriculture organisation (FAO) in Rome.  Ministers from across the globe are meeting in Rome to consider global food security and assess the state of food and agriculture in the world today.  A major topic for discussion is the role of women in agriculture.

Highlighting Ireland's contribution to the global focus on combating hunger, Minister McEntee called on the countries present to make a sustained commitment to achieve food security.  Stressing the need to focus on the vital role played by women in the agriculture sector, especially in developing countries, Minister McEntee stated "If we fail to address the obstacles faced by women farmers than we are failing to deliver food security - it is as simple as that."

Noting the challenges brought about by price volatility, Minister McEntee called on the UN Food and Agriculture Organisation, to swiftly implement ongoing needed reforms within FAO in order to be best able to support governments to develop their agriculture sectors.

Minister McEntee also called on the Conference to recognise that undernutrition was one of the least addressed aspects of food insecurity and informed it of the work Ireland was undertaking on this issue as part of a major refocusing of its development assistance programme around hunger.

Note for Editors:

The Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO) of the United Nations was founded in 1945 with a mandate to raise levels of nutrition and standards of living, to improve agricultural productivity, and to better the conditions of rural populations. Since its inception, FAO has worked to alleviate poverty and hunger by promoting agricultural development, improved nutrition and the pursuit of food security. FAO is one of the largest specialised agencies in the United Nations system and the lead agency for agriculture, forestry, fisheries and rural development. The Department of Agriculture, Food and the Marine (DAFM) pay an annual subscription to support the work of FAO, which amounted to nearly €1.6 million in 2011.  In addition to the annual subscription DAFF also provides additional extra budgetary funding to support particular FAO activities.  

Date Released: 28 June 2011