Brazil G20 presidency to take India’s food security agenda forward

The 2024 G20, under the leadership of Brazil, will prioritize sustainability of agrifood systems, food and nutritional security. (REUTERS)
The 2024 G20, under the leadership of Brazil, will prioritize sustainability of agrifood systems, food and nutritional security. (REUTERS)

Summary

  • It will also take up issues like fair trade, climate change and preserving biodiversity loss

New Delhi: Brazil’s presidency of G20 is expected to take forward the New Delhi G20 declaration on food security by promoting sustainable agriculture through low-carbon agricultural and fair trade, a Brazilian diplomat said, a development focus that started with last year’s summit in India.

The Brazilian move comes against the backdrop of left-wing leader Luis Inacio Lula da Silva’s election as president for the second term last January.

The Brazilian official said the fight against hunger and poverty will be a global priority and one of the main themes of the Brazilian presidency of the G20 in line with the UN 2030 agenda, especially the ‘zero hunger’ goal.

“We will take the Indian G20 Presidency’s declaration on food security forward. Though India did brilliant work during the G20 last year, there was not much on antimicrobial resistance etc. This is a hot topic for us now," Brazilian agricultural attaché Angelo de Queiroz Mauricio told Mint.

Food plays an important role in the development and spread of antimicrobial (including anti-bacterial) resistance, a huge issue in India.

The presence of antimicrobial resistance microorganisms in the agricultural production systems and food chains is a potential route of exposure for everyone.

“When it comes to agriculture, we are planning to talk about sustainable agriculture, climate change and preservation of biodiversity loss needs," he said.

The 2024 G20 summit, which will take place in Rio de Janeiro at the end of the year will prioritize sustainability of agrifood systems, enhancing international trade contribution for food and nutritional security, and increasing access to markets (local, national, regional and global) for family-farmers, peasants, indigenous peoples and traditional communities.

The priority will also be to promote sustainable integration of fisheries and aquaculture into local and global value chains, aiming at addressing issues related to inequality of income and access to food.

“Fair trade is something that we think impacts a lot on food security. Some kinds of (trade) measures that from time to time appear regarding a limit of residues and those technical barriers regarding food safety or related to the environment like the EU legislation on the environment. So, this is something that we believe needs to be addressed adequately."

G20 countries represent 80% of global GDP, 75% of world exports and almost 60% of the planet’s population. However, the wealth gap between and within countries has been widening exponentially in recent decades.

According to the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO, 2023), it is estimated that between 691 and 783 million people in the world faced hunger in 2022. The covid-19 pandemic, combined with the climate crisis and, more recently, political conflicts, have highlighted the urgent need to reduce food insecurity and promote sustainability. “Food safety is important, and we can never lose sight of fair-trade practices. We cannot achieve food security if fair trade is not there. So, I think there is going to be this kind of approach during the Brazilian G20. Sustainable agriculture is also one of the focuses of the initiatives, and we have a lot to say about it.

We’ve been working with this through Embrapa (Brazilian Agricultural Research Corporation, a state-owned corporation) for a long time," Mauricio added.

Globally, a third of the food produced is lost or wasted, while the increasing prevalence of malnutrition is at the root of rising obesity and diet-related diseases. Agrifood systems are strategic to “Building a just world and a sustainable planet", the motto of the Brazilian Presidency of the G20.

With population growth projected for the coming decades, the imperative is to sustainably increase and diversify agricultural production while promoting socially inclusive economic growth through productive activities, and environmental protection.

Agrifood systems at global, national, and local levels still face challenges regarding the environment, human health, and social welfare. Increasing food production is still important but no longer the only issue.

During the Indian presidency, the G20 Ministers of Agriculture reiterated their commitment to food and nutrition security through the Deccan High-Level Principles on Food Security and Nutrition 2023. Additionally, countries reaffirmed the significance of strengthening a rules-based, open, predictable, transparent, non-discriminatory, inclusive, equitable, based on scientific principles, and sustainable multilateral trading system with the World Trade Organization at its core to enhance market predictability, increase business confidence, and allow agrifood trade to flow to contribute to food security and nutrition.

There is a plan called ABC--the plan for carbon emission, lower carbon emission in Brazil derived from agriculture. So, this is another contribution that we could make, and we are planning to add it to the discussions related to sustainable agriculture."

In 2010, the Brazilian government designed the Low-Carbon Agriculture Plan to provide resources and incentives for farmers to adopt sustainable agricultural techniques. The objective is to reduce emissions of carbon dioxide (CO2), methane (CH4), and nitrous oxide (N2O) from agriculture. Other objectives include contributing to the achievement of international GHG reduction commitments, guaranteeing the continuous improvement of agricultural practices that reduce GHG emissions and increase carbon storage in vegetation and soil; and incentivizing the adoption of strategies that increase environmental protection of plants and productive systems, while generating income for vulnerable rural communities; and enhancing efforts to reduce deforestation led by livestock and agriculture production in the Amazon and Cerrado biomes.

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