The agricultural ministers of the Group of 20 met for the first time in Paris June 22-23. The meeting was called to address increasingly volatile food prices.
The ministers agreed to a plan of action covering everything from financial regulation and market transparency to farm production. The plan encourages finance ministers to improve regulation on agricultural financial markets, including the potential to limit trading positions taken by speculators.
To improve market information, the ministers pledged to create by June 2012 the Agricultural Market Information System (AMIS), which will compile information on wheat, maize, rice and soybean production and consumption and will be housed at FAO.
The ministers asked the World Food Program to look into the creation of a system of food reserves for emergency humanitarian aid and agreed to put an end to export restrictions and extraordinary taxes on food purchased for humanitarian purposes.
The agricultural ministers also agreed that a dramatic increase in food production would be needed to feed a population of 9 billion by 2050.
US Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack stated, “In the end, this agreement is only as good as the actions we take together to aggressively confront food security’s difficult challenges, but our cooperation as reflected today is a significant achievement for the nearly one billion people grappling with hunger each day.”
For more on the agreement, visit the Guardian Global Development blog.