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Židan: "Agriculture faces a challenge - climate change is here"

Gornja Radgona, 26 August 2017 - The 55th AGRA International Agricultural and Food Exhibition, under the honorary patronage of the President of the Republic of Slovenia, Borut Pahor, opened its door today. In his keynote address, Minister Dejan Židan drew attention to climate change, which has recently intensively affected the Slovenian agricultural sector, and recalled the initiative for World Bee Day, which is particularly important in the light of pollination and food security in the world. The opening was conducted with a focus on the People's Republic of China, which is the partner country in this year's event. For this reason the Minister of Agriculture of the People's Republic of China, Han Changfu, was among the keynote speakers.

In his address at the opening of the AGRA Fair, Minister Dejan Židan highlighted in particular climate change, which has become part of our everyday life. "At the FAO Conference a few weeks ago we were presented with new information indicating that the number of hungry people in the world has once again been increasing since 2015. Research shows that every ninth inhabitant of the Earth is hungry. This is unacceptable. In addition to the large number of people and war zones where farming is not possible, the main reason for this is climate change, which has become unmanageable in some places. In Slovenia, we are also witnessing climate change, which experts warned of decades ago. Agricultural production, forestry and fisheries are facing a challenge and intense pressure due to this climate change. The development of old insects and the rapid spread of new ones, the fight against bark beetles in forests, warming of the sea and weather changes are facts indicating that Slovenian, European and global agriculture faces serious challenges. Therefore, we have to adapt." In the context of climate change, the Minister drew attention to the importance of the inclusion of Slovenia in the ‘16 + 1’ initiative. "Slovenia is participating in the ’16+1’ initiative because it needs friends. We need a joint search for solutions to deal with the new challenges we face. And we need solidarity," added Minister Židan. In his conclusion, Minister Židan recalled that three years ago, Slovenia launched the initiative for the proclamation of World Bee Day, which is about to be approved by the United Nations. "The initiative at the conceptual stage was first accepted and supported by our Chinese friends. At the FAO Conference, they enthusiastically and unanimously adopted the proposal for the proclamation of World Bee Day by the United Nations. This success must be considered in the broader context. At the global level, the small country of Slovenia draws attention to pollination which is of key importance for the fight against hunger."


The fair was opened by the Slovenian President, Borut Pahor, who in his speech underscored the significance of the AGRA Fair for Slovenian agriculture, politics and the whole of Slovenia. After the opening ceremony, the President, together with ministers and other delegations, toured the AGRA Fair, ending with a stop at the exhibition area of the Ministry of Agriculture, Forestry and Food.



In this area, the interactive pavilion "Bee World" is set up, so visitors can experience the world of bees with all their senses and can take an active part in the initiative for the proclamation of World Bee Day by signing the petition. "Bee World" has been visited by a number of delegations from participating countries, which in the afternoon attended the business conference China CEEC Agribusiness Meeting – a business event following the Agro-trade and Economic Cooperation Forum between China and Central and Eastern European Countries which was held yesterday and on Thursday at Brdo.


Tomorrow morning the day will start with coffee with Minister Židan in the exhibition area of the Ministry of Agriculture, Forestry and Food. This will be followed by numerous activities undertaken by Minister Židan and his staff, who will attend many meetings, gatherings, award and proclamation ceremonies. See more in the events schedule....Two round table discussions will be held in the exhibition area tomorrow. The morning round table discussion is entitled "Are contacts and communication with consumers crucial for the growth of the food sector? (the selected quality scheme - presentation of the autumn campaign)", while the afternoon round table discussion will focus on the year after the establishment of the Slovenian State Forests Company (SiDG) – Are we on the right track? Additionally, at 1 p.m. there will be a round table of the Slovenian Rural Youth Association, where young farmers will present their views about farming in the future, while at 2 p.m. a presentation of the book entitled There is no Life Without Bees will be held by the Slovenian Beekeepers' Association. 


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Audio recordings:

-Press release in the exhibition area, Minister Dejan Židan

-Press release in the exhibition area, Minister Han Changfu