12th Conference of Agriculture Ministers and GFFA - Final Communiqué


Berlin, 19 January 2020 - The Federal Minister of Food and Agriculture, Julia Klöckner, welcomed 71 counterparts from around the world and representatives of twelve international organizations to the Conference of Agriculture Ministers at the Ministry's Global Forum for Food and Agriculture.

GFFA 2020
GFFA 2020© BMEL /photothek.net

The theme of the event was “Food for all! Trade for Secure, Diverse and Sustainable Food”.

A joint communiqué was adopted and handed over to Aidarbek Saparov, Deputy Minister of Kazakhstan, as host of the next WTO Ministerial Conference, Alan Wolff, Deputy Secretary-General of the WTO, and Dr. Qu Dongyu, Director-General of the FAO.

International trade fights hunger, conserves resources and can contribute significantly to stability and peace! Without trade, there will be no security of world food supplies, because some states are not able to provide for themselves.

For this to succeed, we must expand trade, work together to ensure that the special concerns of agriculture are taken into account. Farmers must be winners from trade, including small farmers. This includes fairness and transparency.

We must ensure that everyone benefits, not just a few, so that everyone has access to food. Global trade needs global rules, reliable, value-based standards. That's why it's important that we at the GFFA exchange views on this. Nowhere else do so many agriculture ministers from so many countries of the world come together, it is a unique platform“,

emphasized Federal Minister Julia Klöckner.

In their final communiqué, the Conference of Agriculture Ministers agreed on the following objectives, among others:

  • Global rules for the global market, strengthening of the WTO, bilateral free trade agreements as a contribution to opening up markets, reduction of market-distorting support measures.
  • Local, regional and global value chains are to be promoted and agricultural trade promoted. Prosperity gains should benefit all countries and all social classes equally.
  • Promotion of technical and organisational innovations, for example in the field of digitisation, in order to increase efficiency and make the agricultural and food sector attractive to a new generation of farmers.
  • Small farmers are to be supported by means of microcredits, including the promotion of cooperatives to integrate them more closely into the markets.
  • Women must be given more rights and easier access to markets in order to effectively combat the poverty of many families.
  • No renunciation of environmental measures, compliance with international climate agreements.
  • Introduction of global standards for sustainable agriculture.

International Digital Council is established

An important step forward was also achieved at the Conference of Agriculture Ministers in the field of digitisation. The ministers had discussed this topic last year and asked the Food and Agriculture Organization FAO to draw up a concept for the establishment of an International Digital Council.

The FAO has now been commissioned to implement it.

The Digital Council is to advise the states on digitisation issues and promote the exchange of ideas and experience.

The decision to establish an International Digital Council is a milestone. All over the world, digitization offers the opportunity to bring together yield security and resource protection, to strengthen rural areas and thus also to combat the causes of flight.

With the Council, we want to reduce the so-called digital divide and improve access to digital technologies - also for small farming families around the world.

Background information

GFFA Agriculture Ministers' Conference
GFFA Agriculture Ministers' Conference© BMEL / photothek.net

The world population has doubled in the last 50 years. In the same period, global agricultural production has tripled thanks to technological and organisational innovations and beneficial policies and measures in the field of agriculture and food.

Nevertheless, over 821 million people in the world are still suffering from hunger and over 2.5 billion from malnutrition. Even under good conditions, 65 countries do not have enough land to feed their own population.

In addition, the world population will increase to around ten billion people by 2050. At the same time, the natural resources to feed the growing population are limited and agriculture faces further challenges such as climate change, water scarcity, soil degradation and loss of biodiversity.

Further information on the GFFA can be found at

The final communiqué 2020 can be found here:


For more information on the Digital Council, please visit


(source: BMEL press release)

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