Yesterday, in the leading up to this year’s Global Forum for Food and Agriculture (2022 GFFA), the President of the World Farmers’ Organisation (WFO), Theo de Jager, together with Joachim Rukwied, President of Deutscher Bauernverband e. V. (DBV) met virtually the Young Farmers group joining the 2022 GFFA International Young Farmers’ Forum, including a delegation of promising future farmers’ leaders from the new class attending the WFO Gymnasium Programme.
The Global Forum for Food and Agriculture is an international conference on central issues of global agricultural and food policies. It is hosted by the Federal Ministry of Food and Agriculture (BMEL) in Berlin on an annual basis.
The 2022 GFFA will occur virtually from 24 to 28 January and will be focusing on the theme “Sustainable Land Use: Food Security Starts with the Soil”.
“Young Farmers own the future more than anyone else”
“Nothing gives me more joy to engage with Young Farmers” – started WFO President – “Young Farmers own the future more than anyone else. This is why it is so important that we discuss sustainable land use with them this year”.
President Theo de Jager immediately got to the heart of the issue, pointing out the role of farmers when discussing sustainable land use: “The land is at the bottom of everything we do in agriculture“.
“We, farmers, are land users by the very nature of our profession”
“Now, why is it important for us to talk about these matters? Because we, farmers, are land users by the very nature of our profession.”
Still, countries have rules and regulations that set limits to what farmers can do on their land and how to do it, “because the land belongs to humanity, belongs to our planet, more than anything else. It belongs to our children and their children,” stated President De Jager during his speech.
“Let’s pledge to each other that each one of us will leave this small portion of the planet of which we are the custodians in a better condition than when found it”
Closing his speech, the WFO President wanted to challenge the meeting participants to buy into his dream: “Let’s pledge to each other that each one of us will leave this small portion of the planet of which we are the custodians in a better condition than when we found it. Can you imagine if half of the farmers in the world could do that?”.
From Mexico to Sweden, the Young Farmers attending the meeting really appreciated this occasion of sharing that provided impetus to the next week exchange during the GFFA International Young Farmers’ Forum. The insights of this discussion will feed into the joint declaration Young Farmers will present at the Berlin Agriculture Ministers’ Conference on 28 January.