The Minister of Agriculture,Patrick Pule Ralotsia departed for Berlin, Germany on Wednesday the 13th to attend the Global Forum on Food and Agriculture summit.
The expected outcome of the summit is adopting a joint Communiqu├®, which will “give impetus to international debates on agricultural policy and processes which is the world’s leading conference for issues related to agriculture and food security”.
Ralotsia has been invited by his German Federal counterpart, the Minister of Food and Agriculture, Mr Christian Schmidt. The theme for the forum is ‘How to feed our cities ÔÇôagriculture and rural areas in an era of urbanisation.”
Botswana delegation will attend debates and present papers on agricultural policy and government initiatives on food security and rural poverty at the summit. The Minister will be accompanied by the Ministry of Agriculture, Deputy Permanent Secretary (Support Services), Mr.Boweditswe Masilo, Acting Chief Executive Officer, National Food Technology Research Centre (NFTRC), Dr Martin Kebakile and a farmer, Balesamang Mosimanegape.
The Minister and his delegation are expected to return on January 18th. In the meantime, the Assistant Minister of Agriculture, Kgotla Autlwetse will be the Acting Minister until Minister Ralotsia returns.
The GFAA will see key international actors coming together to discuss the interconnectedness of urban and rural environments as it pertains to food systems. Nearly 1 billion people are farming in cities across the globe. But while 15-20 percent of the world’s food is currently coming from urban areas, migration of peoples to cities is increasing and could put a strain on the global food system.
As a result, an agricultural policy is necessary to acknowledge this threat, which is what the Global Forum on Food and Agriculture (GFFA) hopes to accomplish by bringing together key international actors from politics, academic, and civil society to engage in discussion and enhance understanding.
Notable exhibitors include the Food and Agriculture Organisation of the United Nations (FAO) and the Global Crop Diversity Trust.
The GFFA was organised by the Federal Ministry of Food, Agriculture and Consumer Protection (BMEL) in cooperation with the Senate of Berlin. Expert panel discussions include such topics as rural communities and transformation, food production, migration, fair trade, and healthy food supplies.
The GFFA represents the world’s largest conference of agriculture ministers, with almost 80 in attendance last year.