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2023 G7 Agriculture Minister's Communiqué

Miyazaki, Japan, April 23, 2023

  1. The global food and agriculture situation has significantly changed since we first met in 2009, and although our efforts so far have contributed to addressing many challenges related to agriculture and food systems, we need to urgently increase efforts to make them more resilient and sustainable as our legacy to future generations. We, the Agriculture Ministers of the Group of Seven (G7), recognised this when we met in Miyazaki on 22-23 April 2023 to discuss challenges and opportunities for future agriculture and food policies.

  2. The impacts of climate change and biodiversity loss on global food security have become more apparent, for example through large scale impacts on crops, water and soil health. Furthermore, the COVID-19 pandemic and Russia's illegal war of aggression against Ukraine, have exacerbated the already challenging global food and nutrition situation.

  3. We continue to condemn in the strongest terms Russia's illegal, unprovoked and unjustified war of aggression against Ukraine and are appalled and saddened by the tragic human loss and suffering it continues to cause. We are deeply concerned about the devastating impact the war is having on food security globally, not least through price spikes in grains, fuel and fertilisers, which is disproportionately impacting the most vulnerable. We recognize the importance of the EU-Ukraine Solidarity Lanes, President Zelenskyy's Grain from Ukraine Initiative and the UN and Türkiye-brokered Black Sea Grain Initiative (BSGI). In this context, we strongly support the extension, full implementation and expansion of BSGI. We condemn Russia's attempts to use food as a means of destabilization and as tool of geopolitical coercion and reiterate our commitment to acting in solidarity and supporting those most affected by Russia's weaponization of food. We will continue to design our restrictive measures against Russia to shield population in need from unintended consequences by ensuring food and fertilizers are carved out.

  4. We stand ready to support the recovery and reconstruction of Ukraine, including by sharing our experience, knowledge and expertise regarding demining of agricultural land, and by reconstruction of agricultural infrastructure such as irrigation, warehouses and food processing facilities destroyed by Russia. We will also continue to support its small-scale farmers' access to finance and inputs such as seeds, in collaboration with international organisations, as well as implementation of digital and other new technologies to enhance sustainable agricultural productivity. We welcome the creation of a UK funded grain database, in response to our Leaders' commitment, which can be used to verify the origin of grain shipments.

  5. Even before Russia's illegal war of aggression against Ukraine, the population in chronic hunger in 2021 was estimated at 828 million, increasing by 150 million since the pre-COVID year. In 2022, an additional 10.7 million experienced chronic hunger because of Russia's illegal war of aggression against Ukraine according to the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) estimates, leading us further away from achieving the Sustainable Development Goal (SDG) 2 of "Zero Hunger in 2030" and the progressive realisation of the right to adequate food in the context of national food security. It is clear that adequate policy responses are urgently needed. In the short term, it is essential to support Ukraine and mitigate the adverse effects arising from Russia's illegal war of aggression against Ukraine on global food security and nutrition especially that of vulnerable developing countries. It is also essential that we continue the urgently needed transformation to resilient and sustainable agricultural practices to achieve sufficient and sustainable production in the medium and long term to feed the growing global population which recently surpassed 8 billion, and to reduce the negative environmental impacts of agriculture and food production and enhance the positive ones.

  6. Addressing the short-term challenges must not prevent us from focusing on the longer-term objectives to achieve more resilient and sustainable agriculture and food systems, which range along the supply chain from reducing food loss and waste to increasing sustainable production and consumption. We acknowledge the unique sectoral position of agriculture in that it is a driver of, but at the same time, is affected by, can contribute to and can mitigate the effects of climate change and biodiversity loss. We are encouraged by the fact, for example, that more than 150 countries gathered at the UN Food Systems Summit in 2021 and at other relevant international fora to move forward to transform our food systems. We must keep this momentum over the coming years and achieve the full implementation of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development and its Goals, with no one left behind.

II Resilient and sustainable agriculture and food systems which meet the needs of current and future generations

  1. The COVID-19 pandemic and Russia's illegal war of aggression against Ukraine highlighted existing threats to global food security and nutrition, such as infectious diseases, supply chain disruptions, and rising costs, decreased availability of and affordable access to inputs, including fertilizers. This has made ever clearer the importance of adopting a broad "food systems" perspective.

  2. We emphasize the importance of diversifying international, regional and local supply chains of agricultural products and inputs in order to improve their resilience and sustainability in the long term. We recognise that most countries currently rely on both domestic production and international trade for their food supply. Accordingly, countries should explore ways to enhance local, regional and global food systems, making sustainable use of their existing domestic agricultural resources and facilitating food trade. Moreover, we will continue our efforts to reduce food loss and waste to conserve resources used for food production and improve food availability. We also emphasize the importance of nutrition and of promoting healthy diets. We recognise that nutrition programmes for mothers, infants and young children and, the provision of targeted school meals programs amongst a range of other initiatives can make an important contribution to food security, nutrition and keeping children in school and learning.

  3. We are committed to fair, open, transparent, predictable, non-discriminatory and rules-based trade. We underscore its importance in building resilient and sustainable food systems, promoting food security and making nutritious food and healthy diets more affordable and available. As we seek to achieve global food security and nutrition, we reconfirm the importance of ensuring trade measures are transparent and consistent with WTO rules, and the on-going WTO agriculture negotiations should contribute to the realisation of SDGs both in terms of food security and sustainability. We also reaffirm the importance of agricultural data availability and transparency for well-functioning markets. In this regard, we commit to strengthen our support to the G20 Agricultural Market Information System (AMIS). We are providing additional financial resources on a voluntary basis including to facilitate reporting on fertilizer and vegetable oil markets and policies and call upon other AMIS members to do so as well. We commit to working with our colleagues in the G20 for all AMIS members to provide timely data, and complete and accurate information. We will continue to avoid any unjustified restrictive measures on exports that could exacerbate increases in food and input price volatility and we encourage others to do the same.

III Practical measures for sustainable productivity growth

  1. As one way to achieve resilient and sustainable agricultural and food systems, we commit to promote policies that support sustainable productivity growth. Highlighting that the global population continues to grow and that the need to reduce greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions to achieve net-zero, halt and reverse biodiversity loss and adapt to climate change impacts become more urgent, it is critical to rapidly increase the sustainability of agriculture and food systems in a manner which enhances productivity.

  2. We will achieve this by implementing a wide range of innovations and by promoting sustainable farming practices, such as the use of cover crops, crop rotation, zero or low till practices, preservation of well-managed diverse pastureland and by utilizing local resources effectively such as the use of appropriate, safe and efficient manure compost in crop cultivation sourced from the local livestock sector.

  3. We recognise that climate change adaptation and mitigation are highly interdependent with halting and reversing biodiversity loss in the context of agriculture and food production. Various measures can contribute to the protection, conservation, restoration and sustainable use of biodiversity, e.g., organic farming, and Integrated Pest Management which do not rely only on chemical pesticides. Responsible use of fertilizers to reduce nutrient loss to the environment and agroforestry can support biodiversity conservation and also be part of climate change mitigation and/or adaptation. Likewise, efforts to reduce GHG emissions including methane-reducing measures, lower energy consumption and carbon sequestration can be most effective when they are designed considering their impact on ecosystems. In these endeavors, we will promote and implement a combination of measures and practices that best suit local environmental and farming conditions, recognizing that there is no one-size-fits-all solution.

  4. We will strengthen our efforts to implement all relevant international agreements and instruments on climate change and biodiversity. These include the Paris Agreement and decisions thereunder including the Glasgow Climate Pact; the Sharm el-Sheikh Joint Work on Implementation of Climate Action on Agriculture and Food Security; the Glasgow Leaders Declaration on Forest and Land use. We are also steadfast in our commitment to the full, swift and effective implementation of the Kunming-Montreal Global Biodiversity Framework adopted at the 15th Conference of the Parties to the Convention on Biological Diversity. We commit to use best available science and evidence in pursuing these objectives, based on the findings of other international institutions including the Intergovernmental panel on Climate Change and the Intergovernmental Science-Policy Platform on Biodiversity and Ecosystem Services.

  5. We underline the importance of improving the efficiency of water use for food production. We recognise that sustainable and effective water management and a reliable water infrastructure are vital for achieving more resilient and sustainable agriculture, protecting human health, economic stability and environment and climate goals. It is also critical for improving disaster risk reduction and preparedness.

  6. We recognise all farmers and food producers are fundamental to feeding our populations, enhancing our natural world and meeting the SDGs. In order to move towards more sustainable agriculture and food systems, we will support them to implement sustainable agricultural practices. At the same time we commit to intensify efforts as appropriate to reform or reorient agriculture policies to create positive environmental outcomes and to reduce greenhouse gas emissions.

  7. The importance of addressing the interdependency of the human, animal, plant and environmental health is increasing. To find a solution to those cross-sectoral challenges, we support the aims of the One Health Joint Plan of Action (2022-2026) by the Quadripartite international organizations (FAO, United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP), World Health Organizaion (WHO) and World Organisation for Animal Health (WOAH)) who provide advice and enhance strategic coordination on One Health globally. Also, we emphasize the importance of promoting and implementing measures against Antimicrobial Resistance (AMR), transboundary animal diseases and plant pests, based on international coordination, scientific evidence and risk analysis and ensuring transparency in those areas. We also recognise the importance of the works of international standard setting done by Codex Alimentarius Commission, International Plant Protection Convention (IPPC) and WOAH. We reaffirm the importance of enhancing existing cooperation amongst veterinary authorities and look forward to the outcomes of the G7 Chief Veterinary Officers Forum to be held this autumn regarding methods of combating avian influenza, AMR and other global animal health issues.

  8. We reconfirm the importance of improving consumer's access to information so that they can choose and buy agricultural and food products with a clear knowledge on how they have been produced, processed and distributed, as well as the efforts invested by the farmers/food industries, taking into account climate change and biodiversity issues. Also, we reconfirm our common goals under SDG12.3, to halve per capita global food waste at the retail and consumer levels and reduce food losses along production and supply chains, including post-harvest losses, and strengthen our efforts to involve all the stakeholders in this regard.

  9. We emphasize that the measures for sustainable productivity growth of food systems should also improve income opportunities for farmers and other stakeholders, especially in rural areas. In this context, we support rural revitalization through promotion of income diversification alongside agriculture for example, sustainable forest management for timber and other products as well as agricultural tourism. We will also promote better public infrastructure which enable those activities and contribute to rural revitalization.

  10. Recognizing the need for methods which adequately analyze both short and long term impacts of climate change, biodiversity loss, land degradation and other factors affecting future sustainability of agriculture, we welcome the initiative of the Presidency to launch a discussion among G7 policy experts to identify gaps in existing research and analysis to offer suggestions to facilitate inclusive transformation towards resilient and sustainable agriculture and food systems.

IV Importance of further innovation and investment for resilient and sustainable food systems, necessity of private sector and other actors inclusion

  1. We emphasize that many forms of innovation are required for the transformation towards resilient and sustainable agriculture and food systems. Such innovation should involve not only the development of new technologies, but also effective implementation and utilization of sustainable new technologies or practices as well as existing ones, including nature-based solutions, agroecology and other innovative approaches, in all stages of agriculture and food systems. We emphasize that all people, whether in developed or developing countries, small or large farmers, young or old, men or women, should benefit from the fruit of innovation.

  2. We also recognise that well-designed innovation can help pave the way for inclusive supply chains, by providing decent work and income opportunities within food systems We also commit to take measures to attract in particular youth, women, Indigenous Peoples and other underrepresented groups to the agriculture and food sector and to encourage their involvement. It can, in turn, contribute to the revitalization of rural agricultural areas, many of which are facing challenges of declining and aging population. In this regard, we underline the critical role of training, extension services, knowledge sharing and education, as well as equal access to financing.

  3. In promoting a wide range of sustainable innovation, we underscore the significant role that the private sector, along with the public sector, can play in promoting research and development, scaling up and disseminating new and existing technologies and practices, including further digitalization in agriculture and food systems, with due regard to data privacy and security. In particular, the private sector has expertise and ability in adapting new and/or existing technologies and practices to meet local needs and situations.

  4. We recognise that increased investment from all sources is needed to support innovation. Responsible private investment is one of the important elements to enhance financial access for all stakeholders, including for, youth, women, underrepresented groups and small-scale farmers in rural areas. We also acknowledge that responsible private investment can play a role in enhancing rural economies through improving infrastructure, logistics and knowledge sharing. Therefore, we strongly emphasize the need to develop an enabling policy environment which facilitates private sector investment in agriculture and food systems, in accordance with the Committee on Food Security Principles for Responsible Investment in Agriculture and Food System (CFS-RAI).

  5. There exists a growing momentum in the private sector to contribute to the transformation of agriculture and food systems. We need to catalyze this momentum and we commit to further enhance collaboration between the government, the private sector, farmers and all other actors by, for example, strengthening linkage between the sector and local communities in developing countries in order to contribute to developing countries' efforts to make their agriculture and food systems more resilient and sustainable. In this context, we welcome the Presidency's initiative to encourage the private sector's involvement with its knowledge and expertise in the local communities' efforts towards the transformation of their agriculture and food systems, by bridging the needs of both sides.

  6. We recognise that there are different rules, voluntary guidelines and private-sector standards addressing responsible and sustainable agricultural supply chains and the need for coherent understanding and complementary approaches while recognizing different national circumstances. We reaffirm our commitments to promote the continued transition to sustainable agricultural supply chains and increase our support for sustainable supply chains that decouple agricultural production from deforestation and forest degradation in this regard. We continue our efforts to better disseminate and support the OECD-FAO Guidance for Responsible Agricultural Supply Chains. We commit to continuing our efforts to reduce risk of deforestation and forest and land degradation linked to the production of relevant commodities and enhance cooperation with various stakeholders on this issue. We will, if appropriate, develop further regulatory frameworks or policies to support this. We take note with appreciation that ongoing work to compile the G7 voluntary and mandatory Due Diligence measures for sustainable agricultural supply chains initiated under German G7 Presidency in 2022.

V For the global outreach and future collaboration

  1. We reaffirm the G7's continuous efforts for a global transformation to more resilient and sustainable agriculture and food systems in partnership with all relevant actors and countries. We also stress the important role of the relevant international organizations, including FAO, IFAD, OECD and WFP as well as CFS in this endeavour. Building upon relevant international initiatives including G7 Global Alliance for Food Security and its transformation into concrete actions, we will actively engage in work, as the G7, as individual countries and as members of the international community to contribute to achieving more productive, resilient and sustainable agriculture and food systems with no one left behind.

  2. As we take concrete actions toward these objectives, we will bear in mind the points we shared in our discussion in Miyazaki, as is summarized in the Annex.

  3. We appreciate the work of the Japanese G7 Presidency and look forward to the work of the Italian G7 Presidency in 2024.

Source: Ministry of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries of Japan

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