Bolstering the opportunities that allow rural people in developing countries to remain at home is a critical component of any plan to tackle the contemporary migration crisis, FAO Director-General José Graziano da Silva said today.

"A necessary first step is to address the factors that lead to distress migration," he said today during the UN Summit for Refugees and Migrants."We must create the opportunities for rural people in developing countries to stay in their home."

While that is ultimately a collective effort, investing in sustainable agriculture and rural development is an integral part of any solution, Graziano da Silva said.

Large-scale cross-border movements in recent years have sparked tensions in some countries, placing migration high on the diplomatic agenda and front and center at talks this week in New York.

While migration has throughout history been a driver for development, the cost becomes too high when people find that leaving their homes is their only alternative, Graziano da Silva said.

 "Migration should be an act of choice, and not a desperate last resort," Graziano da Silva said.

For the full story, visit the FAO website.