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G20 India Launches First Agriculture Working Group Meeting

13 February 2023
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Indore, 13–15 February: Charting a global road map to ensure adequate food security and making agricultural livelihoods sustainable and advantageous to producers from developing member countries were the central issues discussed at the first Agricultural Deputies Meeting of 2023 of the Agricultural Working Group (AWG) under G20 India Presidency, held on 13–15 February 2023, Indore, Madhya Pradesh. G20 India is building on a balanced approach to address traditional global food security issues, such as increased productivity, price volatility, amongst others, as well as emerging issues like digital agriculture, resilient value chains, climate-smart agriculture, and others that require greater attention by and the global community. The AWG said it was determined to strengthen international efforts to achieve the broad objective and help achieve the Sustainable Development Goals.

Mr Shivraj Singh Chouhan, Chief Minister of Madhya Pradesh, opened the meeting and inaugurated an agricultural which was followed by a side event that  stock taked the G20 initiatives in agriculture. He said that global demand for foodgrain is expected to increase by 345 million tonnes by 2030, up from 192 million tonnes in 2000. He expressed pride that India, Indonesia, and Brazil are meeting the world's foodgrain requirements.

Key G20 initiatives presented and discussed included Agriculture Market Information Systems, Group on Earth Observations Global Agriculture Monitoring Initiative, Tropical Agriculture Platform, Platform for Agriculture Risk Management, and Technical Platform on Measurement and Reduction of Food Loss and Waste. The Global Forum on Climate-smart Agriculture for Food Security followed, with Dr Venkatachalam Anbumozhi, Director for Research Strategy and Innovations at the Economic Research Institute for ASEAN and East Asia (ERIA), presenting Climate-smart Agriculture for Livelihood Protection and Opportunities.

The second-day discussions were opened  by Mr Jyotiraditya Scindia, Union Minister for Civil Aviation and Steel, who stated that the global community must adopt smart, sustainable, and serving-all ecosystem policies as a part of the International Year of Millets. 

Discussions focused on food security and nutrition, sustainable agriculture with climate-smart approach, inclusive agriculture value chains and food systems, and digitalisation for agricultural transformation. Invitations for were  extended to all G20 member countries; guest countries Bangladesh, Egypt, Mauritius, Netherlands, Nigeria, Oman, Singapore, Spain, Viet Nam, and the United Arab Emirates; and international organisations ERIA, Asian Development Bank, Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, Food and Agriculture Organization, International Crops Research Institute for the Semi-Arid Tropics, International Fund for Agricultural Development, International Food Policy Research Institute, Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development, World Food Programme, and World Bank. ERIA delegates Dr Anbumozhi and Ms Anita Prakash emphasised the need to improve the resilience of the agriculture value chain and raise productivity whilst moving towards free trade in agricultural commodities that are climate smart, economically viable, socially inclusive, and supportive of quality and diverse diets.

Voluntary interventions on day 3 brought attention to emerging technologies, agriculture value chains, and environmentally sound practices that help raise agricultural production and productivity. The working group agreed that inclusive and sustainable agri-food systems, energy and resource efficiency, crop diversification, sustainable fisheries, and smart animal husbandry are key to food security and nutrition. The group acknowledged that digital technologies and other technological reforms offer enormous opportunities for applications in agriculture, animal husbandry and fisheries, precision agriculture, weather mapping and advisory services, and smart farming techniques. It was also in accord that global food value chains require a coherent understanding of policy factors that necessitates the blending of digitalisation, sustainable practices, and inclusion of marginalised small land-holding farmers groups.

The second Agricultural Deputies Meeting will be held in Chandigarh on 19–21 March 2023 and will start discussing the draft communiqué and other new G20 initiatives.

The proceedings of the 1st AWG are available at https://agricoop.gov.in/awg-g20/#Resources

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