G-20 Summit Highlights Importance of Agricultural Development

Agricultural development may provide a solution to issues such as poverty and hunger, world leaders and aid groups noted at the April 1-2 meeting of representatives from the world’s 20 largest economies in London.

U.S. President Barack Obama announced his intention to double U.S. funding to global agricultural productivity as part of a broader effort on food security, he said in a statement that was welcomed by international charities such as World Vision.

On the eve of the London summit, Kanayo Nwanze, the International Fund for Agricultural Development’s new president, called on world leaders to increase support of small-scale farmers. He noted that rural areas in developing countries have been affected more than other regions by the global economic downturn.

According to Nwanze, supporting farmers in rural areas may even help solve the global financial downturn.

“We ignore the world’s poor farmers at our peril,” Nwanze said in a statement. “As we strive to recover from the current turmoil, these farmers can be part of the solution. With the right support, they can drive wider economic growth and avert future food crises, like the one that shook the world last year.”

Agriculture ministers from the eight leading industrialized countries will address agriculture development April 18-20 in Treviso, in northeast Italy. The gathering is organized by the Italian government, which will chair the next G-8 Summit, to be held this July on the island of La Maddalena.

According to a report by the Food and Agriculture Organization, cereal output increased by only 2.3 percent in developing countries last year, as opposed to 12.3 percent in industrialized countries. The indication: Access to food remains a problem in areas where food is most needed.

About the author

  • Tiziana Cauli

    Tiziana has contributed to Devex News since mid-2008, focusing mainly on Africa as well as the European donor landscape, especially those in Brussels, Rome and Barcelona. Tiziana has worked as a journalist for Reuters and the Associated Press in Johannesburg and at Reuters in Milan and Paris. She is fluent in Italian, English, French and Spanish.