Federal Minister Schmidt: "Responsible investments in the agricultural sector promote food security, sustainable development and security all over the world."
The "Policies against Hunger XI" conference, hosted in Berlin on 30 June and 1 July 2014 at the invitation of the Federal Ministry of Food and Agriculture, focused on how the necessary investments in agriculture and food systems could be structured in a responsible manner.
In front of approx. 200 international experts from politics, industry, civil society and science, Federal Agriculture Minister Christian Schmidt opened the conference by calling for the agricultural sector to be made more efficient, adaptable and resilient at global level.
"Throughout the world, measures must be taken to enable the agricultural sector to recover quickly from crises and adapt to new conditions. Responsible public and private investment in the agri-food sector is therefore urgently required in many parts of the world.
There will be up to 9 billion people to feed worldwide by the middle of the century. Scarce natural resources, the effects of climate change and political and economic crises are major challenges for food security. Federal Minister Schmidt emphasised: "Sustainable agriculture is the key in the fight against hunger and poverty. It is also the key to more, and more sustainable, development."
In his speech, the Minister pointed out that in the rural regions of Africa alone, about 200 million young people will pour onto the labour market over the next ten years. He underlined: "Additional investment in agriculture and the entire value-added chain will help to fight poverty and stabilise rural areas. We must not underestimate the destabilising influence that poverty can have on entire regions. Investment will create new prospects for people in rural areas!"
The "Policies against Hunger XI" conference makes reference to the current negotiations in the United Nations Committee on World Food Security (CFS) on the Principles for Responsible Investment in Agriculture and Food Systems.
Schmidt emphasised that it was important to lay down in these principles that investments had to improve the food situation in the relevant regions and to contribute to rural development. He went on to say that investment should not cause any damage. "Investment must be environmentally sound, must guarantee the right to have access to natural resources, and must respect and, if possible, promote human rights. I also believe that private investors bear key responsibility in this regard."
The Federal Government's main requests in the negotiations on the Principles for Responsible Investment in Agriculture are that the focus be on small farmers and producers and that the duties of the governments on the one hand and the responsibilities of the private investors on the other hand be clearly defined.
Information on the "Policies against Hunger XI" conference: