Marking World Food Day, ILO head, Guy Ryder, highlighted the central role agricultural cooperatives play in ensuring that the right to food can be enjoyed by all, at a time when almost 870 million people are undernourished.
“Experience around the world shows that farmers, fisherfolk, foresters and herders have used cooperative organization to increase food production, gain market access, obtain better prices on agricultural inputs, participate more effectively in global value chains and also to manage natural resources and enhance food security,” Ryder said in a statement.
He stressed the value “of the cooperative model – and of agricultural cooperatives in particular – in ensuring that all can enjoy the right to food and as vehicles for decent lives, decent work and sustainable development.”
Cooperatives have also helped open up access to financial services and social protection coverage.
“Let our actions reinforce the cooperative movement and enable cooperatives to go from strength to strength, capable of generating decent jobs and supporting vibrant and resilient agricultural communities as they produce to feed families, communities and the world,” he said.
Agricultural cooperatives – key to feeding the world”, is the theme of the 2012 World Food Day, which aims at raising awareness of ways to end hunger.