First day at the Food and Agricultural Organization

Committee discussions include two key issues: food insecurity and desertification

By Rachel Sutton, Journalist

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The delegates of the Food and Agriculture Committee began discussion and deliberation immediately, honing in on two key issues: food insecurity and desertification. Many of the delegates present in this committee represent countries whose physical geographies put them at heightened risk for desertification, and tensions began to rise on whether or not this ought to be a central topic of discussion for the committee. As the delegate of India stressed, the temporal component of desertification makes it an urgent topic to address before the situation reaches an irresolvable point. 

As an option for a method of addressing food insecurity the topic of Genetically Modified Foods (GMOs) was brought to the floor. Delegates quickly found themselves divided on their stance towards this topic. While some felt as though GMOs could be a promising option for helping to combat food insecurity, other delegates found themselves in strong opposition of exploring the topic, due to safety concerns. Similar hesitant attitudes were exhibited by some delegates regarding turning to advancements in technology as a method of coping with food crises.

After a thorough discussion, delegates transitioned into a moderated caucus to discuss in detail research methods that could be useful to combating desertification, and the lengths to which mitigating climate change would prove useful in this regard. Discussions touched upon the need for gender equality in the agricultural sector and the need to educate populations on what sustainable farming practices would entail, and how to carry them out in their communities. The delegate of Nigeria brought up the importance of ensuring that all countries are given the adequate resources to implement and achieve the goals set forward by the committee. 

As the debate began to wrap up for the day delegates focused in on the idea of funding initiatives such as education with the key focusing being on educating women and minorities who are often most involved in agricultural practices. The session ended in a final moderated caucus to allow all delegates to state their position in regards to the situation at hand. We look forward to seeing where the delegates take the discussion tomorrow!