UN, Dutch university partner to reach development goals

Jacques Diouf (R) and Dr Aalt Dijkhuizen at signing

10 October 2008 – The United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) has joined forces with a Dutch university to promote education and research in developing countries to build momentum towards reaching the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs), eight ambitious anti-poverty targets with a 2015 deadline.

FAO and the Wageningen University and Research Centre (WUR) have agreed to focus on boosting production in the face of soaring global food prices.

They will, among their activities, identify technologies to enhance farm production through sustainable use of natural resources, while taking into account climate change; helping countries both formulate policies and put them into practice; and organize seminars and workshops.

The new agreement will also foster the exchange of scientific staff and experts, while also offering young professionals and students internships and on-the-job training.

FAO’s Associate Professional Officers (APO) programme began in 1954 with five young agricultural engineers from Wageningen University, with hundreds of experts following suit since then.

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