Alliance Holds Meeting of Working Group on Food Security and Environmental Safety
On April 11, the Alliance held the first Working Group Meeting on Food Security and Environmental Safety. The session was moderated by Ms. Zhao Haiying, Chairperson of China Chapter BRICS WBA.
The BRICS countries play a pivotal role in reinforcing global food security and building resilience for agricultural industry chains, so as to implement the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). BRICS countries bear huge potential for agricultural cooperation among each other. BRICS countries possess nearly 45% of the world's rural population, half of irrigated areas, and approximately 60% of agricultural outputs value. Also, the agricultural production and agribusiness trade of the BRICS countries are highly complementary. For instance, China is the world's largest food consumer, while Brazil and Russia are of the most important agriproduct exporters.
At the same time, the participants highlighted the following development challenges, which BRICS countries face:
Agricultural sustainability and food security place new demands on the agrifood system
Constraints in infrastructure, technology, and industry structure prevent the BRICS from creating a more resilient food supply chain
Agricultural participants, especially women in agriculture, are under-empowered
To combat these issues experts also developed some cooperation initiatives to be incorporated into the WBA Annual Report 2022, which will be submitted to the State Leaders during the Summit:
To strengthen dialogues and exchanges in agricultural & rural development through various platforms: "Belt and Road Initiative", the UN "South-South Cooperation", New Development Bank, BRICS Agriculture Cooperation Forum
To improve financial inclusion for women in agriculture through financial empowerment
To further agriculture digitalization and promote gender equality in agriculture with technology empowerment. The WBA Digital Platform, led by Russia, should be further developed to serve as a platform for exchanging experiences and information
To deepen agricultural technicalization and build smart agricultural systems. BRICS should promote investment in R&D and application of smart farming and agricultural technologies
To create an efficient and green system for BRICS agrifood industry chains. Members should utilize existing platforms, e.g. BRICS Organic Farming Associations, to strengthen cooperation and exchange in sustainable farming
To facilitate cross-border trade in agrifood industry and to build strong cooperation on standards harmonization.