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This week Berlin emphasizing the importance of food and agriculture

Slovenia impressed and attracted attention with its "World Bee Day" initiative and the Bee World pavilion, Berlin 21 January 2017 –The 9th Global Forum for Food and Agriculture (GFFA) and Agriculture 8th Ministers’ Summit was held in Berlin this week as part of the 82nd International Green Week (IGW). The Ministers’ Summit focused on "Agriculture and Water – Key to Feeding the World", while the Global Forum identified water, food and agriculture as challenges for farmers and the food industry. Today’s events are attended by more than 80 ministers and other senior representatives from countries from all over the world. Slovenia will be represented by Minister Dejan Židan, who will, at the close of his visit to Berlin, also meet with Slovenians living there.

 

On the second day of his visit to Germany Minister Dejan Židan participated at the Agriculture Ministers' Summit, where representatives from more than 80 countries around the world discussed the strategic global issue of the world’s growing population and how to address this challenge to ensure a sufficient amount of food considering the limited natural resources. The central issue of the “Agriculture and Water – Key to Feeding the World” was very topical for this time, and the ministers highlighted that water is of key importance for ensuring the right to food, and, in particular, stressed the importance of water as drinking water and as a means for ensuring a balanced system. "Conservation, protection and sustainable use of water, as one of the key natural resources for agriculture, are the global challenge of the 21st Century," pointed out Minister Židan. According to the Minister, the right to food is a basic human right, just like the right to water. "For this reason, Slovenia accordingly adopted a decision last November to enshrine the right to water in its Constitution, thereby guaranteeing the sustainable provision of drinking water to its population and households, and protecting water sources from private interests as a public good managed by the state."  In his words, water must be of sufficient quality to ensure the safety of agricultural products and maintain high-quality soil ecosystems. He concluded by adding that further development and our joint efforts for the prosperity of our society and a future without poverty and hunger depend on how effectively we are able to harmonise food production and sustainable water management.

 

At the meeting the ministers expressed their awareness that the agriculture sector should assume its share of responsibility for the maintenance of good status of water bodies, including the quality and quantity of water. By signing the declaration, the ministers at the Berlin Summit called for action and, with a view to protect the production and access to safe and quality food for a growing world population and taking into account the local circumstances of each country, they committed themselves to meeting the following four challenges:

-Enhancing access to water;

-Improving water quality;

-Reducing water scarcity risks;

-Effective managing of surplus water;

In their conclusions, the ministers agreed to continue the responsible management of water as a scarce resource and contribute to safeguarding water quality through sustainable water management and production methods in agriculture. The Ministers’ Summit concluded that agriculture needs adequate and reliable access to water of sufficient quality as a production resource in order to feed the growing world population without endangering water resources and compromising the drinking water supply. 

 

The main topic of the afternoon's Global Forum for Food and Agriculture was "Water, food and agriculture as challenges for farmers and the food industry". The participants at the Forum stressed that water is a limited natural resource and distributed very unevenly. In the future, the agricultural sector should use water in a more efficient and sustainable way and adjust the food supply to a growing world population. They pointed out that some regions of the world already suffer from extreme water shortages. According to the speakers, this situation will be exacerbated if overuse, loss and pollution of available water resources continue. "Agriculture is one of the major consumers of water and, therefore, it does not have only a great responsibility but also a great potential for using water more efficiently and sustainably”, they highlighted at the Global Forum.

 

At the close of his visit to Germany, Minister Židan will also meet with Slovenians living in Berlin. 

 

The International Green Week in Berlin, the world’s largest consumer fair for food, agriculture and horticulture, with Slovenia's exhibition stand located in Hall 18, will run until 29 January. Again this year Slovenia is featuring its own exhibition area. Slovenia impressed and attracted attention with its "World Bee Day" initiative and the Bee World pavilion. The pavilion was also visited by a large number of foreign delegations, including FAO Director-General Jose Graziano da Silva, EU Agriculture Commissioner Phil Hogan, German Federal Agriculture Minister, the current holder of the EU Council Presidency, the Maltese Agriculture Minister and other ministers from numerous countries. This year, visitors to the fair also have the chance to get more familiar with Slovenian food, beer and wine at the Slovenian pavilion. In addition to traditional Slovenian dishes, visitors can try culinary specialities with honey, evocative of the World Bee Day initiative. Slovenian companies involved in beekeeping and in the sale of beekeeping products are also presented.