BRICS Information Centre
9th Meeting of BRICS Ministers of Agriculture,
Bonito, Brazil, September 26, 2019
1. We, the Ministers of Agriculture 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 Bonito, Brazil, for the Ninth Meeting of BRICS Ministers of Agriculture on 25 and 26 September 2019, held under the theme "Promoting Innovation and Actions to Enhance New Solutions for Food Production Systems", where we discussed issues of common interest on BRICS agricultural development and pointed the way forward on our agricultural cooperation.
2. BRICS countries are aware of the trends on world population growth, estimated by the United Nations to reach 9.8 billion in 2050, with around 3.3 billion people inside BRICS countries' borders. Meanwhile, until 2030, global demand for energy should increase by 40%; demand for water by 50%; and demand for food by 35%. Covering vast territories, with large populations and increasing importance for global governance, BRICS countries were responsible for 35% of world imports and exports in 2018, rising from 23% in the past 10 years.
3. We reiterate our commitment to further agricultural cooperation. We stand ready to strengthen mechanisms and enhance communication and coordination on major international issues, such as the encouragement of new solutions for food production increase, entrepreneurship in agritech startups, increase in international trade, fulfillment of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development and food security in developing countries. We will make continuous efforts in improving mechanisms of cooperation to promote further development of agriculture. We realize the potential for rural revitalization, in order to safeguard and expand common interests.
4. We commit ourselves to implementing the BRICS Action Plan 2017-2020 for Agricultural Cooperation and strengthening a science and rules-based, transparent, non-discriminatory, open and inclusive multilateral trade system.
5. We fully acknowledge the need of a comprehensive and integrated approach towards innovation, aiming at fighting poverty and hunger, improving nutrition, promoting sustainable agriculture to implement the 2030 Agenda.
6. We reaffirm the commitment shown on 2017 and 2018 Joint Declarations of BRICS Ministers of Agriculture, in exchanging mechanisms on agriculture information to develop the Basic Agricultural Information Exchange System (BAlES), sharing technology innovation achievements, strengthening mutual exchanges in areas such as biotechnology and nanotechnology, underlining the importance of better application of information and communication technologies (ICTs) in agriculture, in order to build and improve the adaptability of agriculture to climate change and support bio economy.
7. We note that agriculture, livestock, aquaculture and fisheries have benefited from the technology transformations that were part of the transition to Industry 4.0. Those sectors have undergone productivity gains, incorporation of technology, increase of value added, and overall expansion of economic activity.
8. We recognize that, in order to produce more food in a sustainable manner, rural digital connectivity is of paramount importance. It requires further development of the digital agriculture and expansion of the digital infrastructure, especially to harness the full potential of the Internet of Things (loT) technology in different stages of the production chain.
9. We commit to support projects over the expansion of optical fiber and wireless broadband in rural areas seeking to integrate the production chains. We also recommend the financing, by the New Development Bank, of projects for communication infrastructure in the agriculture, livestock production, aquaculture and fisheries sectors.
10. We acknowledge the key role played by Intellectual Property (IP) for countries to fulfill their potential advantages related to innovation and creative work. When used strategically by governments, businesses, farmers and non-profit sectors, IP can effectively generate economic growth and social benefits.
11. Enhanced visibility of geographical indications (Gis) from each of the BRICS countries would uncover the potential profitability of IP rights. Local innovators, farmers, farmer groups, producers of traditional goods, micro, small, and medium enterprises and agri-enterprises could benefit from a fresh perspective on their business models. Consumers would establish deeper links with these suppliers and appreciate the distinctive qualities that set Gls apart.
12. Seeking for new solutions for the production growth needed in the years to come, BRICS countries share a joint commitment for the creation of an environment conducive to the establishment and development of agritech startups. We agree on cooperating to boost startup companies in the agriculture sectors. Therefore, we are interested in coordinating efforts to arrange exhibitions, conferences, roundtables and missions with a view to establish partnerships, implement projects, and inform partners about available business opportunities for agritech enterprises.
13. We share the commitment made by BRICS Trade Ministers in the 110utlines for BRICS Investment Facilitation", adopted during the Chinese presidency in 2017, in which BRICS countries acknowledge that investment facilitation promotes inclusive growth and sustainable development. We believe that enhancing regulatory transparency, expediting procedures, and promoting cooperation on mutual understanding will help to foster a business environment beneficial to agritech startups.
14. Our countries have agreed on the Action Plan 2017-2020 to strengthen trade dialogues, improve trade facilitation, expand scale and scope of trade in agriculture, and promote the Implementation of international sanitary and phytosanitary standards, in order to harmonize accreditation procedures for exporting establishments. We believe in the importance of discussing how to apply and extend these principles.
15. The elaboration of international rules fore-commerce is a complex exercise with diverse economic, social and political implications. Therefore, we shall be mindful of the needs and impacts of new business models, the application of innovative technologies, and the opportunities and challenges for the private sector. While BRICS countries implement different e-commerce regimes, dialogue and exchange of views could entail new possibilities for cooperation among them.
16. We recall that the objectives of the preamble to the WTO SPS Agreement include improving animal, plant and human health, and the health status in the territory of Member countries, while reducing the negative effects of sanitary and phytosanitary measures on trade. We recognize that one of the key elements to this improvement is innovation through scientific research. Therefore, we are committed to maintaining sanitary and phytosanitary rules based on scientific principles to provide a favorable environment for trade and technological development.
17. We, the Ministers, having noted the territorial diversity of the BRICS countries recall the recognition of the concepts of pest- or disease-free areas and areas of low pest or disease prevalence and that safe agricultural trade should take into consideration the level of prevalence of specific diseases or pests, the existence of eradication or control programs, and appropriate criteria or guidelines developed by the relevant international organizations. Under the frameworks of IPPC and OIE, BRICS countries should enhance communication to facilitate the evaluation procedure of certification application in the pest or disease free areas and production or processing sites including of low pest or disease prevalence areas and sites. We urge countries to evaluate requests for recognition of regional conditions and sanitary or phytosanitary status in accordance with the relevant international standards, guidelines or recommendations.
18. We acknowledge that sustainable farming includes the integration of systems and practices used in the production of plants and animals for human consumption. This also includes the improvement of environmental quality and the natural resource base on which the agricultural economy depends, and that will sustain the economic viability of agricultural processes and improve the quality of life of producers and society as a whole.
19. We recognize the role that modern biotechnology, including new breeding techniques, can play in increasing productivity using less land and inputs and in helping countries to face the challenge of producing food under climate change effects. It constitutes an essential tool for agricultural innovation and its use can contribute for food security and biodiversity conservation in a sustainable way. To address such challenges, we agree to develop operational plans to meet the aims and objectives of the agricultural research platform.
20. We share the commitment to improve efficiency through increased productivity and reduced costs, and to expand the use of integrated and sustainable systems of plant and animal production, to increase the use of precision farming, irrigation and elements of digital agriculture.
21. We commit to implementing mechanisms that can increase the participation of sustainable biofuels and other renewable energy sources in our energy matrix, which could lead to the recovery of degraded areas for agricultural use or for environmental conservation purposes through public policies and the development of appropriate technologies.
22. We support environment-friendly technologies adaptable for developing countries that seek the reduction of food loss and waste through the development of improved packaging, storage techniques, handling, transportation, processing, regulatory framework, awareness campaigns, food bank and other strategies. Therefore, we shall coordinate the development of methods, indicators and certification protocols for sustainable systems and environmental services.
23. We encourage the measures to prevent soil erosion, including the protection of river banks with native vegetation to improve water quality and biodiversity and promote the farms holding area for natural or diverse vegetation, preferably with low water consumption. We reaffirm our commitment with environment protection and its importance to the agri-food production.
24. We recognize that, in addition to the impacts on farmers' income, the sustainable intensification of agricultural production and factor productivity positively impact society and the environment, through the reduction in the relative need for the use of traditional factors of production, mainly land and inputs. We further recognize the importance of organic farming for the health of both environment and humankind. There is a need to facilitate smooth trade of organic products between BRICS countries and for mutual recognition of standards and certifications developed by Member countries.
25. We also underline the need to increase the role of women in farming and resolve to work towards their recognition as major contributors to agriculture systems, to enable the·m to become equal beneficiaries therein.
26. We affirm the potential to present further opportunities and enhance our collaboration in the areas of food productivity, food safety and environmental security. This can be achieved through good agricultural practices, developing digital agriculture and value chains for better agricultural marketing with better income to the farmers. While we may take comfort and satisfaction from the road we have covered so far, the journey ahead offers limitless opportunities. With our collective will, determination and sincere endeavor, we can achieve far greater heights in our relations through proactive and concerted efforts on our cooperation for agriculture.
27. We express our gratitude to the Ministry of Agriculture, Livestock and Food Supply of the Federative Republic of Brazil for organizing and hosting the Ninth Meeting of BRICS Ministers of Agriculture, and we pledge our support and encouragement to which will be hosting our next meeting.
Vice-Minister of Agriculture
Head of Delegation
Republic of India
Deputy Minister of Agriculture
Republic of South Africa
Vice-Minister of Agriculture
People's Republic of China
Tereza Cristina Correa Costa Dias
Minister of Agriculture, Livestock and Food Supply
Federative Republic of Brazil
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Source: Official website of Brazil's 2019 BRICS Presidency