Daniel Gustafson is the Deputy Director-General of the United Nations Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO).
He spoke to EURACTIV’s Sarantis Michalopoulos and Paola Tamma, highlighting the following:
- EU-FAO cooperation should step up especially after US backtrack on climate change
- Precision farming can be affordable to smallholders
- Agricultural biodiversity is one way of increasing resilience
- Future food production will require a lot of innovation
- Agroecology has to be part of a successful long-term agricultural strategy
There is an ongoing EU-FAO Strategic Dialogue on future cooperation. What are the initial results and what do you expect out of this partnership for the future?
A lot of our longest standing contributions have come from collaboration with the EU, as the work on food security and nutrition information in crisis has been going on for a long time. But now we’d like to step that up. It’s particularly important the EU is very strong in recognising multilateral organisations, but the global context for multilateralism is not entirely conducive but still necessary. How do we work together as partners? There is funding from the Commission to the FAO. They are our largest voluntary contributor. But the dialogue is looking at the area where our agendas are most aligned.
Climate change and natural resource management is a very big area where members of the EU, and members of the FAO (the EU is a member of the FAO), where all countries have made commitments in Paris on illegal and unregulated fisheries, on forest cover, on soil degradation and so on. Countries need a lot of help on this to understand how to implement those commitments. A lot of technical work. This is the most technical area.