G-20 Agricultural Ministers Make Action Plan

Cindy Zimmerman

Agriculture Ministers from the G20 nations reached agreement this week on a plan to reduce world food price volatility.

“The consensus reached today by the G-20 Agricultural Ministers marks an historic union of resolve in combating the pressing challenges of hunger and food price volatility confronting our world with greater regularity,” said Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack in a statement from Paris where the meeting took place this week.

The G-20 Action Plan includes creation of an agricultural market information system charged with collecting accurate and timely data on world crop supply, demand and food stocks; and the removal of barriers to food exports for humanitarian purposes. The ministers also agreed to starting a pilot program for “small, targeted regional emergency food reserves for a limited group of countries” and helping smaller, women and young farmers in developing countries to improve productivity.

The ministers stopped short of making any recommendations that would impact the production of biofuels, but did call for further analysis of the impact of biofuels on food availability, price volatility and sustainability. “We also recognize the importance of research and development on biofuels, including those produced through new processes or new feedstocks, non-food feedstocks and other vegetable materials,” they said in their declaration.

Biofuels, Food, International