24 Jan 2018

Young Farmers' Statement @ Global Forum for Food and Agriculture 2018

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Ms. Sarah Crofoot Young Farmer from New Zealand, Mr. Christian Schmidt German Federal Minister of Food and Agriculture and Mr. Denis Kabiito Young Farmer from Uganda. Credit: http://www.gffa-berlin.de

During the Berlin Agriculture Ministers’ Conference 2018 held last Saturday in the context of the Global Forum for Food and Agriculture, Ms. Sarah Crofoot from New Zealand and Mr. Denis Kabiito from Uganda delivered the statement on behalf of the Young Farmers of the World.

"We, the young farmers of the world, gathered in Berlin this week to discuss the subject of shaping the future of livestock: sustainably, responsibly, and efficiently.

A positive and constructive discussion on global challenges and opportunities, fueled by the enormous diversity in our backgrounds and expertise, informed this statement.

Young farmers want to underline the importance of livestock production for agriculture and rural communities. The cultural, economic and environmental value of livestock for global society cannot be underestimated. Livestock production provides high quality products, including safe nutritious food. These can be produced from inputs that are not fit for direct human consumption.

The key challenges we are facing as young farmers are: to achieve economic stability, to reconnect citizens to our agricultural society, to adapt to and mitigate climate change, to deal with the spreading of untamed diseases and to further improve the management of our farms, in order to be able to produce livestock in a sustainable, responsible and efficient way, and feed a hungry planet.

To tackle these challenges we would like your attention, support and implementation in our countries on the following:

1. Invest in integrated research and development to improve the understanding of the present challenges in collaboration with the farming industry. A stronger and implemented collaboration between farmers, industry and researchers can ensure accessible, beneficial and applicable solutions.

2. Global strategies and decisions need to be based on facts and science.

3. Ensure a regulatory environment which is empowering and not restrictive to in-novation.

4. Involve young farmers in the decision making process as we are connected, educated and innovative. We are willing to collaborate in order to find new and efficient solutions to the challenges facing us all.

5. Collaborate with us in delivering accurate and transparent information to consumers. By sharing our knowledge, values and role in society we can help consumers make informed decisions.

6. Implement frameworks to facilitate dialogue between farmers. Exchange of knowledge and data around the world can help in finding innovative solutions to our global challenges.

7. Generational renewal is a primary condition for the sustainability of livestock production. Immediate action needs to take place to improve the accessibility to land use, capital and labor for young farmers.

8. International cooperation is needed to address disease and epidemiological risks in livestock production, thereby ensuring food accessibility, safety and security.

9. Support strategies for farmers that ensure the efficient use of limited resources in our desire to produce more with less at a farm level.

We, young farmers of the world, are eager to work in collaboration with the governments, the public, the private industry, researchers and each other. Let´s mobilize the talent and dedication of our generation to develop solutions to the challenges we face now and in the future.

We thank the German Ministry of Food and Agriculture for the invitation to take part in this special event. We appreciate the opportunity to engage in the discussion and urge you to keep involving young farmers and their representative organizations in the future."

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