Berlin Agriculture Ministers´Summit 2014
At the beginning of the world's biggest meeting of Agriculture Ministers, the German Minister of Agriculture Hans-Peter Friedrich emphasized that it was a major task to produce enough food to feed people while at the same time safeguarding the basis for a nutritious, diversified and balanced diet. He said that a decisive question in this context was how the agricultural sector could be made as resilient as possible to climate change, volatile prices on agricultural markets and declining resources. He claimed that there was no single solution that was valid for all regions and all problems. "What we need here are intelligent, site-adapted and sustainable models that are suited to the people on the ground," the Minister said.
In their final communiqué, the participating Agriculture Ministers underlined three core pillars as the keys to empowering the agricultural sector: diversity, sustainability and productivity.
They stated that diverse production helped to increase agriculture's resilience. They went on to say that this included preserving and sustainably using site-adapted plant varieties and animal breeds as well as applying knowledge of cultivation methods and diverse production structures in practice. They said that the diversity in agrosystems needed to be used, protected and strengthened. The ministers stated that breeding and production of plants with improved nutrient and water efficiency should also be progressed.
The participating ministers of the Berlin Agriculture Ministers´Summit 2014 in the Federal Foreign Office
Sustainable farm management was said to be indispensable in order to preserve natural resources, in particular water and soils, for both the present and future generations. It was stated that, to this end, it would be necessary to encourage strategies and measures to adapt the agricultural sector to climate change and to promote the reduction of greenhouse gas emissions from agriculture. It was further stated that it was necessary to maintain soil productivity and to use water resources efficiently. The ministers also said that land use demands for purposes other than farming should be reduced.
They identified increasing agricultural productivity as the basis for meeting the food requirements of a growing world population. The ministers believed that access to education and training as well as to services, technology and capital was especially important. In addition, it was stated that an essential prerequisite for an increase in productivity was to also strengthen the transfer of know-how - also via cooperative ventures between state and industry. They said that avoidable losses along the value-added chain needed to be reduced.
The participating Ministers emphasized the significance of transparency of politics and the market, of well-functioning price mechanisms and of rule-based, and therefore fair, trade in order to make the agricultural sector more resilient. They stated that it could be helpful to upgrade international early warning and information systems to ward off critical events and to be better able to cope with them.
The Agriculture Ministers present appealed to international organisations, non-governmental organisations, civil society, industry and the scientific community to support the aim of achieving global food security. They stated that broad-based commitment throughout society was required to this end. The Agriculture Ministers agreed to feed the results achieved at the GFFA into the current discussion led by the United Nations on the post-2015 agenda.
Handing over of the final communiqué
More information of the Berlin Agriculture Ministers´Summit 2014
Participating countries of the Berlin Agriculture Ministers ́Summit 2014
Welcoming address by Ban Ki-Moon,
delivered by Mr. David Nabarro, Special Representative of the Secretary-General for Food Security and Nutrition
Speech by Ms Maria Helena Semedo,
FAO Deputy Director-General, Coordinator for Natural Resources
Videodocumentation of the GFFA 2014