Minister Schmidt on the G20 kick-off: Agriculture is a key factor for stability
At the kick-off event of the German G20 Presidency on 1 December, Federal Minister of Agriculture Christian Schmidt underlined the importance of the agricultural sector for stability, responsibility and sustainability. "Agriculture is a key factor for the sustainability of rural areas, the responsibility for food security, but also for political stability," said the Minister on the occasion of the meeting of the G20 Agricultural Deputies in Berlin on the first day of the German G20 Presidency.
The so-called deputies - policy advisers and Deputy Ministers - are preparing the meeting of G20 Agriculture Ministers on 22 January 2017. The German Minister of Agriculture has invited his fellow agriculture ministers in the G20 to Berlin to take part in the meeting. The G20 Meeting of Agriculture Ministers will be the first ministerial meeting under the German G20 Presidency.
In brief: G20
The G20 is the central forum for international cooperation of the 20 leading industrialised and threshold countries on financial and economic matters. The G20 are responsible for almost two-thirds of the world population, more than four-fifths of the worldwide gross domestic product and three-quarters of world trade.
The G20 summit of heads of state and government will take place in Hamburg on 7 and 8 July. It is preceded by a series of technical meetings held by the respective ministers. The Meeting of Agriculture Ministers on 22 January 2017 will mark the start of these meetings.
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"It is a great honour for Germany to hold the G20 presidency in the year 2017. As well as being a great responsibility, it is also a great opportunity," said Minister Schmidt. He went on to say that the three priorities of the German G20 Presidency "Stability- Responsibility - Sustainability", under the slogan "Shaping an interconnected world", undoubtedly also applied to the role of farming.
"Issues of global stability and permanent food security cannot be solved without agriculture. Therefore we need to strengthen sustainable agriculture and rural areas worldwide. I will work towards this goal under the German G20 Presidency," said Minister Schmidt.
The G20 represents 60 percent of the utilised agricultural area
The G20 group represents 60 percent of the global utilised agricultural area and 80 percent of the trade in staple foods. As a consequence, the G20 Agriculture Ministers agreed during their meeting in China on 3 June 2016 to engage in a regular exchange on agricultural policy and food security issues in future.
Agriculture ministers to focus on the subject of agriculture and water
Minister Schmidt announced that the G20 Agriculture Ministers Meeting would focus on the topic of "Agriculture and Water". Today approximately 70 percent of fresh water used worldwide is used for agricultural purposes. According to estimates by the United Nations, the worldwide demand for agricultural products will grow by up to 70 percent by 2050 due to the world's growing population. Therefore water demand for its production will also rise. Hence water is increasingly becoming a scarce commodity, with the demand for water in other sectors also on the rise.
"Agriculture is faced with the task of producing more food with less water. To this end, we need smart solutions; we will only be able to draw up these solutions by working together in the international community. It is my goal to develop viable paths together with the Agriculture Ministers of the 20 largest economies and the host countries. Schmidt stated: "By focussing on the topic of 'Agriculture and Water' we are addressing one of the most important future challenges of world food security".
The topic of "water and agriculture" will also take centre stage at the "GFFA, 2017 Berlin World Food Conference". This conference will be held in Berlin from 19 to 21 January 2017, immediately before the Berlin meeting of the G20 Agriculture Ministers.
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