Berlin Agriculture Ministers’ Conference

Berlin Agriculture Ministers’ Conference

Berlin Agriculture Ministers’ Conference 2023

Berlin Agriculture Ministers‘ Conference: 64 Ministers adopt the final communiqué

64 Agriculture Ministers adopted an ambitious final communiqué at the 15th Berlin Agriculture Ministers’ Conference, part of the Global Forum for Food and Agriculture (GFFA). The GFFA 2023 addresses the issue of: “Food Systems Transformation: A Worldwide Response to Multiple Crises”. The Ukranian President Zelenskyy sent an appeal to the Minister of Agriculture.
Food security must be a priority on the local and global agenda alike. It is high time to realise the right to adequate food. 2030 is only seven years away – not much time is left to realise the Sustainable Developments Goals (SDGs) of the United Nations.

The number of people affected by hunger is continuing to rise.  In 2021, between 702 and 828 million people in the world suffered from hunger, 46 million more people than in 2020 and 150 million more people than in 2019. In addition to the climate crisis, the extinction of species and the COVID-19 pandemic, the Russian war of aggression against Ukraine has become a new driving force in this crisis of global food security. The world is currently facing the worst food crisis since World War II.

On 21 January 2023, Federal Minister Özdemir welcomed 64 minister colleagues from all around the world to the Agriculture Ministers‘ Conference by the Federal Ministry of Food and Agriculture as part of the Global Forum for Food and Agriculture (GFFA).

They adopted a joint communiqué which can be downloaded here in German and English.

The joint communiqué of the Agriculture Ministers includes unambiguous wording on the Russian war of aggression against Ukraine and the resulting global food insecurity. The Ukranian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy called upon the Agriculture Ministers to support the Grain for Ukraine initiative.

„Never before so many overlapping crises had to be solved all at the same time in order to realise the right to food.“
Cem Özdemir, Federal Minister of Agriculture

The final communiqué includes ambitious goals

The Ministers of Agriculture agree on the following:

  • The right to adequate food must be realised. It is high time to realise the agenda 2030.
  • In particular the young generation, women and smallholders must be supported.
  • Multilateralism must be promoted in face of the multiple crises: hunger, energy and climate crisis, extinction of species.
  • The global community must stand united.
  • Transformation towards resilient and sustainable food systems must be supported and sped up.

International cooperation – strengthening multilaterale collaboration

The Berlin Agriculture Ministers‘ Conference is the political highlight of the GFFA. Over four days, thousands of high-level policy-makers, entrepreneurs and representatives from civil society met again face to face for the first time since 2020. They discussed key questions of global food and agriculture at the leading global conference on this issue.

Parliamentary State Secretary Dr. Ophelia Nick opened the conference on 19 January.

“Food Systems Transformation: A Worldwide Response to Multiple Crises”: Under the title of the event, experts discussed how global food security may be achieved in face of the multiple crises.


Doorstep and Opening

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Speech Volodymyr Zelenskyy

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Press Conference

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Excellencies, ladies and Gentlemen,

  1. [Thank you so much for inviting me to speak today].
  2. For those who don’t know me, my name is Sherrie Silver. I am from Rwanda and I moved to the UK with my family.
  3. Agriculture is in my roots. My grandfather had a farm with cows and goats. My grandma planted yams and has banana trees.
  4. As a dance choreographer and entrepreneur, I travel all over the world. But I make sure that I am back in Rwanda as often as possible. It’s part of who I am.
  5. And I try to give back by supporting young Africans in Rwanda, Uganda and Nigeria to achieve their dreams.
  6. For millions of young people growing up in rural communities, those dreams are of farming.
  7. So I am here today to tell you that if we are going to transform food systems and protect the Earth’s precious resources, we need to work for and with young people.
  8. Young people will need decent employment. Food systems can offer that. And they will need to eat well. Food systems must supply that.
  9. One thing that stands out to me in Kigali the sheer number of young people.
  10. Here in Germany, the average age is 45.71. In Rwanda it’s 20. There are young people everywhere! Four out of ten people are under 15. Youths have the energy and the talent to change the world.
  11. And they have so much to offer. Bill Gates started Microsoft when he was only 19. David Karp founded Tumblr when he was 21. Malala Yousafzai won the Nobel Peace Prize at 17. Young people have so much potential.
  12. But people can only reach their potential if someone invests in them. 
  13. We need to help them unleash their full capacity. That’s why I am a youth advocate for IFAD, the International Fund for Agricultural Development. IFAD works in remote and often forgotten areas, where poverty and hunger ruin lives. It’s investments transform lives and create opportunities and a brighter future for young people.
  14. This work has taken me to Cameroon and Ghana, where I met young farmers. They touched my heart. They were hard working and innovative.
  15. But they asked for more investment and more support from government, donors, and the international community. Too often, youth lack access to land, financing, training and other tools they need to improve their lives.
  16. The impact of climate change on agriculture is already threatening global food systems. And for young people in rural areas looking for decent work, this makes them particularly vulnerable.
  17. We need young people to help us grow more food while respecting the Earth’s resources. But – first — youths need our support.Ladies and gentlemen,
  18. Young people will inherit this earth. They are well aware of the problems ahead, and they want to be part of the solution, to create a better future for themselves and their children.
  19. We need young people in rural areas to use their energy and creativity to drive the positive change we need. But we also need to make agriculture more attractive to young people, by investing in rural infrastructure and digital technologies. And by
    making sure farmers are connected to markets and earn a fair price for the food they grow.
  20. I would like to thank Germany for its leadership in food issues, and for its strong support for IFAD and for programmes for youth.
  21. And I would like to ask all of you to work with your governments to increase support to agriculture initiatives that priorities youth. Organisations like IFAD that work with young people in rural areas need to be fully funded.
  22. Working together, we can ensure a bright future for young people in modern food systems – so they can build the future they want and deserve – and feed a hungry world.
  23. Thank you


Last September, I spent a few days with UNICEF in Turkana County – in the Horn of Africa – to meet with people who are suffering from the historic drought that is wreaking havoc on communities there.

Turkana County – and other parts of the Horn of Africa – have suffered 4 consecutive failed rainy seasons. The drought is killing crops – there is no pasture for the livestock and water sources are drying up everywhere.

The ongoing emergency in the Horn of Africa is depriving children of clean, fresh water, of food, or livelihoods, and access to life-saving health services.

It is keeping them from the classroom, and forcing their families to move.

The climate crisis is not just robbing them of their futures.

It is robbing them of their present.

It is robbing them of their very survival.

Over those days, I spent time with people who have done literally nothing to create the climate crisis – but who are suffering its worst impacts.

I spent time with mums who are desperately trying to keep their young ones alive – trying to find food and water to sustain their families’ lives for another week, another day – another hour.

I spent time with their children who are clinging to life.

Often we are given statistics.

In the run up to this forum, the Federal Ministry of Food and Agriculture stated that in 2021, between 702 and 828 million people in the world suffered from hunger.

Statistics are important.

But we must remember we are not just talking about statistics.

We are here to talk about real people.

I want to tell you about one of the people I had the chance to meet while I was in Turkana County with UNICEF.

I met a young boy in a hospital where the worst cases of severe acute malnutrition are referred and treated.

It was devastating for me to see, especially when there are available solutions that can be put in place to stop children from  suffering like this.

Unfortunately, this child’s family was not able to access the proper services in time for him to receive the treatment that he  needed.

By the time the sun set that evening, sadly, he had passed away.

This is one story about how the climate crisis is affecting people all around the world – especially in the Global South.

This is the face of the climate crisis.

The climate crisis is not some distant, future threat.

I want to speak directly now to the agriculture ministers who are gathered here.

There is not much time left to reach the United Nations Sustainable Development Goal of “zero hunger”.

The year 2030 is only eight harvests away.

But the mums and children that I met in the Horn of Africa – and the millions of people on the frontlines of the climate crisis all around the world – do not have until 2030.

People – real people – are starving.

They need your help.

They need you to take action.

And they need you to do it now.

Thank you


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