International Agriculture Ministers' Summit in Berlin: around 70 States in favour of more international cooperation on bioeconomy in agriculture
Federal Minister Schmidt presents Turkish minister Eker with a message for G20: "The opportunities provided by the bioeconomy must be used to help people in rural areas throughout the world."
At the conclusion of the 7th International Agriculture Ministers' Summit, the attending ministers from over 70 States and the representatives from the international organisations FAO and World Bank called for a coherent policy framework for a sustainable bioeconomy.
The communiqué states that the fight against hunger must go hand in hand with the fight against malnutrition. "Only resilient, diversified and sustainable agricultural production can provide the foundation for achieving and maintaining the human right to food and for supplying people with adequate supplies of nutritious food."
It goes on to say that the States share the task of establishing policy frameworks for agriculture that enable the growing demand for food and sustainable raw materials to be satisfied without endangering food security. The communiqué states that three challenges must be met in order to fulfil this task: "Use the opportunities arising from bioeconomy, ensure sustainability of production and use, and ensure the primacy of food."
It says that this would enable the continued development of a sustainable bioeconomy with many and diverse value chains.
Federal Agriculture Minister Christian Schmidt, who hosted the Summit, underlined that: "Further development of the bioeconomy should primarily serve to enhance food security. It is therefore important to have a sustainable and efficient agricultural sector." The final communiqué also describes the agricultural sector as the "foundation of the bioeconomy". The agriculture ministers' communiqué continues by saying that: "Hence bioeconomy links agriculture to global sustainability policy and assigns agriculture a central role in tackling the great challenges of our time." It states that agriculture should take on its responsibility in the international dialogue on the basis of the United Nations' Sustainable Development Goals.
The States agreed on conditions for using the bioeconomy meaningfully, efficiently and sustainably, and were united in their wish to follow up on these thoughts. The communiqué states that FAO could provide the appropriate platform for this purpose.
After the Agriculture Ministers' Summit, Federal Minister Schmidt presented the Final Communiqué to his Turkish counterpart Mehmet Mehdi Eker and to FAO Director-General José Graziano da Silva. Turkey has assumed the presidency of the G20 for 2015. Eker confirmed that he would support the process in this role. With the Communiqué, the agriculture ministers have identified important elements for the ongoing international process: "Bioeconomy will represent an opportunity for everyone if everyone pulls in the same direction. Agricultural policy must go hand in hand with coherent economic, trade and energy policies - this applies to both national and global policies," said Schmidt.
The Berlin Agriculture Ministers' Summit has taken place during the Global Forum for Food and Agriculture (GFFA) since 2009. At the invitation of the Federal Ministry of Food and Agriculture, agriculture ministers from across the globe travel to Berlin to discuss vital issues for the future of the global agri-food sector. The title of this year's GFFA was: "The growing demand for food, raw materials and energy: opportunities for agriculture, challegnes for food security?". It is the largest meeting of agriculture ministers in the world.