FAO chief highlights climate impact on food production and advises national governments on policies and strategies in favour of family farming and small-scale production. Addressing the 29th FAO Regional Conference for Europe in Bucharest, FAO Director-General José Graziano da Silvareferred to a recent report by the Inter-governmental Panel on Climate Change, which forecasts serious disruptions to agriculture due to shifting weather patterns. Climate change will hit poor farmers harder because the impact on marginal agricultural areas where they live and farm will be worse, the director said. “We need to step up our efforts to mitigate, to adapt and, most importantly, to shift to more sustainable food systems. This is one of our core responsibilities,” he added. According to FAO Director, another key issue is the necessity to promotesustainable family farming. He referred particularly to FAO’s new regional initiative that aims to reduce rural poverty by supporting family farmers and smallholders, by focusing on sustainable production technologies, land tenure issues, access to markets, and income diversification for people in rural areas. A second new regional initiative of FAO for 2014-15 would deal with agri-food trade, improving countries’ capacity to engage more effectively in regional and international agricultural trade and comply with international norms for food trade. Graziano da Silva also said that the world economic crisis could be transformed into an opportunity to fight food waste. If food losses and waste could be halved, then the required increase of available food to feed the ever growing population by 2050 would only need to be 25% - and not 60% as is currently projected. The gLAWcal Team Wednesday, 2 April 2014 (Source: FAO News)