French Minister of Agriculture, Stéphane Le Foll, attended the G20 Agricultural Ministers Meeting on May 8, 2015 at the invitation of the G20 Turkish Presidency in order to address the different challenges related to global food security. This, the second ever event of its kind, takes place four years after the 2011 inaugural meeting organized by France and was centered around the theme of sustainable food systems and the fight against agricultural loss and waste. Notable participants included 12 Agricultural Ministers (Argentina, Canada, China, France, Germany, India, Italy, Japan, Saudi Arabia, Singapore, Spain and the United States), the European Commissioner for Agriculture and Rural Development, the General Director of the Food and Agriculture Organization and the representatives of the other members of the G20.
During the meeting, Minister Le Foll defined the three-pronged challenge of agriculture and its significant role in sustainability: food security, the adaptation of means of production, and the mitigation of greenhouse gas emissions. The transition of agricultural systems to agro-ecological-based models will positively impact and engage economic, ecological and social performance and must be made a priority for the farmers around the world, especially those in the G20 member countries, which are responsible for 85% of the world’s agricultural production.
In light of these challenges, French Minister Le Foll reaffirmed the importance of the role that agriculture must play in combatting climate change. In a call to action, he invited his G20 counterparts to support the international agronomic research program “4 per 1000,” which aims to improve soil fertility through more efficient methods of carbon sequestration. Furthermore, the Ministers agreed to better utilize the inter-Agency Platform known as AMIS in order to enhance food market transparency and encourage coordination of policy action in response to market uncertainty. In other words, this program will facilitate international exchanges not only on successful agricultural practices but also on the causes of losses and waste, which can eat into as much as 30% of production in certain countries!
Before concluding the meeting, the G20 Agricultural Ministers committed to collaborating with the development sector of the G20 to define an “Action plan for food security and sustainable food systems” before the 2015 G20 Summit in Antalya, Turkey this November.