Speaking at the G20 Agriculture Ministers Meeting in Hyderabad, India, the Secretary of State urged countries to come together and harness the power of nature to get food to people’s plates both now and for future generations.
The meeting focused on identifying actions and solutions to help tackle global food security and nutrition, including moving to sustainable agriculture to lower impacts on climate and environment while increasing global food security, and ensuring agriculture and food systems are more resilient to shocks.
Ministers also discussed how we can achieve more sustainable food supply chains to reduce impacts such as deforestation caused by unsustainable agriculture, as well as the importance of long-term action and support for farmers and rural communities to ensure we can continue to feed a growing population.
The Secretary of State for Food and Rural Affairs Thérèse Coffey said:
Building more resilient food security must be an urgent, ongoing priority for G20 and sustainable agriculture must be at the heart of our efforts.
As well as making the most of science, tech and innovation, we need to recognise that protecting and supporting the power of nature is essential, and in many cases the most effective and cost-effective way to roll out solutions at scale.
These discussions build on the UK’s ongoing commitment to develop and scale-up more sustainable agricultural practices at an international level and follows the Agriculture Innovation Mission for Climate (AIM for Climate) Summit in Washington last month. At the Summit, the UK announced a £3 million investment to help fund a new consortium to develop, test and scale up new and alternative fertilisers that can enhance soil health and agricultural productivity.
It also builds on strides the UK is making at home to support farmers to run sustainable, profitable and productive farming businesses. This includes more than £168 million in grants being made available to farmers this year to drive innovation, support food production, improve animal health and welfare and protect the environment, as well as accelerating the roll out of the Sustainable Farming Incentive.
Up to £30 million has recently been awarded to cutting-edge farming projects that will boost food production, move towards net zero, and create a more resilient and sustainable agricultural sector. Meanwhile, the second round of Landscape Recovery launched last month to support up to 25 more projects to protect and restore thousands of acres of the English landscape.