G20 Agric Ministers agree that only innovative agricultural practices will end extreme poverty and hunger.
A meeting of Ministers of Agriculture of the worlds 20 major economies has agreed that only innovative agricultural practices will end extreme poverty and hunger.
The G20 Agricultural Ministers meeting which held in in Xi’an, China was the first since world leaders agreed to the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), which outline ambitious targets to eliminate extreme poverty and hunger by 2030.
The ministers discussed how G20 members can promote food security, nutrition, sustainable agricultural growth and rural development to achieve the SDGs.
IFAD’s President, Kanayo Nwanze told the ministers that Investing in smallholder farmers is key. “Invest in them, and you invest in future opportunities. Abandon them, and you abandon the sustainability of future food systems and economies.”
Member countries of the G20 account for 70 per cent of the world’s farmlands and 80 per cent of the world’s trade, but in the words of Brazil’s Minister Blairo Borges Maggi: “If our achievements don’t benefit our people, they are not enough.”
“Innovation, Cooperation and Sustainable Agricultural Investment” was the theme of this year’s meeting and one innovative addition was the first-ever G20 Agricultural Entrepreneurs Forum, opened by Nwanze.
The forum brought together agribusinesses, farmers and governments, and recognized the key role that the private sector plays in building a world free of poverty and hunger.
Using the World Bank definition of $1.25 per day, as of September 2013, roughly 1.2 billion people remain in extreme poverty globally. Nearly half live in India and China, with more than 85% living in just 20 countries. About 21,000 people die every day of hunger or hunger-related causes, according to the United Nations. This is one person every four seconds and it is children who die most often.
The UN Food and Agriculture Organisation, FAO, estimates that 239 million people in sub-Saharan Africa were hungry or undernourished in 2010 (its most recent estimate).