G20 leaders take action on agriculture

by World Grain Staff
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CANNES, FRANCE — Participants in the G20 Summit in Cannes, France released on Nov. 4 a final declaration on several topics with the goal of reinvigorating economic growth, creating jobs, ensuring financial stability, promoting social inclusion and making globalization serve the needs of all people.

G20 leaders said increasing agricultural production and productivity is essential to promote food security and foster sustainable economic growth. A stable, predictable, distortion free trading system will allow more investment in agriculture and has a critical role to play, leaders said. Controlling excessive food and agricultural commodity price volatility also is important.

To that end, G20 leaders said they will move forward with the Action Plan on Food Price Volatility and Agriculture that was adopted by agriculture ministers in June. Leaders said they will act on the five objectives of the plan including: improving agricultural production and productivity; increasing market information and transparency; reducing the effects of price volatility for the most vulnerable; strengthening international policy coordination; and improving the functioning of agricultural commodity derivatives' markets.

Leaders also said they commit to sustainably increasing agricultural production and productivity. They agreed to further invest in agriculture, in particular in the poorest countries. This will include urging multilateral development banks to finalize their joint action plan on water, food and agriculture, and provide an update on its implementation by the next summit.

In addition, they called for investing in research and development of agricultural productivity. As a first step, leaders said they support the “International Research Initiative for Wheat Improvement,” launched in Paris on Sept. 15.

G20 leaders said they commit to improve market information and transparency in order to make international markets for agricultural commodities more effective. To that end, leaders launched the following programs:

The "Agricultural Market Information System" (AMIS) in Rome on Sept.15, to improve information on markets. It will enhance the quality, reliability, accuracy, timeliness and comparability of food market outlook information. As a first step, AMIS will focus its work on four major crops: wheat, maize, rice and soybeans. AMIS involves G20 countries and, at this stage, Egypt, Vietnam, Thailand, the Philippines, Nigeria, Ukraine and Kazakhstan. It will be managed by a secretariat located in FAO.

The "Global Agricultural Geo-monitoring Initiative" in Geneva on Sept. 22-23. This initiative will coordinate satellite monitoring observation systems in different regions of the world in order to enhance crop production projections and weather forecasting data.

According to the Action Plan, leaders said they agree to remove food export restrictions or extraordinary taxes for food purchased for non-commercial humanitarian purposes by the World Food Program and agree not to impose them in the future.

Leaders launched a "Rapid Response Forum" in Rome on Sept.16 to improve the international community's capacity to coordinate policies and develop common responses in time of market crises.
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