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A statement by FAO Director-General José Graziano da Silva
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22 January 2017

G20 Ministers of Agriculture Meeting


FAO commends the G20 for maintaining agriculture, food security and nutrition at the top of the global agenda.

I also applaud the strong commitment to implement the 2030 Agenda as well as the Paris Agreement on Climate Change.

The fundamental battle to achieve sustainable development will be fought in the rural areas of developing countries.

It is there that extreme poverty and hunger are concentrated.

If we fail to achieve Sustainable Development Goals number 1 and 2, we will also fall short of all other SDGs.

Millions of small family farmers need technical and financial assistance to be more resilient and adapt to the impacts of climate change.

They must be able to stay on their land, produce their own food and also have access to markets.

This is an essential element to secure social stability and avoid distress migration.

Information and Communication Technologies can have a profound impact on the efficiency, resilience and inclusion of poor family farmers.

FAO is working with the World Meteorological Organization (WMO) to develop methods to improve weather forecasts for farmers.

We are particularly targeting the 70 countries that do not have national meteorological services.

And we need your support to face this big challenge.

Global data is available. Now we need to make all this information accessible and understandable to farmers, fisher folks and pastoralists.


Let me commend the German Presidency for highlighting the importance of water management.

This is a fundamental part of the agricultural transformation we need to promote.

A transformation that will help to address hunger, extreme poverty and climate change simultaneously.

Agriculture uses 70 percent of global fresh water.

At the same time, millions of family farmers in dry areas are at risk of water scarcity.

I invite you all to take part in the Global Framework for Water Scarcity, launched by FAO and partners during COP 22 in Marrakech.

It aims to enhance water-use efficiency and drought-stress tolerance.

Regarding Antimicrobial Resistance (AMR), FAO is working to ensure all countries have the capacity to use antimicrobials in a responsible and sustainable way.

I hope we can count on your continued support for this important area of work.

FAO is committed to supporting the Communiqué and Action Plan you are set to adopt today.

Thank you for your kind attention.