Minister Joemat-Pettersson’s message at the 2nd Conference on Agriculture, Food Security and Climate Change

10 Sep 2012

The 2nd Global Conference on Agriculture, Food Security and Climate Change convening under the theme, “Hunger for Action” took place from 3 to 7 September in Hanoi, Vietnam. South African Minister of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries, Ms Tina Joemat-Pettersson was invited to address the delegates.

The Minister’s address focused on the comprehensive rural development strategy linked to land and agrarian reform, including food security. These are driven by both the Masibambisane Rural Development Initiative and other programmes that are driven  by the department through its numerous programmes.

This watershed event allows global leaders, practitioners, scientists, civil society and the private sector to share experiences and demonstrate how early action on Climate-Smart Agriculture can act as a driver of green growth. It was co-organised by Food and Agricultural Organisation (FAO) and the World Bank.

Among the event’s key objectives are to determine effective strategies and practices to scale-up the implementation of Climate-smart Agriculture(CSA) as a driver of sustainable development and green growth; share information, experiences and good practices among public; private and civil society stakeholders; mainstreaming CSA within broader development goals; address drivers and constraints of CSA development, with a particular focus on priorities for improving the enabling environment and for increasing private investment in agriculture and rural development at all levels through the value chain; promote a landscape approach, including enhancing linkages between agriculture and forestry and take stock of implementation of CSA since November 2010.

The Minister was unable to attend the conference, but South Africa’s Ambassador in Vietman, Mr R. S. Moloi, read the statement:

“Agriculture has made great progress since the 1st Global Conference, with a global recognition of the significance of the sector in terms of food security, as well as the challenges faced by the sector. I must record our great appreciation for the role you have played in convincing your governments to place agriculture on the agenda of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change- the climate change forum of the United Nations. After a fair bit of lobbying, but with the eventual support of all countries, agriculture has been included in the statement of COP 17, held in South Africa last December.

The matter has been referred to the Subsidiary Body for Scientific and Technical Advice, and calls have been made to contribute towards a possible work programme. I urge countries to make a submission on this, paying attention to the need to consider both mitigation and adaptation in regard to agriculture. We can stand united as a sector on the need to be more climate-smart about agriculture, with benefits to agriculture and the planet.

Finally, let me indicate our wish that the 3rd Global Conference on Agriculture and Climate Change be convened in South Africa. With support from Vietnam, the Netherlands, the World Bank and the FAO, and working in close collaboration with all other partners, we look forward to hosting this prestigious event. Should you agree to accept this invitation, the people of South Africa stand ready to welcome you to our country.”