Dacian Cioloş European Commissioner for Agriculture and Rural Development spoke at the G20/Rio de Janeiro 21 June 2012 outlining why sustainable agriculture is so important and the need for CAP reform.

I believe that food security and fighting poverty in countries confronted with these problems, depends a lot on their ability to develop a sustainable productivity. Yes, we have to use new technologies but new technologies cannot and will not replace our responsibilities regarding the life of people working in agriculture. New technologies will have to respect the free access of today’s and tomorrow’s farmers to healthy, renewable natural resources.
Why is sustainable agriculture so important?

  • Farmers manage 40% of the land on our planet Earth. The link between agriculture and natural resources is unbreakable.
  • For over 25% of the world’s population, farming is the main source of income. It accounts for 65% of the jobs in developing countries.
  • About 500 million smallholdings of less than 2 hectares provide a living and food for 2 billion people in Asia and in Africa.

Imagine what even a small gain of productivity multiplied by half a billion could mean for food security at global level.

With a steady increase of food demand, with already nearly one billion people undernourished, farmers have a difficult mission.

The natural resources are getting scarce; farming can make the difference: positive or negative…. As policy makers, we have the responsibility to offer farmers solutions and support for sustainable agriculture.

Cioloş said he believed that sustainable farming can make a positive difference.

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