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G7 Bergamo Agriculture Ministers' Meeting Communiqué:
Empowering Farmers, Developing Rural Areas and Enhancing Cooperation to Feed the Planet

October 15, 2017, Bergamo, Italy
[pdf]

See also: Annex

Preamble

  1. We, the Ministers of Agriculture of the G7, met in Bergamo on October 14-15, 2017 to address the global challenges that the agricultural sector faces today, in line with the G7 Taormina Leaders' Communiqué.
  2. The 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development recognizes the central role of agriculture in feeding the planet and SDG2 identifies the targets for future agricultural policies to end hunger, achieve food security, improve nutrition and promote sustainable agriculture. We further note the important contribution that agriculture makes to rural incomes and achieving SDG1 given worldwide, 2.5 billion people rely on agriculture for their livelihoods.
  3. 815 million people in the world are undernourished — one in nine people on the planet — and malnutrition affects almost one out of three people. Sub-Saharan Africa has the highest prevalence of undernourishment for any region, with about one in every four people estimated to be impacted. In the region, 205 million people were undernourished in 2014–16, an increase of 33 million since 2004-2006.
  4. Global population is expected to rise to approximately 10 billion people by 2050. Such a scenario would require sustainable increase in agricultural production and productivity along with further work to alleviate poverty and inequalities. At the same time, natural hazards and crises, climate change, declining biodiversity, scarcity in energy, land and water, landscape degradation, and decreasing soil and water quality threaten our capacity to feed a growing population and need to be taken into serious consideration.
  5. Reductions in food loss and waste, which account for about one-third of the global food supply, could help conserve resources and feed growing populations. In this context, it is necessary to transform food and agriculture systems shifting to more sustainable and diversified consumption and production patterns.
  6. Natural hazards and other crises — droughts, floods, earthquakes, plant and animal diseases, pest infestation, market shocks, and conflicts — affect farmers' lives, agro-food systems, agricultural production and productivity in regions all over the world. Climate change is projected to amplify many of these issues. The preamble of the Paris Agreement recognizes the priority of safeguarding food security, and the particular vulnerabilities of food production systems to the adverse impacts of climate change.
  7. In order to achieve food security and improved nutrition, it is necessary to promote more productive and sustainable food systems, strengthen rules-based trade, and assist farmers in developing strategies, to strengthen their resilience, with a focus on risk management policies, and on rural development policies targeting the most vulnerable rural and farming population.
  8. In 2015, worldwide, the number of international migrants reached 244 million persons (a 41% increase since 2000) 150 million of which are migrant workers and 21 million refugees, although, as a share of the world population, international migration has remained constant over the past decades.
  9. These migration flows can place additional pressures upon food supplies and our capacity to enhance environmentally sustainable agriculture in encumbered regions.
  10. Therefore, complying with the G7 Leaders call for coordinated efforts on migration, we may wish to consider, as G7 Ministers of Agriculture, how policies aimed at improving livelihoods in rural areas and strengthening agricultural systems could support the diverse needs of countries of origin transit and destination.

Empowering Farmers

  1. Agriculture is particularly vulnerable to a large variety of risks such as financial and market risks, weather related risks such as floods and droughts, animal and plant diseases and pest infestation. These risks can be aggravated by the impact of climate change, and can negatively affect farmers' incomes, livelihoods, and the capacity of the sector to invest and innovate.
  2. We agree to play a leading role to strengthen agricultural risk management in line with our WTO commitments. We also welcome the integration of risk management in agricultural policies of developing countries.
  3. We recognize the value of a holistic and long-term approach to agricultural risk management. Such an approach offers a guide for developing appropriate policy solutions to assist farmers in responding to the range of risks they face, such as risk prevention, diversification, market transparency and market based risk management tools. We recommend countries identify and define the various levels of risk — normal business, marketable, and catastrophic risk — in their own agricultural production systems and rural economies to improve farmer's resilience, and to develop a range of policies to facilitate responses to those risks. These might include efforts to reduce risks associated with natural disasters, consistent with the Sendai Framework for Disaster Risk Reduction.
  4. We encourage strengthening agricultural resilience by enhancing a transparent and consistent regulatory environment that facilitates smooth functioning of farm business and risk management systems.
  5. We recognize the importance of strengthening knowledge about different ways to manage risk. We note the importance of investments in research, innovation, information, communication and training to promote on-farm strategies for managing normal business risk and develop an understanding and demand for risk management tools. We agree that enhancing information systems should involve all the relevant stakeholders and, in this context, we continue to support global initiatives like the Agricultural Market Information System (AMIS) and the Platform for Agricultural Risk Management (PARM).
  6. We support ecosystem restoration, conservation and protection of biodiversity and sustainable use of genetic and natural resources, especially soil and water, as important tools for developing more productive, competitive, resilient, sustainable and high quality agriculture and as necessary components of agricultural risk management. We will focus our commitment on water issues related to sustainable and improved agricultural productivity.
  7. We encourage the application of sustainable agricultural practices that have a beneficial impact and contribute to improve resilience and climate change mitigation and adaptation.
  8. We encourage cooperation among farmers and diversification of production, of farm activities and sources of incomes and promote international research cooperation as well.
  9. We support cooperation in surveillance systems including traceability or trace-back tools to monitor animal and plant diseases in order to prevent and promptly control the spread of pests and diseases and to protect animal and plant health. We commit to strengthening the One Health approach and support the work of the WHO, OIE and FAO. We also encourage good husbandry practices and biosecurity measures on farms to prevent diseases. We note and reaffirm the 2017 G20 Agriculture Ministers' Declaration and Action Plan commitments for combating antimicrobial resistance in agriculture, and we restate our commitment to this position.
  10. We recommend the systematic monitoring of damages and losses from natural and other disasters directly suffered by the agricultural sector as the basis for developing ex ante policies to face future events and limit their consequences.
  11. We pledge to strengthen transparency in price formation processes and access to markets to improve the ability of all farmers, with special attention to smallholders, women and young farmers, to benefit from market returns to their labor and financial investments and reinforce their role in the food value chain.
  12. We recognize the importance of the rules-based international trading system. We commit to working together to improve the functioning of the WTO, to ensure full and transparent implementation and effective and timely enforcement of all WTO rules by all Members and to achieve a successful 11th WTO Ministerial Conference, taking into account agriculture.
  13. We appeal to financial institutions to develop innovative agriculture finance and risk management tools including responsible private-public partnerships better targeted on farmers' needs.
  14. Finally, in line with the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, we pledge to leave no one behind.

Developing rural areas — Enhancing cooperation

  1. We recognize the environmental, social and economic benefits that sustainable agriculture and forestry can provide to rural areas. We also reiterate our commitment in Niigata, to expand farming opportunities and strengthen the role of farmers in the food value chain. We support revitalizing rural communities by preserving sustainable agriculture and forest landscapes, local and regional production systems, closely linked to the territory in order to reverse land degradation and avoid abandonment of rural areas.
  2. We commit to promoting stronger cooperation with the Ministries of Agriculture of least developed and developing countries, especially from Africa, in order to share our best practices, experiences and respective approaches to rural development policies and to encourage responsible private and public investments in the agri-food sector of these countries, in line with CFS-RAI.
  3. In this context, we reaffirm the G7 collective aim to lift 500 million people in developing countries out of hunger and malnutrition by 2030.
  4. We recognize the importance of promoting agricultural and rural development and increasing food security, in achieving this.
  5. In line with the G7 Taormina Leaders' Communiqué calling for coordinated efforts at the national and international level on migration, we, as G7 Ministers of Agriculture, working with relevant ministries and institutions as appropriate, may wish to encourage policies aimed at improving livelihoods in rural areas and strengthening agricultural systems, in order to support the diverse needs of countries of origin, transit and destination.
  6. We encourage States involved in the development of the two Global Compacts (the first for Safe, Orderly and Regular Migration and the second for Refugees) and the work of the Global Forum on Migration and Development to give agriculture and rural development appropriate consideration.
  7. The Global Migration Group, in cooperation with other relevant actors such as the International Center for Advanced Mediterranean Agronomic Studies, may wish to consider the possible linkages of migration with agriculture and rural development, as appropriate.
  8. In order to foster investments in rural areas and in the agri-food sector, we encourage the exchange of best practices, including sustainable production methods, technology, workforce development, dissemination of information on financial tools and business opportunities, and the involvement of relevant stakeholders, including with countries with a high prevalence of food insecurity. We welcome the G20-Initiative for Rural Youth Employment, which aims at creating better future prospects for young people.
  9. We promote the application of the Voluntary Guidelines on the Responsible Governance of Tenure of Land, Fisheries and Forests in the Context of Food Security (VGGT endorsed by the Committee on World Food Security-CFS in 2012) and the Principles for Responsible Investments in Agriculture and Food Systems (CFS-RAI endorsed by CFS in 2014) and the OECD-FAO Guidance for Responsible Agricultural Supply Chains.

Conclusions

  1. We thank FAO, IFAD, WFP and the OECD for their technical support and invite them to continue their engagement on the issues treated in the communiqué in particular on agricultural risk management and possible links between migration, agriculture and rural economies.
  2. We encourage those organizations to identify effective private risk management strategies and public risk management policies to improve farmers' resilience and the livelihoods of rural communities. We endeavor to take concrete actions as outlined above to manage today's agricultural and rural risks and emergencies in order to transform challenges into opportunities.

Source: Italian website of the 2017 G7 Presidency


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