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G20 Agriculture Ministers Meeting Communiqué

Date of publication:2016-06-08 20:59:00 Source:G20 official website

Xi’an, 3 June 2016

1. We, the G20 Agriculture Ministers, met today in Xi’an to discuss how G20 members can promote food security, nutrition, sustainable agricultural growth, and rural development worldwide and contribute towards building an innovative, invigorated, interconnected and inclusive world economy to fully achieve the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, including eradicating hunger and extreme poverty.

2. We remain deeply concerned that, despite tremendous efforts, 795 million people in the world still suffer from chronic hunger and 2 billion people from malnutrition. Through our participation in the United Nations System, we, as members of the G20, are therefore determined to fulfill our commitments taken under the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). We reaffirm that agriculture and rural development are crucial to global food security and poverty alleviation and can contribute significantly towards inclusive economic growth, social stability and the sustainable use of natural resources. Further, through the G20 Food Security and Nutrition Framework and the G20 Action Plan on Food Security and Sustainable Food Systems, we have committed to promote innovation in institutions, policies, science and technology, in order to increase agricultural productivity in a sustainable manner.

3. We also acknowledge that food security is affected by the increasingly complex and variable factors and requires comprehensive and coordinated governance measures and a multi-tiered and multi-faceted system. We encourage coordination in this regard and support the Committee on World Food Security (CFS) and international and regional organizations in their efforts to foster even closer and more effective partnerships, and promote actions by all stakeholders at global, regional and national levels, taking into account national conditions, needs and expectations. We maintain that G20 members should coordinate and continue to play a leading role in identifying issues of global concern, coordinate efforts, and in collaboration with organizations such as the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO), the International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD) and World Food Programme (WFP) , work in an innovative and prioritized manner, to further contribute to the improvement of local, national, regional, and global food security and nutrition. To strengthen global food security efforts and policy coordination, we encourage the development and optimization of national agriculture and food security strategies and plans aimed at improving effectiveness and efficiency in the agrifood sector, including through the reduction of food loss and waste.

4. Taking into consideration the central role of agriculture towards food security and even global stability, and the heavy effects of extreme food price volatility on food security, we commit to continue to tackle the issue of price volatility. In particular, we commit to pursue the implementation of the concrete initiatives of the 2011 G20 Action Plan on Food Price Volatility and Agriculture in dedicated forums: Agricultural Market Information System (AMIS) and the Rapid Response Forum, GEO Global Agricultural Monitoring Initiative (GEOGLAM) for market and production international monitoring, and risk management tools, such as the Platform for Agricultural Risk Management (PARM), and the Wheat Initiative. We acknowledge the contributions of other initiatives including the Global Agriculture and Food Security Programme (GAFSP).

5. We commit to continue to cooperate with international organizations and support their activities, such as those related to the International Year of Pulses 2016, which was declared by the UN and launched by FAO in November 2015, for the purpose of raising awareness about diet diversification and soil protection. We are committed to promoting the reduction of food loss and waste and supporting the G20 Technical Platform of Measurement and Reduction of Food Loss and Waste established in 2015.

6. We stress that ensuring food security and nutrition requires global efforts with a special focus on developing countries, and it is in these countries where the multi-tiered and multi-faceted governance systems for food security should be built. We stress the importance of the Addis Ababa Action Agenda adopted in 2015, North-South cooperation, South-South cooperation and triangular cooperation in identifying sustainable agriculture as a top priority and increasing appropriate and predictable resources and relevant technologies for developing countries, in particular the least developed ones. We appreciate the South-South cooperation in the field of agriculture conducted by relevant countries and international organizations, which has provided beneficial and complementary cooperation.

7. We recognize the importance of being farsighted and the necessity of advancing agricultural development globally in a sustainable manner. We note that promoting sustainable agriculture is an important part of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development. Agriculture’s links with inclusive rural development, poverty reduction and environmental protection underline its importance in achieving SDGs that reflect economic, social and environmental targets. We commit to support the implementation of plans and programs regarding the agriculture-related SDGs in the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, while paying due attention to the links with other SDGs. We also encourage non-members to join us in doing this, and invite the Rome-based UN food and agriculture agencies and other international organizations to provide policy and technical support as required.

8. We support efforts made by the international community to exchange experiences, share knowledge and adopt technology for sustainable agricultural development, and replicate best farming practices conducive to the protection and appropriate utilization of land, forests and water resources. We welcome efforts to extend models as appropriate for the conservation and sustainable use of biodiversity, including inheriting and developing good farming practices, such as the FAO’s Globally Important Agricultural Heritage Systems (GIAHS) initiative. We will support the implementation of the WHO’s global action plan on antimicrobial resistance.

9. We share the idea that climate change is an important challenge in relation to agriculture. Furthermore, we reaffirm our strong support to Paris Agreement adopted at COP 21, including implementation of Intended Nationally Determined Contributions.

10. We stress that innovation can be a powerful driving force behind global economic growth and sustainable increases in productivity. To boost agricultural productivity growth sustainably and meet the demand for sufficient, safe and nutritious food in the future, we need to proactively improve farming techniques and organizational modes. We will promote innovations in technology, social organizations, institutions and agricultural business models, through scientific, evidence-based policies and programmes and sustainable use of resources. We resolve to explore innovative options for adjusting our agricultural development paths, technology systems, policy environment and resource allocations, so as to generate new opportunities for sustainable and inclusive growth, stimulate the productivity of land, capital and labor, and enhance the quality, efficiency and inclusiveness of food value chain. We invite the OECD and other international organizations to continue the development of the G20 initiated analytical framework for improving agricultural productivity including that of small-scale producers in an innovative and sustainable manner.

11. Science, technology and social innovation play an important and leading role in sustainable agricultural growth. We value the fundamental significance of agricultural research and development (R&D) for the benefit of all. We commit to develop an enabling environment, so as to leverage the role of multiple stakeholders, including governments, the private sector, civil society, research institutes and producers, to advance R&D and the extension and adoption of agricultural innovation. We will expedite dissemination of R&D deliverables by building better connections between researchers and farmers. We encourage integration of agricultural scientific and technological projects and programs between countries for the purpose of coordinated innovation and joint research, and the promotion of exchanges and sharing of agricultural know-how. We welcome the decision by the Meeting of G20 Agricultural Chief Scientists (MACS) to reaffirm active support to the development of Global Research Collaboration Platforms (GRCPs) and to set up a working group led by Troika, to develop a proposal on GRCPs principles and a proposal to set up a specific MACS website as well as a working group on Agricultural Technology Sharing (ATS) led by China to map and analyze strengths and weaknesses of existing knowledge and information sharing mechanisms. We support the efforts made to carry out R&D innovation by international organizations and initiatives including the Consultative Group for International Agricultural Research (CGIAR). We encourage G20 members to participate in and recognize the importance of open data and statistics networks. We support increasing exchanges in agricultural innovations, and sharing relevant policy experience and successful practices by capitalizing on relevant mechanisms of Global Forum of Leaders for Agricultural Science and Technology (GLAST), the Global Conferences on Agricultural Research for Development (GCARD) and the Tropical Agriculture Platform (TAP).

12. We will promote institutional innovation in improving agricultural production systems, giving full play to the active role of all types of food producers, enhancing the degree of sustainable agricultural intensification and organization, and better enabling family farmers and smallholders, in particular, women and young people, to integrate into the food value chain. We need to improve both public and private service system, including vocational training and foster efficient agricultural service organizations and enterprises, thus building a comprehensive service network covering all stages before, during and after production, including sustainable value chains. We need to improve access to inclusive financial services, loans or credits, in particular for family farmers, smallholders and women, to boost sustainable agricultural production, including offering innovative financial products, promoting agricultural insurance scheme and risk management tools, and develop inclusive financial system for farmers. In this regard, we recognize the work done under the Global Partnership on Financial Inclusion (GPFI), particularly in relation to SME financing and remittance-based rural financial inclusion.

13. We note the impact on rural areas from the fast pace of urbanization in terms of both challenges and opportunities and thus determine to revitalize the rural economy, harmonize urban and rural development, catalyze agricultural growth with industrialization and urbanization, improve and maintain rural infrastructure, and enhance both equal exchange and balanced allocation of production factors in urban and rural areas. We also give due attention to food security for cities as recommended by 2016 Berlin Agriculture Minister’s Summit (GFFA). We welcome the ongoing trend of the integrated development of primary, secondary and tertiary industries in the rural community, and encourage experience sharing in the development of innovative models, for contributing to job creation and improvement of rural income such as agricultural tourism, e-commerce and customized agriculture as well as urban farming solutions, such as high-tech, vertical and indoor farming.

14. We recognize the importance of Information and Communications Technology (ICT) and support its application in agriculture in the context of the wider digital economy agenda. Information and communications are essential to human, social and economic development. ICT has the potential to reach farmers, including smallholders and family farmers, with timely and accessible content on markets, sustainable and efficient farming practices and new technologies. Internet plus modern agriculture, which covers Internet and mobile applications, communication tools, increased connectivity with infrastructure and transport networks, and digital information banks can promote value-addition, and the distribution and sales of agricultural products globally. This will result in better integration and significant efficiency gains across the food system. We encourage sharing information and experiences in innovative ICT projects and policy approaches. We invite FAO, IFPRI and OECD to build on their assessment of existing ICT applications and platforms and make specific proposals for consideration and action by G20 Agriculture Deputies ahead of our next meeting on the best possible mechanism to improve agricultural ICT exchange and cooperation.

15. We acknowledge that family and smallholder farms manage the majority of the world’s agricultural land and produce most of the world’s food, underpinning global food security and social stability. We stress that, smallholder farmers face crucial challenges in addressing globalization, increasingly complex food value chains, pressures on natural resources, and the adverse effect of climate change. We support efforts which aim to sustainably increase smallholder farmers’ productivity, enhance the enabling environment for collective action and organization and integration to markets, promote their access to innovations, appropriate inputs, finance, technology and services on gender-equal basis, and strengthen their resilience towards external shocks. Smallholder farmers’ competitiveness, higher productivity and incomes can contribute significantly towards food security and nutrition, but also towards poverty eradication and growth in rural areas, where the majority of the poor live. Technical skill upgrading, especially for smallholder farmers and rural workers, is crucial for sustainable agricultural development. We stress that training programmes should focus on innovative farming practices and technologies that promote sustainable production, business skills, as well as basic education and best practices to cope with downstream market concentration. We support skills development and training programmes that prepare farmers for present and future challenges, such as globalized food value chains and the adverse effects of climate change, and especially target women and young people including to assist in retaining youth in the sector.

16. We maintain that, sound agricultural policies, investment and trade are important engines for sustainable agricultural development, establishment and maintenance of food value chains, job creation, increased incomes, food security and hunger and poverty eradication. We stress the need of greater agricultural investment by the governments, consistent with the World Trade Organization (WTO) rules, and also by the private sector in developed and developing countries, so as to meet the demand of the growing world population and address the sluggish agricultural growth and uneven regional development. We support the improvement of the global environment for agricultural investment including through the implementation of the Voluntary Guidelines on the Responsible Governance of Tenure of Land, Fisheries, and Forests in the Context of National Food Security and Principles for Responsible Investment in Agriculture and Food Systems endorsed by the CFS (CFS-RAI). This will catalyze and expand agricultural investment in developing countries and regions, and generate win-win outcomes for investors and host countries. We welcome the opening of the first G20 Agricultural Entrepreneurs Forum (AE20). We appreciate and encourage consistent efforts by the private sector and other stakeholders to engage in investment dialogue and exchanges, broaden channels for agricultural investment and financing, and promote agricultural investment facilitation. We attach great importance to investment in agricultural infrastructure and agricultural research and extension, to improve water management, land governance and strengthening farmer skills and knowledge, and commit to play an active role in this respect. We support the vital role of the multilateral trading system in global food security and the decisions on agriculture taken by the Tenth WTO Ministerial Conference. We also agree on the vital importance of international standard setting bodies in agriculture.

17. We believe that G20 members should convene regular meetings of Ministers of Agriculture, maintain policy coordination, and develop and implement relevant action plans, in an effort to address major challenges in agricultural and rural development. We applaud the work of the Development Working Group in food security and nutrition, and request the Agriculture Deputies Meeting to work in synergy with the Development Working Group and Trade and Investment Working Group.