G20 confirms the importance of agricultural development and food security

The G20 concluding statement contains agreements on how to improve food security. Henk Bleker, Minister for Agriculture and Foreign Trade of the Netherlands said that if we want to be able to feed everybody in future we need action now. Increasing the productivity of the agro-food sector is crucial. One of the outcomes of the G20 is that countries pledged to revise their farm policies to promote the sustainable use of natural resources and that knowledge institutes are going to focus on the farming sector and farmers’ interests.

The results of the G20 Agriculture Group were approved at a meeting also attended by the Netherlands. The results are an important boost to the policy we were already putting in place

The approach of the Netherlands

The results of the G20 Agriculture Group in the field of agriculture and food security are a good reflection of the approach taken by the Netherlands. The G20 stresses the importance of increasing food production and the need for the farming sector to adapt to the consequences of climate change and reduce greenhouse gases emissions. The Netherlands supports the ‘climate-smart agriculture’ approach which is also now on the agenda of the G20. The emphasis on the importance of cooperation between the sector and knowledge institutes is also part of Dutch policy. Public-private partnerships, which feature in our top sector policy, are a means to make the agro-food sector more sustainable. The fact that this is increasingly recognised at the international level is a good result for the Netherlands according to Mr Bleker .The Dutch proposals to work towards a good business and investment climate have been incorporated into the results of the G20 Agriculture Group.

Sustainable agricultural productivity

The agreements will be fleshed out in the months to come, a process in which the Netherlands will continue to play a part. The Dutch contribution will mainly consist in the development and exchange of knowledge at international level via our knowledge institutes to increase agricultural productivity and make it more sustainable. The G20 results will also be an important input for the second International Conference on Agriculture, Food Security and Climate Change to be held in September 2012, which will be organised by the Netherlands in partnership with Vietnam.