The G20 Agriculture Ministers’ Meeting was held from Sept. 17–18, featuring both online and offline events. Tang Renjian, Minister of Agriculture and Rural Affairs of China, attended the meeting and delivered remarks. He shared with G20 members China’s successful experience in food production, and put forward proposals for the G20 to take the lead in safeguarding global food security.
Minister Tang said that the Chinese government always gives priority to the issue of feeding its people, and adheres to the strategy of increasing grain production through soil conservation and technological progress. China has developed high-standard farmland with high and stable yields regardless of growing conditions, cultivated and introduced quality varieties, and made great efforts to promote unified and eco-friendly prevention and control measures for integrated pest management, thus significantly increased its grain output. This year, China has taken measures to alleviate the impacts of natural disasters and the COVID-19 pandemic. As a result, China sees its summer grain output hitting a record high, and expects a bumper autumn harvest as autumn grain acreage has increased and crops are generally growing well. Using less than 9% of the world’s arable land to produce 23% of the world’s food, China has succeeded in feeding 1.4 billion people, and has thus contributed substantially to global food security.
Minister Tang pointed out that the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic and frequent natural disasters take a heavy toll on food security. Most of the G20 members are major agricultural producers and traders, and should play a more positive role in maintaining global food security and realizing the goal of “zero hunger.” He put forth three proposals: 1) Establish a dialogue mechanism for food security under the G20 framework, enhance policy dialogue and coordinate positions, support the role of FAO and other international organizations, and help developing countries transform and upgrade their food systems. 2) Make science and technology achievements available to all, encourage the adoption of advanced technologies for ensuring food security, accelerate the application of digital technology in agricultural production, processing, storage and transport, and provide more seeds, fertilizers, pesticides, agricultural machinery and technical support to developing countries. 3) Boost cooperation in investment and trade, firmly uphold the multilateral trading system with WTO rules as its foundation, reduce trade and investment restrictions, keep agricultural trade flowing, and work together to create a long-term stable, liberal and well-facilitated environment for agricultural trade and investment.
Ma Youxiang, Vice Minister of Agriculture and Rural Affairs, delivered remarks on achieving “zero hunger.” He made the following proposals: 1) Promote fair, reasonable, and mutually beneficial global governance in food and agriculture. 2) Help developing countries improve their capacity for food production and disaster reduction. 3) Deepen cooperation between governments and market entities, non-governmental organizations and agriculture and food industries. 4) Build multilateral partnerships to realize the UN goal of zero hunger by 2030.
The meeting was chaired by Stefano Patuanelli, Italian Minister of Agricultural, Food and Forestry Policies. The G20 Agriculture Ministers Communiqué was approved during the meeting. Tang Huajun, Dean of the Chinese Academy of Agricultural Sciences, and Wei Baigang, Chief Economist of the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Affairs, also attended the meeting.