G20 agriculture ministers meet to help build a sustainable food future

The meeting begins this afternoon at the San Martín Palace, in Buenos Aires. Senior officials will work until tomorrow on responsible soil management, food waste reduction and the role of technology in agriculture.

The G20 Meeting of Agriculture Ministers begins in Buenos Aires this afternoon with a focus on policies to help build a sustainable food future, one of the priorities of the 2018 Argentine G20 presidency.

The two-day meeting at San Martín Palace brings together senior agriculture officials from countries that account for 60% of the world’s farming land and almost 80% of global trade in food and agricultural commodities.

Among the senior officials present are Luis Miguel Etchevehere, Argentine Minister of Agribusiness; Sonny Perdue, US Secretary of Agriculture; Julia Klöckner, German Federal Minister for Food and Agriculture; David Littleproud, Australian Minister for Agriculture and Water Resources; and Atsushi Nonaka, Japanese Parliamentary Vice-minister of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries. Senior officials from guest countries and experts from international organizations, such as Julio Berdegué, Regional Representative for Latin America and the Caribbean at the United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO), and Stephanie Hochstetter, Chair of the Executive Board at the World Food Programme (WFP), are also attending the meeting

After the traditional family photo, scheduled for 2.30 pm local time, the 36 heads of delegation will discuss proposals for the comprehensive and responsible management of soils. Soils are a limited and non-renewable resource, at least over the course of a human life span, and their preservation is crucial for sustainable development. Participants will also examine food loss and waste, anti-microbial resistance, climate change and agricultural innovation.

The sixth G20 ministerial meeting this year will encourage the exchange of good farming practices as well. Argentina will demonstrate its progress on the use of agricultural and livestock technologies, from no-till farming and agricultural machinery, to the genetic modification of seeds and satellite-controlled irrigation, among other innovations. Additionally, the 132nd Rural Expo will offer a window on Argentina’s latest breakthroughs in cattle genetics, agriculture and technology. Delegates visit the fair today at 7.00 pm local time and will attend the inauguration of the cattle demonstration on Saturday morning.

Saturday’s agenda has working sessions at San Martín Palace starting at midday. A press conference, which will be live streamed on the G20 YouTube channel, is scheduled for 2.30 pm, given by the G20 troika, which is made up of the country currently holding the G20 presidency (Argentina), the country that held the presidency last year (Germany), and the country holding the presidency next year (Japan). Etchevehere, Klöckner and Nonaka will brief on the meeting’s main conclusions. A communiqué will also be issued after the meeting.