G20: agriculture ministers propose collaborative approach towards building a sustainable food future

The joint declaration of the Meeting of Agriculture Ministers highlights the commitment taken by member countries to put an end to hunger.

G20 agriculture ministers committed to “work collaboratively toward our goals of ending hunger and promoting sustainable agriculture, to achieve a sustainable food future,” which is one of the three priorities of the Argentine G20 presidency this year.

The meeting’s final declaration was issued after two days of working sessions, and acknowledges the key role of member countries in the global food system and “the great responsibility to actively contribute to enhance global food security and improve nutrition by increasing agricultural productivity and incomes, while fostering the sustainable management of natural resources.”

Concerned that, after many years of decline, global hunger has increased and now affects 815 million people worldwide, ministers stated that “the fight against the scourge of hunger and malnutrition in all its forms can only be addressed collaboratively, by sharing our views and experiences on the matter, coordinating actions and joining efforts of all national and international actors.”

The document, agreed by all member countries, also underlines the importance of innovation: “Agricultural development, investment and trade, as well as the use of improved technologies, have been essential drivers of human progress in recent decades and of the improvement in the living conditions of millions of people around the world.” In this regard, it encourages “the use of innovative agricultural practices and technologies that improve the productivity and sustainability of agriculture.” 

Ministers also reaffirmed the importance of healthy soils to strengthen the role of agriculture in human development and information and communication technologies (ICTs) to bolster productivity and food security, as well as promote sustainable agriculture. 

The declaration includes a section on the importance of reducing food loss and waste “to increase food security; alleviate pressure on climate, water and land resources; and improve income for farmers, agri-food businesses and the household economy.”