UN Says Peru a Model in Eradicating Hunger, Highlights Quinoa

Preissing John, FAOThe United Nation’s Food and Agricultural Organization says that Peru has made the most advances in Latin America in fighting hunger, state news agency Andina reported.

The FAO’s representative in Peru, John Preissing, said Peru is a model for other countries to follow. Preissing said that improvements in Peru are thanks to the implementation of programs to specifically target hunger, as well as the country’s strong economic growth.

Peru’s poverty rate has declined steadily over the past decade, but about 30 percent of the population still lives below the poverty line. Since taking office in 2011, President Ollanta Humala has been focusing on expanding the country’s new-found wealth to lower-income segments by implementing social programs.

Preissing’s comments come as Peruvian First Lady Nadine Heredia  has been appointed, together with Bolivia’s President Evo Morales,  by FAO as special ambassador for the International Year of Quinoa.

Quinoa, a grain native to the Andean region, is seen as important in tackling malnutrition and hunger as it has a higher protein content than other cereals.

The UN says that declaring 2013 the year of the quinoa is aimed at increasing the crop’s global profile and bring attention to its nutritional value, with a focus on food security and tackling poverty.

“Quinoa is recognized and accepted around the world as a natural food resource with high nutritive value of Andean origin becoming a high quality food for health and food security, for present and future generations,” the FAO says.

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