MANILA, June 16, 2012–Pope Benedict XVI met with the general director of the UN’s Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO), Jose Graziano da Silva, at the Vatican, and tackled the subject of economic, social and political instability as the main source of world hunger.
The Holy See Press Office communique noted that “despite the fact that there are sufficient resources to satisfy the food requirements of the entire planet, persistent economic, social and political obstacles hinder the possibility of meeting those requirements.”
“Finally, the hope was expressed that the rural sector may once again take a leading role in development strategies,” it continued, “that sustainable models of agricultural production and food consumption be promoted, and that greater equity and efficiency be guaranteed in the administration of the food system.”
During their conversation, Da Silva talked about the deep commitment of the Catholic Church in combating hunger and poverty, especially in Africa. He highlighted the global reach of the Church by asking it to renew its efforts in this mission and to remedy the worrying situation of world food security.
They also discussed the coming United Nations Conference on Sustainable Development from June 20-22 in Rio de Janeiro. Both stressed their shared hope that rural communities will once again play a key role in the production and distribution of goods.
The Philippines as an agricultural country with a land area of 30 million hectares, 47% of which is agricultural land, needs to resolve the economic, social and political instability which has hampered its development. While population control enthusiasts insist on an overpopulation problem as the root of poverty, economists have echoed studies that show the Philippines is capable of ample food production for the entire population, and that lack of support for farmers and absence of farm-to-market roads in numerous rural areas are part of the problem which needs to be addressed. (CBCP for Life)