International Agriculture Ministers' Summit in Berlin

Over 60 states pledge their commitment to a resolute fight against hunger

Federal Minister Aigner calls for the protection of scarce resources and for sustainable growth: "Agriculture is the key to the solution"

At the conclusion of the International Agriculture Ministers' Summit in Berlin on Saturday, Ministers of Agriculture from 64 states of the world agreed on new strategies and closer cooperation in the fight against hunger. In the final communiqué, the participating countries, which included China, Brazil, Japan, Indonesia and 15 African countries alongside many European states, state their commitment to an intensified protection of scarce resources and to a farming sector that strictly adheres to the principles of sustainability. 4th Berlin Agriculture Ministers’ Summit - "Food Security through Sustainable Growth - Farming with Limited Resources" Enlarge image 4th Berlin Agriculture Ministers’ Summit - "Food Security through Sustainable Growth - Farming with Limited Resources" (© noltepicture / BMELV) "The International Agriculture Ministers' Summit opens up new strategies for global food security. Our joint objective is that the international community should work together even more closely and that there should be better networking between politics, industry, science and society. The world population is growing dramatically, and approximately one billion people are faced with starvation. We will not be able to win the fight against hunger without sustainable and productive agricultural and food industries," said Federal Agriculture Minister Ilse Aigner at the end of the conference.

A record number of states accepted the invitation by Aigner to take part in the 4th International Agriculture Ministers' Summit in Berlin. The participating Ministers emphasised in their joint final declaration that agriculture was a "key sector of the Green Economy" and that it played a decisive role in the eradication of poverty. With a view to progressive climate change and the growing number of starving people in the world, Aigner underlined that "Agriculture must face up to major challenges all over the world with regard to issues of environmental and climate protection and productivity. This means that it bears a heavy responsibility." Priority should be given to enabling small-scale farmers, in particular, to make investments and to giving them secure access to land and water in all states. "Throughout the world, farmers need legal certainty and reliability. It is also crucial that we implement international guidelines that establish rules for the responsible management of soil," said Aigner. Further priority areas should include the promotion and protection of women's rights.

The Federal Minister stressed that all states of the world would have to drastically reduce food losses and waste, whether they be developing, emerging countries or industrialised states. "Millions of people are starving because a large proportion of the harvest is lost en route from the farm to the table, either through improper storage or a lack of infrastructure. At the same time, industrialised states are wasting valuable resources because millions of tonnes of food are being thrown away," said Aigner.

At the conclusion of the summit, Aigner symbolically handed over the communiqué entitled "Food Security through Sustainable Growth - Farming with Limited Resources" to her Brazilian counterpart Jorge Alberto Mendes Ribeiro. The results of the Berlin Agriculture Ministers' Summit are to be incorporated into ongoing international negotiations and, in particular, to be discussed at the UN Conference on Sustainable Development in Rio de Janeiro in June 2012.