Monthly Archives: June 2013

Message by Ban Ki-moon, UN Secretary-General, on World Environment Day 2013

Message by Ban Ki-moon, UN Secretary-General, on World Environment Day 2013 Wed, Jun 5, 2013

One way to narrow the hunger gap and improve the well-being of the most vulnerable is to address the massive loss and waste inherent in today’s food systems

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“Think.Eat.Save: Reduce Your Foodprint”5 June 2013 – We live in a world of plenty, where food production outstrips demand, yet 870 million people are undernourished and childhood stunting is a silent pandemic. To create the future we want, we must correct this inequity. We must ensure access to adequate nutrition for all, double the productivity of smallholder farmers who grow the bulk of food in the developing world, and make food systems sustainable in the face of environmental and economic shocks. This is the vision of my Zero Hunger Challenge, launched last year at the Rio+20 UN Conference on Sustainable Development.

One way to narrow the hunger gap and improve the well-being of the most vulnerable is to address the massive loss and waste inherent in today’s food systems. Currently at least one third of all food produced fails to make it from farm to table. This is foremost an affront to the hungry, but it also represents a massive environmental cost in terms of energy, land and water.

In developing countries, pests, inadequate storage facilities and inefficient supply chains are major contributors to food loss. Those who grow for export are also often at the mercy of over-stringent expectations of buyers who place a premium on cosmetic perfection. In developed nations, food thrown away by households and the retail and catering industries rots in landfills, releasing significant quantities of methane, a powerful greenhouse gas.

Food loss and waste is something we can all address. That is why the United Nations Environment Programme, the UN Food and Agricultural Organization and public and private sector partners have launched the “Think.Eat.Save: Reduce Your Foodprint” campaign to raise global awareness and showcase solutions relevant to developed and developing countries alike.

Infrastructure and technology can reduce the amount of food that perishes after it is harvested and before it reaches the market. Developing country governments can work to improve essential infrastructure and maximize trade opportunities with neighbours; developed nations can support fair trade and rationalize sell-by dates and other labelling systems; businesses can revise their criteria for rejecting produce; and consumers can minimize waste by buying only what they need and re-using left-over food.

On this World Environment Day, I urge all actors in the global food chain to take responsibility for environmentally sustainable and socially equitable food systems. The current global population of seven billion is expected to grow to nine billion by 2050. But the number of hungry people need not increase. By reducing food waste, we can save money and resources, minimize environmental impacts and, most importantly, move towards a world where everyone has enough to eat.


(The message has been taken from the website of United Nations Environment Programme(UNEP) for further dissemination.

The original message may be read at the following link:

FAO Director-General José Graziano da Silva has called on FAO’s Conference to approve a Programme of Work and Budget

This article has been taken from the FAO website with a view to further disseminate  the activities of FAO.The original article may be read from the following link:


Director-General calls on Members to approve FAO’s programme of work

Necessary for FAO to play a more significant role to eradicate hunger


Photo: ©FAO/Giulio Napolitano.

FAO Director-General José Graziano da Silva addresses FAO’s 38th Conference.

17 June 2013, Rome – FAO Director-General José Graziano da Silva today has called on FAO’s Conference to approve a Programme of Work and Budget that sharpens the focus of the Organization’s actions to improve the assistance it gives to Member Countries in reaching their food security and agriculture goals.

“Since I took up office, brick by brick we have laid the foundation we need to improve the assistance we offer our Members,” Graziano da Silva told the Conference.

“This is the missing piece that will transform into concrete action the results of the Reviewed Strategic Framework that we have built together,” he added.

To implement the programme, the Organization is asking for a one percent real budget increase for the next two years, plus less than 4 percent needed to cover inflation and mandatory increases of costs.

“It is in times like these, when the challenges are greater, that we need most to show our collective commitment to the Organization and its goals,” Graziano da Silva told the Conference. After successive budget reductions, FAO’s budget had lost 27 percent of its real value in the last 20 years, he noted.

Graziano da Silva also stressed the need to find a consensus on a budget that would allow the Organization to implement the proposed programme of work for 2014-2015, his first as Director-General of FAO.

Transforming FAO

Addressing the FAO Conference, Graziano da Silva highlighted the work done in his first 18 months in office, focusing FAO’s work around five new strategic objectives and a sixth technical objective, approving strategies for engagement with the private sector and civil society, as well as strengthening partnerships with scientific and research institutions, and concluding the FAO reform.

Recalling the McDougall lecture with which Professor Amartya Sen opened the Conference on Saturday, the Director-General pointed out one important change in the work of the Organization.

“If we keep looking at hunger simply in terms of food production, we will not solve this problem, as Professor Amartya Sen reminded us…The world already produces enough food. The main cause of hunger nowadays is the lack of access,” said Graziano da Silva.

“Nowadays, to guarantee food security, it is essential to incorporate the access dimension into our responses, alongside our continued support to sustainably increasing food production,” he explained.

The Director-General also highlighted the increased efficiency of the Organization, which has led to savings of nearly 45 million dollars since his election. This, in turn, has made it possible to strengthen FAO’s technical presence in the field and implement six regional initiatives responding to the needs identified by Members at the FAO Regional Conferences held in 2012.

“All this will help translate our work into better results where it really matters: at the country level, transforming FAO into a true knowledge Organization with its feet on the ground,” he stressed.

Commitment to eradicating hunger

The Director-General pointed out that the Conference will also be asked to approve a change in the first global goal of the Organization, aiming for the eradication, rather than the reduction of hunger, food insecurity and malnutrition.

“It is just a word, but it makes a great difference,” he said.

“The eradication of hunger and malnutrition will pay a large dividend in terms of peace and prosperity, from which all countries stand to benefit. And it is a crucial part of the sustainable future we want.”

The Conference opened on Saturday with the annual McDougall Lecture delivered by Nobel Laureate Amartya Sen, who focused on the need for a broader approach to fight hunger, and the delivery of FAO awards, among them to the Self Employed Women’s Association of India and the European Commission, represented by its President José Manuel Barroso, for their contribution to food security.

On Sunday, countries that have already met the Millennium Development and World Food Summit hunger targets had their achievements recognized at FAO.

Handicap : A Poem by Dr.Syed Md. Zainul Abedin

Life is neither poem nor prose
Life  is neither poppy nor rose

It may be smooth or harsh
Like pleasant breeze or burning brush

Everyone has to face the reality
With passion,commitment and ability

Perfect person may not win the prize
While a handicap may give surprise

Dream,devotion and drive for goal
May make one honored and successful

I greet challenged persons from my heart
You have conquered through your art

Your success is a lesson for us all
You will always shine and never fall

(Tribute to successful persons with disability)

Agriculture Sector Programme Support of DANIDA in Bangladesh(Based on the Website of Denmark in Bangladesh)

DANIDA is the term used for Denmark’s development cooperation, which is an area of activity under the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Denmark.

Denmark’s development policy aims to contribute to reducing global poverty and helping people to take charge of their own destinies. This is the overriding objective for which DANIDA works.

DANIDA has responsibility for the planning, implementation and quality assurance of development cooperation. There are local and posted staff at Danish embassies and missions abroad, who are responsible for the administration and management of development cooperation with the individual country




DANIDA facts

  • Denmark grants an annual approximately DKK 15 billion in development assistance.
  • Denmark is one of five countries in the world to live up to the UN’s recommendation to grant a minimum of 0.7 per cent GNI in development assistance.
  • Denmark has been granting development assistance since the end of the Second World War.

Agriculture Sector Programme Support

(This content is taken from the following link for further dissemination of the support and  activities of DANIDA in Agriculture Sector of Bangladesh:


The agricultural sector plays a very significant role in the Bangladesh economy, socially as well as culturally. The Sixth Fiver Plan emphasizes the role of agriculture in generating employment, alleviating poverty and fostering growth

Agriculture’s main role in poverty reduction lies in maintaining the supply of food at least at a rate at which the demand has been growing, thereby keeping the food prices stable and within affordable limits of low-income households. The impact of agricultural growth on rural wages is an important element in the process since a major share of income of the poor originates from wage labour in agricultural and related activities. A high agricultural growth creates opportunities for diversification of the rural economy and development of the rural non-farm sector with greater poverty-reduction impact.

Denmark and Bangladesh have a long history of bilateral cooperation in agriculture, fishery and livestock. Denmark’s strategy to support the agricultural sector in Bangladesh includes a strong poverty reduction focus, together with special emphasis on poorer women, nutrition, marketing and environment. Support is provided to technology generation and delivery of essential services nearer to the farmers’ door steps.

Denmark’s support to agricultural development in Bangladesh has consistently been channelled through the Government of Bangladesh. This approach has been advantageous since these interventions have been well anchored at national level and have significant impact on present policies and strategies. Denmark also aims at harmonising its development assistance with other donor funded programmes in the same sector and geographical areas.

The Danish support to the agriculture sector started in late 80s and in 90s with Mymensingh Aquacultural Extension Project (1989), Smallholder Livestock Development Project (1992), Integrated Soil Fertility and Fertilizer Management Project (1993), Integrated Pest Management Project (1997), Patuakhali Barguna Aquacultural Extension Project (1997), Participatory Livestock Development Project (1998), Greater Noakhali Aquacultural extension Project (1998). The support has been continuing through Agriculture Sector Programme Support Phase I (2000-2006 ) and Agriculture Sector Programme Support Phase II (2006-2012).

Denmark has pledged to support a new “Agricultural Growth and Employment Programme” (AGEP) from 2013 to 2017. The Agricultural Growth and Employment Programme will be in line with the priorities of the Government of Bangladesh as set out in the Country Investment Plan (CIP) and the Sixth Five Year Plan. In line with CIP and the Sixth Five Year Plan, Agricultural Growth and Employment Programme will focus, among others, on:

  • Integration of crops, fishery and livestock extension
  • Diversification of agricultural production with special focus on high value crops
  • Formation of producer/marketing groups at village level
  • Agro Business Development

AGEP will have two components, namely Integrated Farm Management Component (IFMC) and Agro Business Development Component (ABDC). The Integrated Farm Management Component (IFMC) will be implemented by the Department of Agricultural Extension under the Ministry of Agriculture.

IFMC will promote the concept of Integrated Farm Management through Farmers’ Field School.

The Agro Business Development Component will support the third phase of the multi donor (SDC, DFID and the Netherlands) basket fund Katalyst.


(The article has been prepared and published on the basis of the website of Denmark in Bangladesh : for further dissemination of the information of support and activities of Denmark and DANIDA.)


The Sixteenth Session of the Council of International Jute Study Group (IJSG) held on 16 May 2013

The Sixteenth  Session of the Council of International Jute Study Group (IJSG) was held  on 16 May 2013.I attended the session as an Associated Member of  International Jute Study Group (IJSG) .I am presenting the brief report of the meeting by taking the same from the website of  International Jute Study Group (IJSG) for further dissemination.The report may be accessed at the following link of the website:


It may be mentioned that the International Jute Study Group (IJSG) is an intergovernmental body set up under the aegis of UNCTAD to function as the International Commodity Body (ICB) for Jute, Kenaf and other Allied Fibres.


The International Jute Study Group (IJSG), the legal successor to the erstwhile International Jute Organisation (IJO), was established on 27 April 2002, to administer the provisions and supervise the operations of the Agreement establishing the Terms of Referenceof the International Jute Study Group, 2001. The organisation is the outcome of a series of meetings and UNCTAD conferences, which commenced in March 2000 in Geneva and concluded in April 2001 also in Geneva.


The IJSG formally entered into force on and from 27 April 2002 with the completion of the process of Definitive Acceptance/Acceptance by Governments of Bangladesh, India, Switzerland, and the European Community representing its 27 member countries and representing  over  60%  jute  trade (import and export).  [Consistent with paragraph 23(a) of the Agreement, establishing the Terms of Reference (ToR) of IJSG – UN Conference on Jute and Jute Products 2001]


The objectives of the Group are:

(a)To provide an effective framework for international cooperation, consultation and policy development among members with regard to all relevant aspects of the world of jute economy;

(b)To promote the expansion of international trade in jute and jute products by maintaining existing markets and by developing new markets, including the introduction of new jute products and the development of new end-uses;

(c)To provide a forum for the active participation of the private sector in the development of the jute sector;

(d)To address the issues of poverty alleviation, employment and development of human resources, particularly women, in the jute sector;

(e) To facilitate the improvement of structural conditions in the jute sector through improvement of productivity and quality, and promotion of the application of new processes and technologies;

(f)To create and increase awareness of the beneficial effects of the use of jute as an environmentally friendly, renewable and biodegradable natural fibre;

(g)To improve market intelligence with a view to ensuring greater transparency in the international jute market in collaboration with other organizations, including the Food and Agricultural  Organization of the United Nations (FAO).

 The Headquarters of International Jute Study Group (IJSG) located at 145 Monipuripara, Near Farmgate Tejgaon
Dhaka-1215, Bangladesh

16th Session of the Council of the IJSG held at Dhaka

The Sixteenth Session of the Council of the International Jute Study Group (IJSG) held at its Secretariat in Dhaka on May 16, 2013. Mr. Md. Ashraful Moqbul, Senior Secretary, Ministry of Textiles and Jute, Government of the People’s Republic of Bangladesh & Chairperson, Council of IJSG chaired the session. The representatives of IJSG member countries were present in the meeting. Mr. Subrata Gupta, Jute Commissioner, India and Mr. Arijit Banerjee, Secretary, National Jute board (NJB), India, represented the Indian delegation.  Mr. Philippe Jacques, First Counselor, Head of Cooperation, EU Delegation to Bangladesh represented the European Union. While a 14 member’s team led by Mr. Moqbul represented the delegation of Bangladesh.The Council is the highest authority of the IJSG which discussed establishment matters as well as administrative and financial matters of the Group. A series of important issues including membership of the Group, liquidation process, and development of market for jute products, assessment of world jute situation and other related matters were discussed during the Session.


The Secretary General updated the Council about the present status of jute, kenaf and allied natural fibres and its position in the world ranking. He presented the recent figures and trend analysis of top jute producing and consuming countries. All Members of IJSG – Bangladesh, India, and European Union representing its 27 Member States attended the Session. Representatives of Associate Members from Bangladesh and Tanzania were present during the meeting. Representative of CIRDAP also attended the session as Observer.

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icddr,b contributes to largest global study on diarrhoeal diseases in developing countries

28 May 2013 – icddr,b has contributed to a new international study that provides the clearest picture yet of the impact and most common causes of diarrhoeal diseases, which kill 800,000 children annually. The Global Enteric Multicenter Study (GEMS) is the largest study ever conducted on diarrhoeal diseases in developing countries, enrolling more than 20,000 children from seven sites across Asia and Africa. The findings of the study were recently published in The Lancet and provide guidelines on prevention, treatment and research on childhood diarrhoeal diseases.

The GEMS study in Bangladesh was conducted in Mirzapur, a sub-district just north of Dhaka, by icddr,b’s Centre for Nutrition & Food Security.  “Better information is critical to changing the way we fight diarrhoeal diseases,” said Dr. A.S.G. Faruque, Principal Investigator at the Bangladesh trial site. “GEMS shows us clearly how we can target our approach and where we need to invest our resources to make a difference.”

Funded by the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, GEMS was a case control study conducted at seven diverse, high-burden sites in Asia and Africa: the Gambia, Kenya, Mali, Mozambique, Bangladesh, India and Pakistan. The study enrolled 22,569 children under five years of age –  a sample size that is large enough to provide comprehensive data on the causes, incidence and impact of the range of diarrhoeal diseases affecting children around the world. GEMS established a network of well-equipped laboratories in the study countries that can be used to accelerate future research on diarrhoea and other child health priorities.

Rotavirus:  a leading cause of infant diarrhoeal diseases

Coordinated by the University of Maryland School of Medicine’s Center for Vaccine Development, GEMS confirmed rotavirus – for which a vaccine already exists – as the leading cause of diarrhoeal diseases among infants and identified other top causes for which additional research is urgently needed. GEMS found that approximately one in five children under the age of two suffer from MSD each year, which increased children’s risk of death by eight-and-a-half times and lead to stunted growth over a two-month follow-up period.

Shigella, a type of bacteria, caused the largest number of infections in toddlers and older children. Unlike at sites in Africa, Aeromonas – another type of bacteria – was the third leading cause of MSD, confirming its regional importance as a pathogen. Linear growth delays were significant among children in all age groups in the two months following their MSD episode, and a single episode of MSD increased children’s risk of death more than twelvefold over the same period.

Despite many causes, GEMS found that targeting just four pathogens could prevent the majority of MSD cases.  Expanding access to vaccines for rotavirus could save hundreds of thousands of lives. Likewise, GEMS data suggests that accelerating research on vaccines, diagnostics and treatments for the three other leading pathogens – Shigella, Cryptosporidium and ST-ETEC (a type of E. coli) – could have a similar impact.

“The GEMS findings help set priorities for investments that could greatly reduce the burden of childhood diarrhoeal diseases,” said Dr. Thomas Brewer, deputy director of the Enteric & Diarrheal Diseases team at the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation.

Longer-term monitoring and expansion of interventions can save lives

The GEMS findings also suggest that longer-term monitoring and care of children with diarrhoeal diseases could reduce mortality and developmental delays. Children with MSD grew significantly less in height in the two months following the diarrhoeal episode when compared with control children without diarrhoea, and were eight-and-a-half times more likely to die over the course of the two-month follow-up period. Notably, 61 percent of deaths occurred more than a week after the initial diarrhoeal episode, with 56 percent of deaths happening after families had returned home from a healthcare facility.

Expanding access to existing interventions that protect against or treat all diarrhoeal diseases –  including oral rehydration solutions, zinc supplements and clean water and sanitation- can save lives and improve the health of children immediately.

The GEMS findings add to the scientific evidence cited in the first-ever Integrated Global Action Plan for the Prevention and Control of Pneumonia and Diarrhea (GAPPD) recently announced by the World Health Organization and UNICEF. The GAPPD strategy calls for effectively controlling pneumonia and diarrhoea, which together are the two leading causes of death among young children globally.

For more details please contact Senior Manager Communications Nasmeen Ahmed


(The article has been published for further dissemination of ICDDR,B achievements taken from the link: of the website of this international organization located in Bangladesh)

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Winners of ICIMOD Photo Contest Announced on World Environment Day(Taken from ICIMOD website for further dissemination)

Winners of ICIMOD Photo Contest Announced on World Environment Day

05 Jun 2013

The winners of the ICIMOD Digital Photo Contest on ‘Water and Life’ were announced during the Centre’s activities for World Environment Day. The contest was held as a part of the celebration of ICIMOD’s 30th anniversary, and the theme was chosen to coincide with the United Nation’s International Year of Water Cooperation 2013.

Over a month and a half, contestants submitted around 3,000 photos related to three different categories: Uses or Benefits of Water and Related Resources, Hazards, Conflicts, or Issues related to Water (or Lack Thereof), and Good Practices in Water and Related Risk Management. The photos were judged by a panel consisting of two professional photographers from Nepal, Jagdish Tiwari and Ravi Sayami, and Aditi Mukherji, a expert on water-related issues and leader of the Water and Air Theme at ICIMOD. Cash prizes of USD 1,000, 800, and 600 will be awarded to the top three photos (see list of winners below).

In addition, three People’s Choice prizes were awarded based on a week-long voting competition on the ICIMOD Facebook page. The photos with the most ‘likes’ in each of the contest’s three categories  were also disclosed. They will be awarded a cash prize of USD 200. Twenty-seven photo entries will be awarded Honourable Mentions.


Winner of ICIMOD Digital Photo Contest on ‘Water and Life’

Villagers in Marigaon, Assam, India use a traditional irrigation system to bring water to their paddy field, India – Samsul Huda Patgiri

1st Runner-up

A collective drinking water source for the villagers of Dera Ismail Khan District, Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Province, Pakistan – Muhammad Asad Salim

2nd Runner-up

Scarce at the source: Although the Himalayas provide water to 1.3 billion people downstream, water is scarce in many parts of the Himalayas. Due to the topography, women have to hike for hours to collect drinking water. A woman stands after a two-hour hike to fetch water, Nepal – Uttam Babu Shrestha

Winner of the People’s Choice Award: through Facebook Voting

Category I – Uses or Benefits of Water and Related Resources

In this photo, a boy drinks water from a pot after playing with his friends. In some villages in Myanmar, traditional drinking water pots are found throughout the village for all to use, Myanmar – Thandar Soe


Category II – Hazards, Conflicts, or Issues related to Water (or Lack Thereof)

A landslide swept a house nearly 40 metres downhill, Nepal – Keshab Raj Thoker

Category III – Good Practices in Water and Related Risk Management

Rooftop water storage, purification, and distribution systems in the community, Nepal – Chandra Man Dongol

(The article has been published for further dissemination from the website of ICIMOD found at the link:

2013 International Year of Quinoa (IYQ2013) :A Future sown a thousands of years ago(Dissemiation of UNFAO Program)

Launch of the International Year of Quinoa

Quinoa can play an important role in eradicating hunger, malnutrition and poverty, FAO Director-General José Graziano da Silva said at the official launch of the International Year of Quinoa at UN Headquarters. [more]

A future sown thousands of years ago

The value of quinoa lies not only in the grains of its colorful particles, but also in the knowledge accumulated by the Andean peoples, which has made it possible to preserve its many varieties, improve their performance and develop a gastronomy around quinoa.

However, the grain was carefully guarded by these peoples and today it is an invaluable legacy for humanity, due to its unique characteristics: quinoa is the only food that has all the essential amino acids, trace elements and vitamins while being gluten free.

It can grow under the harshest conditions, withstanding temperatures from -8 ° to 38 ° C, anywhere from sea level up to 4000 meters, and is tolerant of drought and poor soils.

From staple to gourmet kitchen

Like the potato, quinoa was one of the main foods of the Andean peoples before the Incas. Traditionally, quinoa grain are roasted and then made to flour, with which different types of breads are baked.

It can also be cooked, added to soups, used as a cereal, made into pasta and even fermented to beer or chicha, the traditional drink of the Andes. When cooked it takes on a nut-like flavor.

Today quinoa also has a key role in the gourmet kitchen, but its use has also been extended to the pharmaceutical and industrial areas.

From America to the world

Almost all the current quinoa production is in the hands of small farmers and associations.

Quinoa can be found natively in all countries of the Andean region, from Colombia to the north of Argentina and the south of Chile. The main producing countries are Bolivia, Peru and the United States. The cultivation of quinoa has transcended continental boundaries: it is being cultivated in France, England, Sweden, Denmark, Holland and Italy. In the United States it is being grown in Colorado and Nevada, and in Canada in the fields of Ontario. In Kenya it has shown high yields and in the Himalayas and the plains of northern India, the crop can also develop successfully.

A contribution to global food security

Faced with the challenge of increasing the production of quality food to feed the world’s population in the context of climate change, quinoa offers an alternative for those countries suffering from food insecurity.

The United Nations General Assembly has therefore declared 2013 as the “International Year of Quinoa”, in recognition of ancestral practices of the Andean people, who have managed to preserve quinoa in its natural state as food for present and future generations, through ancestral practices of living in harmony with nature.

The Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations, and specifically its Regional Office for Latin America and the Caribbean, will serve as the Secretariat of the International Year of Quinoa, assisting the International Committee to coordinate the celebrations. Bolivia has the presidency of the Committee, while Ecuador, Peru and Chile share the vice presidency, with the rapporteurship in the hands of Argentina and France.

What is quinoa?


Everything about quinoa, how it is grown, what it is used for and what are its varieties

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Get the latest news about the IYQ and access to news published in major media sources in the region.

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If you want to know more about quinoa, enter this section where you can find related publications with this crop and the IYQ.

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Get the 2013 International Year of Quinoa campaign materials and help spread the word!

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2013 International Year of Quinoa Secretariat

Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations
Regional Office for Latin America and the Caribbean
Av. Dag Hammarskjöld 3241, Vitacura, Santiago, Chile
[email protected]

(This article has been taken from the link : of  FAO website for further dissemination)