Agriculture ministers of G7 countries are calling for more food security

Agriculture ministers of the G7 countries have expressed serious concern about the impact of the Russian war against Ukraine on global food security. After a two-day meeting in Japan on Sunday, ministers called for global food security to be guaranteed. 

Italy, Japan, France, the United States, the United Kingdom, Germany, Canada and the European Union participated in the meeting. Several UN organizations were also present at the meeting, such as the FAO, IFAD, OECD and WFP.

The agriculture ministers of the seven major western industrial nations said they are "deeply concerned about the devastating impact the war is having on global food security, not least through price spikes in grains, fuel and fertilizers."

With hunger rising and domestic food price inflation soaring across much of the world, collective action is needed to meet global short- and long-term food security goals. So said the director-general of the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO), Qu Dongyu at the G7 meeting. 

The FAO chief pointed out five key actions for the G7 to make progress towards sustainable agri-food systems, including the role of markets, aid, the private sector and science and innovation.

Discussions within the G7 about increasing agricultural production have not been a major topic of conversation so far, partly because most countries are themselves major food exporters and often in competition with each other. It is also feared that efforts to expand agricultural production will encourage some countries to take protectionist measures, such as subsidizing farmers.

The G7 countries pledged to support Ukraine's recovery, including by assisting in the demining of farmland, and the restoration of warehouses and irrigation devastated by Russia.

They emphasized that the protracted invasion and climate change have made resilient and sustainable food systems increasingly important. They called for promoting both domestic production and international trade to diversify agricultural supply chains. They also pledged efforts to improve sustainable productivity.

Ministers also approved an action plan for sustainable agriculture. The plan calls for a wide range of innovations in agriculture and intensified efforts to reform agricultural policies to reduce greenhouse gas emissions.