Sara Kianpour from our ONE France office reports on the G20 Agriculture meeting in Paris.
G20 ministers of agriculture are in Paris this week to decide the fate of the entire world’s small holder farmers. These small farmers spend between 50 and 80 percent of their income on food, and in the 21st century, this fact is alarming.
At ONE, we hope that this data will give the G20 ministers of agriculture a good reason to find sustainable solutions to stop excessive speculation on commodities that affects the poorest.
Therefore, we recommend some concrete measures for the G20 Agriculture to be a success:
Fulfill L’Aquila commitments: Almost two years after the G8 Summit of L’Aquila in 2009, donors still have yet to declare precise when and how they are going to deliver their promises. Donors must urgently and rapidly fulfill their L’Aquila commitments on aid quality and quantity for agricultural development and food security. G8 and other L’Aquila Food Security Initiative contributors, including G20 members that endorsed the statement on the AFSI and had pledged to provide technical assistance, must clarify and deliver on these commitments.
Finance the GAFSP: New and existing donors should finance the Global Agriculture and Food Security Program (GAFSP). In less than a year it has quickly disbursed grants to well-developed, results-oriented country-owned plans.
Increase transparency and regulation in food commodity futures markets: The G20 should make more information on grain stocks publicly available and refrain from imposing export bans. This will help prevent extreme food price spikes and temper price volatility. Specifically, the G20 should agree to create position limits on OTC derivatives and index-fund food commodity futures trading; require that all derivatives of food commodities are subject to notification, clearing and monitoring by making position information publicly available; and establish a regulatory body, similar to the US CFTC for European and other market future trading
Develop agricultural risk management tools and social safety-nets: Investments in agricultural risk management and social safety-net programs can ease the impacts of prices spikes and build the resilience of poor countries and farmers to withstand price shocks when they occur.
The G20 Agriculture meeting has, for the first time ever, made agriculture a global topic. At ONE, we just hope that this world first will go down in history. Because a failure will have an impact on the poorest people.
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