Photo Credit: United Nations Photo

The G20 Agriculture Ministers met in Berlin on January 22 to discuss the ways in which the members can support stable supplies of safe, nutritious and affordable food for the global population. In the declaration the ministers expressed a renewed commitment to the implementation of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCC) and the Paris Agreement (2015) to cope with the challenges face from an increased population, climate change, urbanization, conflict, and the limited availability of energy and natural resources as well as their degradation.

The declaration notes the responsibilities of the stakeholders to achieve the agriculture-related goals and targets and note that sustainable and resilient agriculture contributes significant to achieving a number of SDGs. The declaration also notes the milestone of the Paris Agreement and the ministers committed to supporting it and the needed capacity and resilience. The ministers also noted support for the Marrakech Action Proclamation, which calls for efforts to eradicate poverty, ensure food security and address the challenge of climate change in agriculture.

The ministers emphasized the importance of water for food security and the resulting need to increase agricultural water-use efficiency. They note a commitment to SDG6 and in particular, to ensuring that policies support both agricultural productivity and the sustainability of water-related ecosystems while respecting that WTO commitments for trade. As a result of the outcome of the 9th Berlin Agriculture Ministers Conference 2017, they outlined the following specific goals: coordinated policies and actions for improving water governance across sectors; improved water-use efficiency in agriculture through improved policies that reflect regional and local conditions; and promotion of activities that support resilience to water-related risks in the agricultural sector.

The declaration notes the importance of Information and Communications Technology (ICT) in agriculture noting its potential to allow better integration and efficiency gains in the food system. The declaration calls for FAO and IFPRI to provide reports and proposals on mapping the existing ICT initiatives in agriculture. As noted in the summary of the G20 China meeting, IFPRI has done extensive analysis on the use and potential of ICTs in agriculture and has found that both connectivity and content need to progress simultaneously to witness positive gains, requiring sustained investment by both the public and private sector. IFPRI has also conducted an assessment of the effects of ICTs on agriculture development allowing specific recommendations for future ICT proposals; the platform will build upon this assessment.

The ministers note the importance of AMIS in the global food commodity information architecture as well as the importance collaboration with GEOGLAM and suggest active participation in AMIS by all G20 members. The declaration also provides suggestions for the use of antibiotics in a way that poses less of a threat to global health.

Finally, the ministers discuss the importance of strengthening agricultural trade and agricultural investment and functioning markets to reduce food price volatility and enhanced food security. The declaration ends with a renewed commitment to implementation of the G20 Action Plan on Food Price Volatility and Agriculture, the G20 Food Security and Nutrition Framework and the G20 Action Plan on Food Security and Sustainable Food Systems among other commitments.

Read the T20 recommendations for policy action on land and water use.

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