VATICAN CITY, JUNE 13, Vatican City, 14 June 2012 (VIS) - "This morning 14 June the Holy Father Benedict XVI received in audience Jose Graziano da Silva, director general of the Rome-based United Nation's Food and Agricultural Organisation (FAO). The director general subsequently went on to meet with Cardinal Secretary of State Tarcisio Bertone S.D.B. who was accompanied by Archbishop Dominique Mamberti, secretary for Relations with States.

"During the cordial discussions great appreciation was expressed for the commitment shown by the Holy See and the Catholic Church to combating hunger and poverty, especially in Africa, and to remedying the worrying situation of world food security", according to a Holy See Press Office communique released today.

"It was then noted that, despite the fact that there are sufficient resources to satisfy the food requirements of the entire planet, persistent economic, social and political obstacles hinder the possibility of meeting those requirements. Finally, the hope was expressed that the rural sector may once again take a leading role in development strategies, that sustainable models of agricultural production and food consumption be promoted, and that greater equity and efficiency be guaranteed in the administration of the food system".