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Agriculture is not just food but the world around us - 2020 GFFA

The Global Forum for Food and Agriculture (GFFA) 2020, was held from 16 - 18.01.2020. under the title and focuses on Food for all! Trade for secure, diverse and sustainable nutrition.

Agriculture is not just food but the world around us” I heard this phrase during my participation in GFFA 2020.

This Forum was organized and hosted by the Federal Ministry of Food and Agriculture (BMEL) in cooperation with the Berlin Senate and the GFFA Berlin e.V.

The Forum was a great opportunity for civil society representatives, for businesses and world political representatives, to exchange ideas, experiences and good examples, to increase understanding and cooperation between countries around the world, on the topics of current agricultural policy and addressing common challenges in the context of food security around the world.

At this Forum it was discussed how to develop trade internationally in a sustainable way, and beneficial to all, in order to provide safe and diversified food for all. How to find sustainable and innovative ways to produce food for everyone but at the same time protecting the environment.

In this forum I attended several presentations on the following dates 16-17.01.2020 as below:

Kick-off Event, Organized by Federal Ministry of Food and Agriculture, in which were present various businesses and innovative start-ups in the field of agriculture and related to, where we had the opportunity to visit and to create contacts with them.

Strengthening the contribution of domestic and international markets to food security and nutrition, organized by the Organization for Economic Co-Operation and Development (OECD). Innovation in agriculture is a must to contribute in this direction but not only competition is also a problem because we do not know how much the price goes to farmers, so governments have to take care of specific laws. Where some of the topics discussed in this section.

Contribution of cooperatives to fair value creation in international trade, Organized by Deutscher Raiffeisenverband, Deutscher Genossenschafts- und Raiffeisenverband e.V. Where it was pointed out that the cooperatives put the more added value at a local level and as a result should stimulate and support them. In order to have a fair value of the products they produce in international trade. 

Digital Acceleration of Agricultural and Food Transformation, organized by World Bank Group, Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD), where it discussed the importance of digital import-export control systems, where import-export companies and farmers have to have access and to receive up-to-date information on this system. Also, Agricultural policies are needed to be adapted to emerging technology.

Harnessing trade for achieving SDG 2, organized by the World Trade Organization (WTO) and Food and Agriculture, Organization of the United Nations (FAO). In this context, in addition to the other issues discussed, there were also highlighted Digital trading platforms, new business models and the use of mobile phones to facilitate trade.

The Development Potential of Agri-Food Trade: A win-win Opportunity for Africa, EU and the World, organized by the European Commission. Exporting somehow is damaging our environment and consuming our resources, in this context we need to be more collaborative to use global resources more sustainably and efficiently, sharing each other's resources in a fair and mutually beneficial way. Footprints and real information about food are needed, also network, skills, and governments support. These were some of the points that were touched upon in this discussion, among others.

Also, the FAO General Director Mr. Qu Dongyu and his team presented the concept note of the International Digital Council on Food and Agriculture. This presentation highlighted the opportunities, risks and challenges of digitalization, action approaches, the possible roles and functions of the Council Digital.

Picture credit: Bledar Meta