G20 Nations Turn to Agricultural Research for Food Security
September 21, 2011
The G20 group of major economies has for the first time put international agricultural research on its agenda, in an effort to take a long-term view on the fight for food security.
The group's first meeting on the topic has endorsed the key role of agricultural research not only in preventing global food crises, but also in making an effective contribution to economic growth.
The meeting, which took place in Montpellier, France last week, was hosted by the French presidency of the G20--the group of finance ministers and central bank governors from 20 major economies. It involved representatives of international development organisations including the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO), the UN and the World Bank.
"It is the first time the G20 has actively put international agricultural research on its agenda," said Mark Holderness, executive secretary of the Global Forum on Agricultural Research (GFAR), and one of the conference rapporteurs. "That is a big step in itself--the G20 countries have recognised that [agricultural research has] a wider economic relevance."
According to the meeting's draft summary document, research systems in the G20 countries that help increase agricultural productivity can contribute decisively to the improvement of food security in the developing world through improved coherence and coordination, stronger and equal partnerships and better knowledge sharing.
The G20 countries have been described as a powerhouse of both agricultural innovation and production, with around 70 percent of scientific publications on agriculture, and around 60 percent of agricultural exports," said a paper for the conference prepared by Brazil, Canada, France and Japan, together with international organisations including the Consultative Group for International Agricultural Research (CGIAR), the World Bank and the FAO.
- Source: Yojana Sharma, SciDev News
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