ROME, June 16. /TASS/. Agriculture Ministries of the BRICS group (comprising Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa) have every chance to take a leading role in eradicating poverty and hunger, the United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization says in a report released on Friday by the FAO Rome-based headquarters.
The document says the five nations form an important economic bloc, which accounts for 40% of the world’s population and more than 20% of global GDP. BRICS produces a third of the world grain cumulatively.
"The BRICS countries play an important political role in the international arena. Developing countries around the world look to your successes in economic development over the past few decades as an example to follow," the document quotes a statement by Kundhavi Kadiresan, Assistant Director-General and FAO's Regional Representative for Asia and the Pacific, to the 7th Meeting of the BRICS Agriculture Ministers in the Chinese city of Nanjing.
According to FAO, the five states "have strong agricultural research systems that are working on many of the challenges faced by developing countries, such as feeding a growing population in a sustainable way", it reads.
Biotechnology is due to play a major role in the research studies along with agriculture approaches. "Climate-smart agriculture will be essential to adapt to the uncertain changes facing our farmers, and it will rely heavily on cutting-edge research," FAO says.
"Agricultural growth, as important as it is, cannot eradicate hunger and poverty all by itself - social protection programs can also play a key role in rural development. These programs have important poverty reduction and health benefits, and can also strengthen the confidence of family farmers, encouraging them to become more entrepreneurial," the document reads.