By using this website, you consent to our use of cookies. For more information on cookies see our privacy policy page.

Text Size: a a
Home A-Z Index Subscribe/RSS Contact Us Twitter logo small white bird

Smith Calls For Joined-up Approach to Tackle Hunger and Climate Change at OECD Ministerial in Paris

The Minister for Agriculture, Fisheries and Food, Brendan Smith TD, today called for a "joined-up" approach by the international community to the twin challenges of fighting hunger and dealing with climate change.  He was speaking at the OECD in Paris during a two-day meeting with fellow ministers responsible for agriculture and food.

The Minister highlighted what he said was the key issue of food security particularly in the context of a global population, that is expected to reach 9 billion by 2050.

"The global agri-food sector will be challenged to provide safe, nutritious food for this growing population. Ireland, with its fully integrated export and market orientated industry comprising high standards of food safety and quality, has an important role to play in contributing to the international security of food supply for consumers beyond this island" he said.

Minister Smith also stressed the importance of the European model of agriculture, which has multi-functionality at its core.  He said this model "encourages a competitive and consumer focussed agricultural sector, while at the same time providing other services to society such as respect for animal welfare, regard for the environment and protection of rural areas".  In this respect he pointed to the importance of having a strong and well-resourced Common Agricultural Policy after 2013.

The Minister added that "the issue of climate change is one of the most important challenges facing mankind and that the agriculture sector is faced with the twin challenges of doubling food production and dealing with climate change at the same time".  He called for continued research on the issue in order to find new technical solutions and called for collaboration and the sharing of information between countries in order to achieve the desired outcomes.

This OECD ministerial meeting, the first since 1998 is the Minister said "a useful forum for countries to discuss different policy options thereby ensuring a greater understanding of individual countries viewpoints". This, he said "helps to achieve greater coherence and better decision making in framing and implementing global agricultural policies".   He said it is particularly timely to have this meeting now given the unique set of challenges and opportunities facing the food and agricultural sectors across the world.

Finally Minister Smith said that he is looking forward to continuing his discussions with his counterparts over a working dinner later this evening and at tomorrow's meeting.

Date Released: 25 February 2010