G20 Agriculture Ministers Commit to Meet Global Food Security and Nutrition Needs
By admin May 19, 2015


(Image source: the guardian)


The G20 Ministers of Agriculture meeting was held on 7-8 May 2015 in Istanbul to discuss global food security and nutrition issues. As the world population is expected to reach nine billion by 2050, food security has become a great concern for the G20 countries as well as developing countries. Because of this, the ministers agreed to commit to a deal with this challenge to meet global food security and nutrition needs.

In the final communiqué adopted at the meeting, the Ministers acknowledged that food systems should be economically, socially, and environmentally sustainable. Broadly with four points, they promote commitment and collaborative efforts toward sustainable food systems leading to food security and adequate nutrition.

To start, sustainable food systems should involve sustainable increases in food productivity and production. This is related to soil fertility, water retention capacity and restoration of degraded land. In this regard, agricultural policy, sustainable investment from the public and private sector, and sound work environments in rural areas are fundamental.

Second, a comprehensive food systems approach needs to be considered, which contemplates “the entirety of food value chains from production through food processing and distribution to retailing and consumption.” The food systems need to be seen as an organism where each component works together and affects each other. Here, engagement by the private sector is crucial as they play a large role in all levels of food value chains. Private companies need to recognize their influence on the whole of food value chains, involving not only food security but also social, economic, and environmental impact.

Third, agricultural productivity is essential to maintain food security. Productivity increases when technologies and knowledge are shared. In this sense, the Ministers call for G20 member countries to exchange policy experiences and successful practices with nonmember countries. Additionally, favorable policy and regulatory environments toward technology adoption and knowledge sharing would be paramount.

Finally, the magnificent extent of food loss and waste is negatively consequential for food security and nutrition. The forms and directions of interventions to address food loss and waste differ by circumstances and contexts of countries. Even so, it will be vital to measure the economic and physical magnitude of food loss and waste. Furthermore, how food loss and waste affect societies, economies, and environments and what causes this loss and waste need to be commonly understood.

While curtailing food insecurity and increased malnutrition remains as a critical problem globally, it is meaningful for the G20 countries to acknowledge and work toward the commitment. Given that G20 countries have the advanced agricultural technologies and policies for food system and many parts of food loss and waste come from wealthier countries, it is imperative that they take the initiative in addressing the food security and malnutrition problem.


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