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Innovation in agriculture is key to ending extreme hunger – G20 ministers agree

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6 June 2016 – Extreme poverty and hunger will only be a thing of the past if we are innovative in the way we develop a sustainable and efficient agricultural sector, agreed agricultural ministers from the world’s 20 major economies in Xi’an, China last week.

The G20 Agricultural Ministers Meeting was the first since world leaders agreed to the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), which outline ambitious targets to eliminate extreme poverty and hunger by 2030.

IFAD’s President, Kanayo Nwanze, joined the ministers on 3 June to discuss how G20 members can promote food security, nutrition, sustainable agricultural growth and rural development to achieve the SDGs.

Investing in smallholder farmers is key, he told the ministers.

“Invest in them, and you invest in future opportunities. Abandon them, and you abandon the sustainability of future food systems and economies.”

Member countries of the G20 account for 70 per cent of the world’s farmlands and 80 per cent of the world’s trade, but in the words of Brazil’s Minister Blairo Borges Maggi: “If our achievements don’t benefit our people, they are not enough.”

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