We are all directly aware of the water we use and benefit from in our daily lives, whether we are drinking it or cooking with it. However, we use far more water indirectly via our food. It takes roughly 3,000 litres to produce the amount of food that each person eats daily. This un-derlines the enormous need that agriculture has for water in order to fulfil its role as the pro-ducer of our food.
The global population continues to rise dramatically and hence so do the requirements for productivity in the agricultural sector. According to estimates by the World Food Organisation FAO, agriculture will need to produce 60% more food worldwide by 2050. At the same time we know that usable water is a limited resource. Competition over the use of water is already intensifying in some regions of the world. This is a risk to the economic development, social development and political stability of the countries concerned. Ongoing climate change will only serve to exacerbate this development.
Agriculture faces the task of producing more food with less water. It must find ways of man-aging the important resource of water more efficiently and more sustainably. And it must at the same time become more resilient in order to be able to cope with droughts and floods. This requires concerted efforts! Industry, academia, civil society and political decision-makers must work together to develop solutions for ensuring agriculture’s access to water. Only in this way will agriculture be able to continue to meet its role as the provider of the global population.
At the 9th Global Forum for Food and Agriculture (GFFA), hosted by the Federal Ministry of Food and Agriculture in cooperation with the Berlin Senate and Messe Berlin GmbH, and in close partnership with the German agricultural and food industries, represented by GFFA Ber-lin e.V., I aim to work together with you to progress the debate on “Agriculture and Water – Key to Feeding the World” and develop potential solutions. Since its inception, the GFFA has established itself as an international conference that provides policymakers, industry, aca-demia and civil society with an opportunity to engage in an intensive debate on the future of the global agri-food sector.
The outcome of the various GFFA events will provide guidance for the Berlin Agriculture Min-isters’ Conference, the largest international conference of agriculture ministers in the world. The final communiqué adopted by the Agriculture Ministers’ Conference will subsequently be fed into and enrich international agricultural policy discussions and processes.
I would like to cordially invite you to join in the discussions and meetings and help enhance the GFFA with your ideas!
With very best wishes,
Christian Schmidt, Member of the German Bundestag
Federal Minister of Food and Agriculture