GFFA 2022: Focus on soil and land use
Agricultural and food policy experts will discuss how soils can be better protected and used more sustainably at the 14th Global Forum for Food and Agriculture (GFFA) this week.
At the , experts and interested parties come together at the beginning of the year to discuss key future issues of global agricultural and food policy. Due to the pandemic, the 14th edition of the World Food Conference will take place online from January 24 to 28. Guests from 120 nations will take part in the virtual event, hosted by the German Federal Ministry of Food and Agriculture (BMEL).
20 sessions on land use and soil
The GFFA sees itself as a global platform for international cooperation and multilateral solutions in the agricultural sector. The congress aims to provide impetus and promote international exchange. This year, the focus is on soil. Around 3,000 participants from politics, business, science and civil society will debate the topic "Sustainable land use: Food security starts with soil" in 20 different sessions.
Sustainable soil use as an opportunity
Soil is the habitat of numerous organisms and the world's most important carbon store. 90% of global food production depends on soil. But intensive agriculture and climate change are putting pressure on the ecosystem. Soil quality is deteriorating and with it the fertility of the arable land on which agriculture depends. The aim is to halt this negative trend through sustainable soil management and secure the world's food supply in the future.However, this also means that farmers must be given the opportunity to use the land sustainably. They need to be granted long-term and secure access to agricultural land through ownership and leasing relationships as well as rights of use.
Ophelia Nick, Parliamentary State Secretary at the BMEL, said at the opening of the GFFA: "We want to promote soil-conserving and nature-friendly agriculture, counteract the loss of agricultural land and important ecosystems, and urgently need to improve rights for fair access to land worldwide. This is essential to ensure food security for all people based on food sovereignty and agroecological principles, thus achieving the Sustainable Development Goals of Agenda 2030 and the implementation of the human right to adequate food."
Global Forum for Food and Agriculture 2022
The GFFA program and livestream are freely available via the conference website.
At GFFA, 120 speakers will engage in numerous panel discussions with experts and interested parties to debate how to better protect soils, restore degraded soils, use finite land resources more sustainably, and provide fair access to land for farmers worldwide.
Final communiqué of the agriculture ministers
The political highlight of the GFFA will be the Berlin Conference of Agriculture Ministers on the last day of the congress, which will also take place online. The world's largest meeting of agriculture ministers, chaired by German Minister of Agriculture Cem Özdemir, will be attended by around 70 agriculture ministers and high-ranking representatives of more than 10 international organizations - including the FAO, UNCCD, WTO and World Bank - who will adopt a joint final communiqué on the GFFA theme.