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Food security, undernutrition top agenda at UN agency's Asia-Pacific conference

KUALA LUMPUR, March 7 (Xinhua) -- Government officials of Asia-Pacific region attended a regional conference by Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO) began in Malaysia Monday to discuss ways to tackle food security and undernutrition across the world's most populous region.

During the 5-day meetings of the 33rd FAO Regional Conference for Asia and the Pacific held in Malaysia's administrative capital of Putrajaya, government Ministers and senior officials from 46 Asia-Pacific countries to will discuss a broad range of food and agriculture-related issues, FAO said in a statement.

These include the present state of food production across this vast region, and ways to boost nutrition and end child stunting while curbing the growing rates of obesity. The delegates will also examine the challenges facing intensification of fisheries and aquaculture and the need to connect smallholder farmers to value-chains to improve their food-security and livelihoods, as they produce the majority of the food.

"The conference in Putrajaya is particularly important, as it is the first one to be held for the region after the approval of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) at the United Nations last September," said FAO Director-General Jose Graziano da Silva.

"Food security, nutrition and sustainable agriculture are vital to achieving the entire set of SDGs by 2030. We hope Asia-Pacific countries will come out of this conference with a greater focus, sense of purpose and opportunity for collaboration to kick off their efforts towards these aspirations," Graziano da Silva said.

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