FAO looks to open regional post in Turkey
ISTANBUL - Hürriyet Daily NewsThe UN Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) is planning to establish a regional office in Istanbul in order to allow Turkey to become a “donor country” in the region, its director-general, Jose Graziano da Silva, said yesterday in Istanbul.
“We need a coordinated G20 response to the food price rises. (…) Opening an office in Turkey will also allow us to expand our economic cooperation in the region, however it is up to Turkey to decide it,” Da Silva told Hürriyet Daily News on the sidelines of a meeting held in Istanbul by the FAO and European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD). Along with Da Silva, Food and Agriculture Minister Mehdi Eker and EBRD President Suma Chakrabarti attended the conference, titled “Private Sector for Food Security,” in Istanbul.
‘Volatility in food prices’
The FAO had met with Turkish Food and Agriculture Minister Mehdi Eker to discuss improving the relationship between FAO and Turkey, Da Silva said. “Our plan is to establish an office in Istanbul and have more people working within the organization.”
There is a tendency to huge volatility in food prices around the world, Da Silva said, and the FAO is trying to prevent this by setting up a coordination policy between the G20 countries and the biggest food producers.
“There is no reason for panic. What brings us to a food crisis is lack of coordination. Now we have daily phone calls with the most important producers. We are also playing an active role among the G20 countries and providing updated information to them,” Da Silva said.
The FAO has been working to form “global food price monitors,” and has been conveying updates on food prices to both exporter and importer countries, in order to diminish volatilities in food prices, Da Silva said.