Joint Declaration of the 5th Meeting of the
BRICS Ministers of Agriculture and Agrarian Development
Moscow, Russia, October 9, 2015
- We, the Ministers of Agriculture and Agrarian Development of the Federative Republic of Brazil, the Russian Federation, the Republic of India, the People's Republic of China and the Republic of South Africa met in Moscow, Russian Federation for the 5th Meeting of BRICS Ministers of Agriculture and Agrarian Development on 9 October, 2015.
- In the spirit of the "Ufa Declaration" of the Seventh BRICS Leaders Summit we reiterate our commitment to further develop agricultural cooperation, in particular, related to enhancing agricultural trade and investment, agricultural research, technologies and innovations, the protection of the right to adequate food, specially for the most vulnerable communities, by strengthening family farming, creation of a basic agricultural, information exchange system of BRICS countries, mitigation of the negative impact of climate change on food security and nutrition and adaptation of agriculture to climate change.
- We recognize the achievements of the BRICS to date in strengthening the global food system by adopting comprehensive measures on boosting agricultural production, trade and investment. The BRICS countries have become an important force to deal with the food security challenge and we agree to further intensify our efforts in building a win-win partnership to increase productivity sustainably in order to feed the world population that is expected to exceed nine billion by 2050.
- We welcome the outcomes of the United Nations Sustainable Development Summit held on 25-27 September, 2015 and the adoption of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development. We commit to work towards achieving its Sustainable Development Goal 2 aiming to end hunger, achieve food security and improved nutrition and promote sustainable agriculture.
- We appreciate the work of the BRICS Agricultural Cooperation Working Group, express our satisfaction with the progress in implementing the 2012-2016 Action Plan and endorse the Annual Calendar of Activities on 2015-2016 for implementation of the Action Plan (Annex I).
- We believe that the established mechanism of consultations among Permanent Representatives of the BRICS nations to the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO) will play a useful role in coordination and give practical impetus to our cooperation in the field of agriculture and agrarian development.
- We welcome the progress made on the five pillars of intra-BRICS cooperation in the agricultural sphere:
Trade and investment promotion
- We welcome the launch of the BRICS New Development Bank (NDB) that shall serve as a powerful instrument for financing infrastructure and sustainable development projects in agricultural sphere.
- We welcome adoption of the Strategy for BRICS Economic Partnership and agree to take practical steps for its effective implementation, one of which will be preparation of the BRICS Roadmap for trade, economic and investment cooperation until 2020.
- We acknowledge the importance of the multilateral trade system as a means of promoting global trade and ensuring global food security. And in this context we reiterate the importance of a successful WTO Tenth Ministerial Conference at Nairobi in December 2015.
- We dedicate ourselves to improving investment climate in our countries and reiterate our support to implementation of the voluntary Principles for Responsible Investment in Agriculture and Food Systems endorsed by the Committee on World Food Security (CFS) in 2014. We also underscore the importance of raising investments at all stages of food value chain and increasing engagement with the private sector in these efforts, inter alia, through the mechanism of public-private partnerships.
- We agree that business investment and trade cooperation can also be intensified through promotion of agricultural exhibitions, trade fairs and investment fora. In this regard we thank the Russian Federation for hosting the Exhibition of Agricultural Investment Projects of BRICS countries and AgroBusinessForum "Development of Mutual Trade and Investments - Basis for Sustainable Development of Agriculture in the BRICS Countries" held in the framework of the Russian Agricultural Exhibition "Golden Autumn" in October 2015 and look forward to the 13-th International China Agricultural Trade Fair in November 2015.
- We note that strengthening cooperation and coordination in the areas of development and enforcement of sanitary and phytosanitary (SPS) measures, standards, technical regulation and conformity assessment procedures also creates favorable conditions for enhancing intra- BRICS trade. We encourage our continuing technical dialogue in those areas. In this context we will work together with the relevant international SPS standard setting bodies to ensure that standards, guidelines and recommendations are based on scientific principles and that they adhere to the provisions of the SPS agreements.
Development of a general strategy for ensuring access to food for the most vulnerable population
- We stress that there are still 795 million people undernourished, 98% of which live in developing countries. Extreme poverty and food insecurity are inextricably linked, and we note with great concern that about 3 quarters of the world's poor live in rural areas. Both poverty and food insecurity should be tackled by combination of social safety nets and measures aimed at increasing agricultural production sustainably.
- Strengthening family farming, inter alia, is an essential precondition for the eradication of poverty and hunger. In this regard we welcome the events held in 2014 - the International Year of Family Farming – as well as High-Level Forum on Connecting Smallholders to Markets organized by the CFS in June 2015.
- Recognizing that investments in social protection systems have to be considered as critical catalysts for inclusive growth and sustainable development, we will continue efforts considered necessary in promoting the establishment of more comprehensive nutrition- sensitive social protection programs. We will further promote partnership and cooperation among the BRICS countries, aiming to develop a knowledge-sharing network and platform on best practices to enhance South-South Cooperation for improved social protection systems that foster better food security and nutrition. In this regard we welcome the outcomes of the "Global Forum on Nutrition-Sensitive Social Protection Programs: Towards Partnership for Development" held in Moscow in September 2015.
- We recall that 2016 will mark 10 years of the 2006 International Conference on Agrarian Reform and Rural Development (ICARRD) organized by FAO in Porto Alegre, Brazil. In this respect, we note efforts by countries and international organizations in promoting the implementation of the Voluntary Guidelines on the Responsible Governance of the Tenure of Land, Fisheries and Forests in the Context of National Food Security (VGGT) endorsed by the CFS in 2012.
- Ensuring access to food remains a central necessity in the fight against poverty. We are informed about the ongoing progress in the development of the BRICS "General strategy for ensuring access to food for the most vulnerable population". We also take note of the relevant discussions within the Expo Milano 2015 held under the theme "Feeding the Planet: Energy for Life".
Enhancing agricultural technology cooperation and innovation
- We emphasize our commitment to advance agricultural research, science and technology which can play an important role in increasing agricultural production and productivity, farmers' incomes and in reducing the incidence of global hunger. Towards this end various aspects of agricultural research, including extension to the field level will receive our full attention and priority.
- We acknowledge that BRICS nations are endowed with advantages of rich biodiversity, scientific capacity, high levels of agricultural production, trade and consumption that could lead to mutually beneficial cooperation. We recognize that favorable policy and regulatory environment is necessary to adopt technological innovations. We highlight the need for long- term cooperation and information sharing in the area of successful identification and implementation of policies and institutional mechanisms that contribute to technology advancement.
- We highlight that research and human resource development is paramount to improve the overall agricultural technological capacity of countries. In this regard we agree to consider the initiative to establish the BRICS Agriculture Research Centre (BARC) proposed by India to intensify cooperation in the areas of agricultural science, technology, innovation and capacity building including technologies for family farming and to increase yields and farmers' incomes. We expect to discuss this further.
Creation of a basic agricultural information exchange system of BRICS countries
- We recognize that the exchange of agricultural information can facilitate the identification of agricultural development advantages, advance trade and investment cooperation in the field of agriculture and agrarian development, and play an important role in promoting agriculture in the BRICS countries.
- We note the progress on establishing the Basic Agricultural Information Exchange System (BAIES) of the BRICS countries since our 2nd Meeting. We welcome further efforts to strengthen consultation and coordination with all parties on the basis of the consensus reached regarding BAIESwhichwill provide information for the decision-making by the BRICS agricultural and agrarian development authorities through robust information collection, processing and exchange among the BRICS countries. The BAIES will have its trial run in 2015 and will be officially launched into operation in 2016.
- We also support the initiatives to prepare the Report on Agricultural Cooperation of the BRICS countries that is one of the outcomes of the work on BAIES on an annual basis and to nominate focal points responsible for collecting and providing the necessary information. The first Report will be developed and presented at the next Meeting of the BRICS Ministers of Agriculture and Agrarian Development in 2016.
Reduction of negative impact of climate change on food security and adaptation of agriculture to climate change
- We recognize that negative impact of climate change on agriculture and food security is a global problem of enormous economic, environmental and societal significance. We acknowledge that BRICS can provide global leadership in this regard by developing and applying adaptation technologies that enhance resilience of agricultural systems while increasing sustainable and environmentally friendly agricultural production.
- We agree that sustainable agricultural production and productivity can be achieved through, inter alia, enhancement of farmland irrigation and drainage infrastructure, development and application of yield-promoting technologies, restoration of degraded land, promotion of sustainable use of natural resources, and improvement of soil fertility. In this context we note with appreciation the outcomes of the varied events held in the framework of the International Year of Soils and appreciate South Africa for hosting the XIV World Forestry Congress (WFC) in Durban in September 2015.
- We welcome sharing experiences on climate advisory services, monitoring and Early Warning Systems (EWS) as well as other adaptation strategies such as contingency plans for the extreme weather events and their effects. We also agree to support the efforts to increase investment in sound agricultural insurance and risk management tools, especially for small- holder family farmers, and in research on alternative sources of food, fodder, fiber and energy, inter alia, bio-mass energy. In this regard we support the efforts of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) and its Green Climate Fund (GCF) to assist developing countries counter climate change and look forward to the successful outcomes of the COP21 in December 2015. We acknowledge the progress and continuous efforts of the BRICS countries on reducing the negative impact of climate change on food security and promoting measures for the adaptation of agriculture to climate change.
- We express our gratitude to the Russian Federation for organizing and hosting the 5th Meeting of the BRICS Ministers of Agriculture and Agrarian Development and express our support to India, the host of the upcoming Ministerial Meeting.
Source: Russian Presidency of the 2015 Ufa Summit
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