Matera Declaration by G20 reflects Indian concern for farmer welfare, agri-diversity: EAM Jaishankar

In the Matera Declaration, the G20 ministers recognised that poverty alleviation, food security and sustainable food systems, are key to ending hunger.

External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar has appreciated Italy for highlighting food security and said the Matera Declaration reflects the Indian concern on issues including the welfare of small and medium farmers, and recognising agri-diversity.

Mr. Jaishankar shared his views on contemporary challenges at the G-20 Foreign and Development Ministers’ Meeting in Matera, Italy, on Tuesday.

“Appreciate Italy for highlighting food security. The Matera Declaration reflects the Indian concern for the welfare of small & medium farmers, promoting local food cultures and recognising agri-diversity,” he said in a tweet.

 

“Livelihood, health, digital access and climate action should now constitute the new developmental priorities,” he said.

The G20 Foreign Affairs Ministers’ Meeting was held in Matera, followed by a joint meeting of the Foreign Affairs and Development Ministers.

The first joint meeting of Foreign Affairs and Development Ministers ended with the adoption of the “Matera Declaration”, which calls upon the international community to step up efforts to contain the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic on lives and livelihoods, and build inclusive and resilient food chains and ensure adequate nutrition for all, in line with the “Zero Hunger” goal set for 2030.

In the Matera Declaration, the G20 ministers recognised that poverty alleviation, food security and sustainable food systems, are key to ending hunger, encouraging social cohesion and community development, reducing socio-economic inequalities, and promoting overall inclusive economic growth and sustainable development.

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They also called for implementing effective actions for the empowerment of women and youth in the rural-urban continuum. The ministers also stressed on enhancing social-protection measures and programmes, with a focus on people living in vulnerable situations, of whom large shares depend on the agriculture and food sector for their livelihoods.

The declaration underlined the need for increasing catalytic investments for food security, nutrition, and sustainable food systems and territorial development, as part of the substantial COVID-19 emergency funding and longer-term national recovery plans and packages.

It stressed on accelerating the adaptation of agriculture and food systems to climate change, as increased climate variability and extreme weather events impact agriculture output and are among the forces driving the rise in global hunger while recognising the importance of sustainable agriculture.

The declaration emphasised on keeping international food trade open and strengthening global, regional and local diversified value chains for safe, fresh and nutritious food, as well as promoting a science-based holistic One Health approach.

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The G20 foreign ministers emphasised that it is crucial to maintain global food trade open, and to keep food markets functioning.

“We highlight the importance of an open, transparent, predictable and non-discriminatory multilateral trading system, consistent with World Trade Organization (WTO) rules, to enhance market predictability, and allow agri-food trade to flow so as to contribute to food security and nutrition,” they noted.

International trade is crucial to ensure access to inputs, goods and services to produce safe, nutritious and affordable food, they said.

“We will continue to guard against any unjustified restrictive and distortive measures that could lead to excessive food price volatility in international markets and threaten the food security and nutrition of large proportions of the world population, especially the most vulnerable living in environments of low food security,” the ministers added.

The G20 is an influential bloc that brings together the world’s major economies.

The G20 member countries are Argentina, Australia, Brazil, Canada, China, France, Germany, Japan, India, Indonesia, Italy, Mexico, Russia, South Africa, Saudi Arabia, South Korea, Turkey, the United Kingdom, the United States and the European Union.

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