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Özdemir: “Building bridges so that everyone in the world has enough to eat”

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Berlin, 21 January 2024 - Chaired by Federal Minister of Agriculture Cem Özdemir, agriculture ministers from 65 countries have committed to making global agricultural and food systems more sustainable and resilient at the 16th Berlin Agriculture Ministers' Conference.

GFFA 2024 - 16. Berliner Agrarministerkonferenz
GFFA 2024 - 16. Berliner Agrarministerkonferenz© BMEL

In their final communiqué, the ministers affirmed that this is the only way to realize the right to adequate food for all.

They recognized that the world has been shaken by the climate and biodiversity crisis and pledged to promote agricultural practices and technologies that strengthen sustainable food production.

They also made it clear that the Russian war of aggression against Ukraine, which violates international law, has drastically increased hunger in the world.

At the end of the Berlin Agriculture Ministers' Conference, which was held under the motto “Food systems of the future: Together for a world without hunger”, Federal Minister Cem Özdemir declared:

One in ten people goes to bed hungry. In view of this, we as a global community should actually be moving closer together, but instead the world is threatening to break up into camps.

As Agriculture Ministers, we have sent out a clear signal that we cannot and will not accept this.

Agricultural policy always means agricultural diplomacy - only together can we create food security.

We consider ourselves to be bridge builders who solve seemingly contradictory challenges together.

Agricultural policy can create prospects worldwide - for women in agriculture, for indigenous peoples and for future generations.

And we rely on genuine partnerships, especially with the countries of the global South, to strengthen local supply and reduce dependencies.

One key to this is the unquestioning transfer of knowledge - Germany is resolutely leading the way here, for example with the Partnership for the Future with the African Union.

In addition to the agriculture ministers, high-ranking representatives from eleven international organizations discussed how the right to adequate food can be implemented at the Berlin Agriculture Ministers' Conference.

Background information

Key results of the 16th Berlin Agriculture Ministers' Conference:

  • Implement the human right to food: Adequate food must be available, accessible and affordable for all. To this end, the implementation of the FAO's Voluntary Guidelines on the Right to Food should be strengthened and made even better known.
  • Sustainable and resilient transformation of food systems: The ministers commit to accelerating the transformation towards sustainable, local, site-adapted and resilient agriculture in order to achieve SDG 2 “Zero Hunger” and other sustainability goals of the 2030 Agenda.
  • Climate protection and biodiversity: agroecological approaches, organic farming, agroforestry systems and the circular economy should help to halt the climate crisis and biodiversity loss. Regional cycles and regional supply chains as well as sustainable consumption are to be promoted.
  • Strengthening vulnerable groups: Vulnerable groups are particularly affected by food insecurity, malnutrition and multiple crises and should therefore be strengthened. Equal participation, especially of the younger generation and women, is of crucial importance.
  • Strengthen the role of women in the agricultural sector: Unequal treatment should be reduced by empowering women in agriculture, including in management positions. Women should have better access to land and operating resources.
  • Strengthen governance: Sustainability requires functioning structures.This applies in particular to secure land rights, access to high-quality seed and fair access to financial resources and rural infrastructure. Cross-sectoral coordination and coherence of political measures should be promoted for a systemic approach.
  • Halve global food waste: By 2030, food waste and losses are to be drastically reduced along the entire value chain. In addition to concrete targets, this requires effective measures; food losses and food waste must be measured and all stakeholders must play a committed role - from primary production to private households.
  • Improve fertilizer and crop protection management: Sustainable fertilizer production and use should be strengthened to stabilize yields and avoid global supply shortages. Fertilizer management should be part of integrated, sustainable soil management. Countries of the global South are to be supported in the sustainable production of fertilizers.

(Source: BMEL press releases)

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