Nuclear for agriculture? Now you can
FAO and AIEA present the Atoms4Food project, aimed at improving food efficiency
To provide a broad-based response to the global need for sustainable food systems, the heads of two United Nations agencies have announced a new initiative called Atoms4Food to offer member countries assistance in strategic planning, increasing food production and food safety. The initiative was born from collaboration with the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) and will be managed through the Joint FAO/IAEA Center for Nuclear Techniques in Food and Agriculture.
“We find ourselves in an unprecedented time, when hunger and malnutrition are on the rise, posing a threat to humanity,” said FAO Director General Qu Dongyu and IAEA Director General Rafael Mariano Grossi in a press release. joint statement released Wednesday. “The Atoms4Food initiative aims to provide Member States with innovative solutions tailored to their specific needs and circumstances, leveraging the benefits of nuclear techniques alongside other advanced technologies.”
The Atoms4Food initiative aims to help nations use innovative nuclear techniques to improve agricultural productivity, reduce food losses, ensure food security, improve nutrition and adapt to the challenges of climate change. The project builds on joint FAO/IAEA programs to provide tailored comprehensive support to countries and will be delivered through mechanisms established by the IAEA and FAO and other relevant partners, as appropriate.
For his part, Grossi noted that Atoms4Food comes seventy years after US President Dwight D. Eisenhower gave his iconic “Atoms for Peace” speech, sharing similar goals. “One of the key manifestations of peace today is making sure everyone has food,” the IAEA director general said.
Leveraging their respective comparative advantages, strategies and relevant research portfolios, the Joint FAO/IAEA Center for Nuclear Techniques for Food and Agriculture is already working to optimize dedicated laboratories focused on food and agriculture, human nutrition, food safety and water management. The Atoms4Food initiative is expected to provide Member States with innovative solutions in areas ranging from cropping systems to natural resource management, tailored to their specific needs and circumstances.
Grossi outlined seven services that benefit Member States, ranging from capacity building, crop varieties, soil and water management, animal health, pest control, food safety, public health and to nutrition. “We know that we have to use every tool we have,” said the IAEA director general.
EFA News - European Food Agency