July 25, 2014
ROME, ITALY – The Texas A&M University System and the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO) today agreed to work together to combat world hunger by building capacity for sustainable agriculture and natural resource management in developing countries.
Under the new agreement, the Texas A&M System and FAO will carry out initiatives to strengthen agricultural production innovations, land and water management practices, and plant and animal health in order to improve food security. In addition, they will work on building resilience and improving value chain management to help promote economic stability and improve livelihoods for small-holder farming communities. The cooperation will be at country, regional and global levels as mutually agreed.
“Our history is rooted in a deep connection between farmers and the land on which they farm,” said Texas A&M University System Chancellor John Sharp. “Today, farming and ranching have changed considerably and our scope has expanded, but our commitment has not. I applaud our leadership in focusing on value chain management as the key to improving both supply and security of food for communities around the world.”
The partnership is an opportunity to leverage the strengths of both entities, allowing collaboration on matters of common interest.
“Our organizations share a common interest in enhanced global and local actions to achieve food security, enable sustainable livelihoods and sustainably manage natural resources; and we agree that interdisciplinary solutions, innovations and sharing of technological and scientific advances are necessary. Hunger cannot be defeated by any organization or entity on its own. We recognise that through strategic partnerships, we can support Member countries more effectively in eliminating hunger” said FAO Deputy Director-General Maria Helena Semedo.
Semedo signed a Memorandum of Understanding with Craig Nessler, Director of Texas A&M AgriLife Research, on behalf of the Texas A&M System, at FAO headquarters in Rome, Italy. Tammy Beckham, Director of the Institute for Infectious Animal Diseases (IIAD), a Department of Homeland Security Science and Technology Center of Excellence, also attended the signing.
Headquartered in Rome, Italy, FAO is a specialized agency of the United Nations system with three global goals of eradicating hunger, food insecurity and malnutrition; eliminating poverty and driving forward economic and social progress for all; and sustainable management and utilization of natural resources for the benefit of present and future generations. Within a framework of five Strategic Objectives, FAO works closely with member nations and a range of partners to achieve these goals.
About the A&M System
The A&M System is one of the largest systems of higher education in the nation, with a budget of $3.8 billion. Through a statewide network of 11 universities, nine state agencies, two service units and a comprehensive health science center, the A&M System educates more than 125,000 students and makes more than 22 million additional educational contacts through service and outreach programs each year. Externally funded research expenditures exceed $820 million and help drive the state’s economy.
Contact: Steven B. Moore