Sustainable Agricultural Mechanization

Expert Steering Committee guides first ever FAO Global Conference on Sustainable Plant Production


On 2-4 November 2022, FAO will convene the Global Conference on Sustainable Plant Production with the theme “Innovation, Efficiency and Resilience” (GPC), which will take place as a hybrid virtual/physical meeting at FAO headquarters in Rome.

The overall objective of the conference is to raise awareness of the contribution of sustainable plant production to implementing FAO Strategic Framework 2022-31, so as to attain the United Nations SDGs worldwide. The GPC will provide a neutral forum for FAO Members, farmers, scientists, development agencies, extensionists, civil society, opinion leaders, private sector and policymakers for focused dialogues on innovation that creates efficient plant production systems with resilience to biotic and abiotic stresses, climate change and natural hazards while responding to market demands – and, importantly, producing more food with less environmental footprints. 

To ensure the GPC captures topical issues from a national, regional and global perspectives, FAO set up a Steering Committee consisting of the world’s most influential thought leaders. The first meeting, held virtually on 29 June, was opened by the FAO Deputy Director-General Beth Bechdol, and chaired by Martin Kropff, Global Director, Resilient Agri-Food Systems at CGIAR. Participants discussed the tentative conference programme, to include a high-level opening by the FAO Director-General QU Dongyu, plenary session speakers, followed by seven thematic sessions on seed technologies, field cropping systems, protected cropping systems, natural resource management, integrated pest management, mechanization and digitalization, and farmers and policies.

In her opening remarks, DDG Bechdol highlighted that “Plant production systems are central to our focus on Better Production. These systems must be knowledge-intensive – more so than input-intensive – and provide farmers with context-specific options that empower them to produce more with less”. “The FAO Global Conference on Sustainable Plant Production will cover key topics to ensure the environment is protected, incomes generated and social equity created”, she added.

The development of thematic session content, speakers and panelists is being actively developed by a Technical Advisory Panel that captures diverse stakeholder opinions and ensures topics presented and discussed will be of interest to a global audience. The conference will conclude with integrated recommendations on how sustainable crop production can drive transformation of agrifood systems and a high-level ministerial segment featuring regional representatives.

In his presentation on the GPC organization, Jingyuan Xia, Director of FAO’s Plant Production and Protection Division hosting the GPC Secretariat stressed: “This conference addresses the increasing demand for efficient, healthy and nutritious food for all despite increasing challenges brought by limited natural resources, reduced crop and biodiversity loss, overuse or inappropriate use of agricultural chemicals, and the climate crisis”.

Read more: