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|Tuesday, October 16, 2001, updated at 23:35(GMT+8)|
FAO Representative Honors China's Role in World Food SecurityA representative from the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) of the United Nations honored China's contribution to the world food security on the World Food Day 2001 on Tuesday in Changchun, capital of northeast China's Jilin Province.
Gamal Mohamed Ahmed, FAO representative in China, said: "It is well-known that China has successfully provided enough food and clothes to 22 percent of the world population with merely 10 percent of the arable land of the world, which is one of the greatest contributions of China towards the issue of food security of the entire world."
He also delivered a congratulation letter sent by Acques Diouf, director-general of FAO, to the conference.
In the letter, Diouf called for people's attention to the starvation and poverty in the rural areas, where over 70 percent of the world's impoverished and starving population live.
Qi Jingfa, vice minister of agriculture, and Qie Jianwei, deputy director of the State Grain Reserve Administration, attended the 2001 World Food Day Conference and gave speeches.
Qi said that the Chinese Government has always attached great importance to agriculture and the rural area. Since the World Food Summit held in Rome in 1996, the Chinese Government has fulfilled its commitments. It focused on food production, strengthened the fundamental role of agriculture, and achieved good harvests for several consecutive years.
Qie said that China has been capable of producing 500 million tons of grain each year. In the past 20 years, the increasing rate of grain output has surpassed that of its demand in the same period, which enabled China to solve its food problem.
Gamal Mohamed Ahmed, on behalf of the FAO Director-General, congratulated the Chinese Government and the Chinese people for their enormous and continuing efforts made in agricultural development, poverty alleviation and food security.
The theme of this year's World Food Day is "Fight Hunger to Reduce Poverty."
In 1979, FAO decided to designate October 16, 1981, the 36th anniversary of the founding of the organization, as the World Food Day with an objective to highlight the public awareness of the problem of starvation around the world as well as the importance of agriculture and food production.
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