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Rwanda to host international conference on Plant Genetic Resources

Rwanda will host the 7th Session of the Governing Body of the International Treaty on Plant Genetic Resources for Food and Agriculture scheduled to take place from October 30 to November 3, 2017 in Kigali.

Minister of Agriculture and Animal Resources, Dr Gerardine Mukeshimana, made the announcement during the 40th Session of the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) Conference in Rome, Italy.

Speaking during the conference in Rome, Minister Mukeshimana, said: “the FAO’s International Treaty on Plant Genetic Resources for Food and Agriculture is particularly well-placed to help us all move towards fulfilling a number of the 2030 Sustainable Development Goals – particularly targets 2.5 and 15.6 with regard to promoting sustainable agriculture and to conserving and using the world’s food crop biodiversity.”

FAO member countries have exchanged more than 4.1 million seeds and other resources belonging to food crops essential for human nutrition and well-being, but the inclusion of some key vegetables and other food-producing plants have yet to be agreed on.

Minister Mukeshimana reiterated Rwanda’s commitment to “working together towards the common goal of ending hunger,” citing the ongoing efforts to strengthen Rwanda’s fourth Strategic Plan for agriculture transformation (PSTA4) to address issues of productivity, youth employment and climate change.

 The Strategic Plan will guide the update of the agriculture sector investment plan needed to fast track the zero hunger goal in Rwanda.
 The International Treaty on Plant Genetic Resources for Food and Agriculture was adopted by the 31st Session of the Conference of the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations on 3 November 2001.

The Treaty aims at recognizing the enormous contribution of farmers to the diversity of crops that feed the world; establishing a global system to provide farmers, plant breeders and scientists with access to plant genetic materials; and ensuring that recipients share benefits they derive from the use of these genetic materials with the countries where they have been originated.

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