Speech of (Swiss) Federal Councillor Micheline Calmy Rey, Head of the Federal Department of Foreign Affairson the occasion of the World Food Day on 16 October 2010.
Published on Current Concerns, december 2010.
… What is Switzerland doing about that mismanagement?
In contrast to other countries in the industrial world, Switzerland has not cut the finances spent on agriculture in developing countries. Last year, around 200 millions of Swiss francs have been invested in order to assure and improve food security. There was a comprehensive contribution to a globally sustainable development. Here are some examples:
- Switzerland supports the research done in climate-proof kinds of beans and in the cultivation there of. About 10 million people living in 12 countries are profiting from that support provided to Southern Africa – by Switzerland.
- Together with development agencies of other countries, Switzerland supports the international research done in rice. That gives access to rich sorts of rice for peasants – living for example in Laos. The production of rice could be increased by two thirds within 15 years’ time.
- In Peru, Switzerland is supporting the promotion of domestic sorts of potatoes. New products on the basis of potatoes entered the market. The producers were able to increase their income.
- There are lots of developing countries where Switzerland supports the agricultural counselling of peasants and supports their networking.
Globalization makes countries, economies and societies more dependent on each other. Switzerland is a country, which is especially well connected on the international level. Therefore we have a particular interest and a particular responsibility in contributing to the solution of worldwide famine and poverty problems.
One month ago the Federal Council decided on a draft in order to increase public support so that it will amount to 0,5 p.c. of the national gross product until 2015. These supplementary means are intended to be used for tasks that are related to climate and water. This commitment improves food security in a direct or indirect way, as well. The parliament will be deciding on this motion in the next months.
Create such conditions in developing countries as to ameliorate the life of men: … (full long text).