Zimbabwean President Robert Mugabe left here on Friday night for Rome, Italy, to address a hunger conference on Monday to mark the 60th anniversary of the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO).
Mugabe is expected to join other world leaders in deliberating on the food situation in the world, particularly with reference tosouthern Africa where millions of people are in need of food aid as a result of successive droughts.
The Rome meeting comes 10 days after a joint FAO/World Health Organization (WHO) regional conference on food safety for Africa held in Harare.
At the Harare conference, President Mugabe said food donations from developed countries and the influx of new foods from new technologies expose Africa to unsafe food while at the same time crippling commitment to developing agriculture on the continent.
He said everybody needs food and that it was incumbent upon thepeople to produce it and have the necessary resources such as landand inputs.
All the food should be safe for human consumption and where thefood is imported, the receiving governments have to ensure its safety, he said.
The FAO/WHO regional meeting recommended a Strategic Plan for Food Safety in Africa for adoption by the United Nations food and health safety agencies and the African Union.
When he addressed the World Food Summit in 2002, President Mugabe said the Zimbabwean government had responded to the people's cry for land to fight poverty and increase food security throughthe fast-track land acquisition program.
He also took a swipe at developed countries for not taking seriously issues affecting developing countries, particularly those in Africa.
Contrary to widely disseminated misrepresentations by Zimbabwe's detractors, the president said, there was now a brighter future for the country's farming community across color, gender and ethnic divides.