The 2011 Horn of Africa food crisis reinforced the need for governments and international organizations to be able to react quickly to ongoing humanitarian crises such as drought and famine. In particular, emergency food supplies are critical to mitigate the effects of negative weather events and price shocks. Such supplies must be maintained and used effectively, however, to prevent further disruption and volatility in both global and local food markets.

Negative weather events and climate change present an ongoing global challenge for agricultural production and food security, particularly for the poor in developing countries. Unforeseen weather events and changing agricultural conditions can lead to decreased agricultural productivity, increased and volatile food prices, and food insecurity and malnutrition. Being able to track environmental conditions and better predict harvest levels would give policymakers the ability to prepare for potential food shortages.

Research into more productive varieties of staple crops is an important part of agricultural R&D. Agricultural conditions can vary greatly among regions, countries, and even micro-regions; thus, seeds that produce well in one area may not be as productive in another. And with climate change posing even greater agricultural challenges for poor producers, this research is even more critical.

The 2012 G20 Summit recognizes the importance of and interlinkages between issues such as economic stability, sustainable growth, climate change, and food security. In order to address these challenges in the face of a growing global population, G20 leaders have worked closely with leading international institutions, including the FAO, IFAD, WFP, and IFPRI, to further the action plans established at the 2011 Summit and address additional steps to ensure sustainable global growth and development. The priorities of the Mexican G20 Presidency encompass:

For the world's poorest populations, risk is evident in everyday life. From negative weather events such as drought and flood to fluctuations in international financial markets, risk can take many forms and requires innovative global strategies to mitigate.

The recommendations of the 2012 G20 Agriculture Ministers have focused, among other topics, on the importance of increasing agricultural productivity throughout the developing world. Different regions of the world, however, present different challenges and opportunities for agricultural growth. In particular, tropical areas can have a very high potential for increasing agricultural productivity and, consequently, reducing poverty and improving food security; however, such productivity is limited by a lack of access to information and weak capacities.

Economic growth in developing countries is often constrained by a lack of access to regional and global markets. Without reliable access to fair, transparent markets, the poor in developing countries stand little chance of escaping poverty and hunger. In recent years, the call for structural reforms of global markets has increased, focusing largely on protectionist trade policies such as export restrictions and tariffs.

Food security and economic growth are closely linked through global markets, trade, and investments. The actions of global businesses, particularly in developed countries, play a crucial role in creating jobs, stimulating economic growth, encouraging investment and innovation in the agricultural sector, and reforming the structure of international markets to ensure economic stability.