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Launch of the OECD-FAO Agricultural Outlook 2022-2031

Statement 

By 

Dr QU Dongyu, FAO Director-General

As prepared 

29 June 2022

Secretary-General of the OECD,

Excellences,

Ladies and Gentlemen,

Dear Colleagues,

 

1.         I am pleased to join my esteemed colleague, the Secretary General of the OECD, to release the 2022 edition of our joint Agricultural Outlook report.

2.         I would also like to thank you and your staff for organizing the event this year.

3.         I hope that conditions will allow us to host it physically in Rome next year and to welcome you to FAO.

4.         Our two organizations have long understood the importance of evidence-based forward-looking information and analysis for effective decision-making by our Members.

5.         This is now the 18th year of the joint OECD-FAO Agricultural Outlook.

6.         The report has established itself as an excellent example of how OECD and FAO collaborate on work of common interest to support our Members.

7.         It also shows how international organizations can work together with Members to produce a complex publication that looks ahead to the next 10 years.

8.         Our global simulation models are being used to assess the impacts of the crises the world is facing,

9.         Recent Outlooks and scenario simulations have helped us to better understand the consequences of the COVID-19 pandemic,

10.       Now we are working together to provide critical assessments of the impact of the war in Ukraine on global agricultural markets and food security.

11.       We are witnessing severe food, feed, fuel and fertilizer price shocks, given the importance of the Russian Federation and Ukraine in these markets.

12.       These price increases come on top of already high prices caused by strong global demand, and supply constraints.

13.       In March 2022, the FAO Food Price Index reached a record high, and it has only decreased slightly since then.

14.       The cereals price index reached an all-time high in May 2022.

15.       The soaring food and energy prices, as well as tightening financial conditions, are increasing human suffering across the world.

16.       Because of the war in Ukraine, in addition to the many conflicts around the world, 19 million additional people could face chronic hunger globally in 2023, as the reduction in exports from Russia and Ukraine means lower food availability worldwide.

17.       Time is short to prevent a wider food security crisis in 2023!

18.       Declining fertilizer affordability and rising export restrictions can worsen the medium-term outlook for food, especially if they persist into the next planting season.

19.       This year it is an issue of access, next year it could be a crisis of availability.

20.       In addition to wheat, maize and vegetable oils, the challenge could extend to other staples, especially rice, affecting billions of people.

 

Dear Colleagues,

 

21.       This year’s report was produced during a period of unprecedented events, and it is being released today in a time of high uncertainty.

22.       However, despite all the immediate challenges, the OECD and FAO jointly agree on the need to keep looking beyond the current crises, to guide our Members onto a sustainable recovery path.

23.       The report provides a link between the current pandemic and war and conflict crises, and the medium-term trends and developments in global commodity markets.

24.       Based on our assessments, agricultural prices are projected to fall from their peaks after the 2022-2023 marketing year,

25.       And inflation-adjusted prices should resume their long-run decline over the medium term.

26.       Per capita food consumption is projected to increase in low- and middle-income countries, but the transition to improved food security and healthy diets is slow.

27.       Production growth is expected to be driven by productivity gains, yet these improvements would not be sufficient to reduce greenhouse gas emissions from agriculture over the next decade.

28.       We urgently need to transform our agrifood systems to be more efficient, more inclusive, more resilient and more sustainable,

29.       For better production, better nutrition, a better environment and a better life for all, leaving no one behind.

30.       There is enough food, energy and resources globally, but record-high prices make them unaffordable to many people.

31.       The global community should work together to ensure that critical supplies of food and energy reach the most needy.

32.       We must also increase our resilience to the climate crisis, and produce more and better, with less negative impact on the environment.

33.       Empowering women and youth, through technology and innovation, is key.

34.       In this regard, the FAO Council recently adopted two important thematic strategies that will guide our work on Climate Change, and on Science and Innovation, in the coming years

35.       We need more inclusive, responsible and sustainable investments that safeguard the rights of local communities, boost productivity and ensure benefits are fairly distributed.

36.       We need to join efforts and continue working closely together in an efficient, effective and coherent manner,

37.       To achieve the 2030 Agenda, for a world free from hunger and malnutrition.

38.       FAO is committed to working with all Members and partners to make this a reality.

39.       Now is the time to “build back better” and this year’s joint report provides valuable information to support this process.

40.       Thank you.

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