6th Forum for the Future of Agriculture (FFA)
March 06, 2013
FFA turns spotlight on sustainable intensification of food production
On March 5, the 6th Forum for the Future of Agriculture (FFA) took place in Brussels. Organized in partnership by Syngenta and the European Landowners’ Organization (ELO), the event focused on the challenges of sustainable intensification of food production. Much of the discussions also touched on the forthcoming reform of the EU Common Agriculture Policy (CAP).
John Atkin, COO of Syngenta, joined a panel discussion on the CAP and the food value chain, where he commented on the upcoming reform: “Over EUR 360 billion will be spent on the new CAP, but it has to be more than farm subsidies if it’s going to lead to the sustainable intensification of agriculture, and provide value for Europe’s taxpayer.”
John highlighted that the CAP must also be part of a legislative framework that supports innovation in agriculture: “The EU’s track record on this is poor: an increasingly conservative approach is resulting in unnecessary restrictions on some technologies needed by farmers to be productive, competitive, and sustainable in the global market. The new CAP must also incentivize farmers to adopt solutions − such as the pollen-rich flowering field margins of Operation Pollinator, which provide habitat and nutrition essential to the survival of bees.”
Enabling Africa to feed itself
In a session on the agricultural development in Africa, the delegates were in agreement that to realize the great potential and to tackle malnutrition and poverty, growers need access to modern inputs, infrastructure and markets as well as motivating pricing policies. Akinwumi Adesina, Minister for Agriculture and Rural Development in Nigeria, also emphasized the importance of modernizing African agriculture to make it more attractive for young people. Syngenta intends to play a leading role in supporting agricultural transformation on the continent, which is reflected by our commitment to build a $1 billion business in Africa over the next 10 years.
Other major topics of debate were food waste, bio-based economy, and sustainable intensification and resource efficiency. To increase production on existing land while preserving ecosystems and biodiversity, the FFA delegates called for new forms of public-private partnerships generating practical solutions that are easy to adopt on farms across Europe.