UN official urges stronger water management, improved access for small farmers

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UNITED NATIONS, Jan 22 (APP): The head of the U.N.

agricultural agency has urged the international community to
promote more efficient use of water and to take steps to secure
water access, especially for poor family farmers.
Addressing the annual Global Forum for Food and Agriculture
now underway in Berlin, the Director-General of the Food and
Agricultural Organization (FAO), Jose Graziano da Silva, said
that growing water scarcity is one of the leading challenges to
achieving the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).
“Agriculture and food systems bring all of these global goals
together and provide opportunities for a transformational change,”
Graziano da Silva told participants at the Summit, being held this
year around the theme of water and agriculture.
One of the 17 SDGs aims to improve water access for all
people, and water is a theme of other goals related to poverty,
hunger and malnutrition, and climate change.
In his speech, Graziano de Silva noted that as the world
population is expected to exceed nine billion by 2050, and
with millions of family farmers already lacking access to
freshwater, conflicts over water resources will increase.
“It is time to act. Improved management of natural
resources translates into better livelihoods now and in
the future,” the FAO director-general urged.
Last December, the UN agency he heads launched a global
framework for coping with water scarcity in agriculture. It
aims to support the development and implementation of policies
and programmes for sustainable use of water in farming.