THIRD MEETING OF THE BRICS MINISTERS OF AGRICULTURE AND AGRARIAN DEVELOPMENT
PRETORIA, SOUTH AFRICA:
29 OCTOBER 2013
We, the Ministers of Agriculture and Agrarian Development of the Federative Republic of Brazil, the Russian Federation, the Republic of India, the People’s Republic of China and the Republic of South Africa met in Pretoria, South Africa for the 3rd Meeting of BRICS Ministers of Agriculture and Agrarian Development on October 29, 2013 under the theme: “The negative effect of climate change on world food security”. Our cooperation in the sector of agriculture and agrarian development was characterized by in-depth discussions on common interests and challenges with the view of finding lasting solutions. We therefore;
1. Noted the “eThekwini Declaration” that was adopted at the 5th BRICS Summit held in Durban, South Africa on March 27, 2013, which encourages ongoing agricultural cooperation amongst the BRICS countries.
2. Noted that the BRICS countries are actively implementing the consensus reached during the 2nd Meeting of BRICS Ministers of Agriculture and Agrarian Development that was held in Chengdu, the People’s Republic of China in 2011.
3. Noted that the BRICS countries conducted pragmatic cooperation and adopted tangible measures to boost domestic agricultural productivity, which has played a positive role in contributing to food security and promoting economic stability.
4. Recognised that the BRICS countries are an important grouping to deal with the global food crisis, promote global economic recovery and play an important role in global initiatives on food security.
5. Welcomed and endorsed the outcome and recommendations, as outlined in the Progress Report contained in the Minutes of the 3rd Meeting of BRICS Agriculture Cooperation Working Group held in Pretoria, South Africa on 26–27 August 2013 in preparation of the 3rd BRICS Ministers of Agriculture and Agrarian Development meeting.
6. Welcomed the exploratory discussions aimed at establishing the Basic Agricultural Information Exchange System of BRICS countries, while noting that such a system should not be a duplication of the Agriculture Marketing Information System (AMIS) created under the G20 and administered by the Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO) of the United Nations.
7. Reaffirmed our support for such a system as a platform for sharing information and called upon our technical experts to continue to work together for the timely development of the system.
8. Acknowledged that climate change is one of the greatest challenges which adversely impacts agriculture and food security in all countries, particularly developing countries. To this effect our experts held a Seminar in South Africa on 23-25 October 2013 on ‘’Agriculture and Climate Change’’.
9. Noted that in addressing food insecurity all efforts must be geared towards enhancing agricultural production and adaptability of agricultural systems to climate change, especially for smallholder farmers.
10. Agreed to cooperate in research, development and application of technologies that enable agriculture to adapt to the effects of climate change.
11. Acknowledged that the internationally agreed development goals, such as the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs), address the needs of developing countries, many of which continue to face developmental challenges, like widespread poverty and inequality.
12. Noted that the volatility in the price and supply of food and other commodities as well as constrained financial resources have compounded the food insecurity for developing countries.
13. Reiterated that individual countries, especially in Africa and other developing countries of the South, cannot achieve the MDGs on their own and therefore the centrality of Goal 8 on Global Partnership for Development to achieve the MDGs should remain at the core of the global development discourse for the United Nations (UN) system.
14. Reiterated our openness to increase engagement and co-operation with other countries, in particular developing countries and relevant international and regional organisations in the field of agriculture.
15. Reaffirmed the expectation of the BRICS Leaders’ meeting held in St Petersburg on 5 September 2013 that the 9th World Trade Organization’s (WTO) Ministerial Conference scheduled for 3–6 December 2013 in Bali, Indonesia will be a stepping stone to the successful and balanced conclusion of the Doha Development Round.
16. Expressed the hope that consensus will be reached on food security, export competition and the key developmental concerns of the poorest and most vulnerable WTO members and would be addressed during the ninth WTO Ministerial meeting. We will therefore cooperate in the work undertaken in the build-up and during the WTO Ministerial meeting.
17. Agreed on sharing information, policies and best practices to address common problems faced by BRICS countries in agricultural development.
18. Resolved that the enhancement of agricultural cooperation among BRICS countries is of great significance for ensuring global food security and agricultural development towards attaining sustainable development, eradicating poverty and achieving the UN MDGs.
19. Reaffirmed our commitment to strengthen areas of cooperation, namely, information exchange, food security, climate change, agricultural innovation and trade and investment and gradually expand the cooperation so as to address the other challenges to food security.
20. Reaffirmed our commitment to assist other developing countries in enhancing agricultural productivity, paying particular attention to smallholder farmers, women and youth to improve world food security.
21. Welcomed the establishment of the “BRICS Strategic Alliance for Agricultural Technology Cooperation”, which will combine our efforts in addressing major challenges in agriculture.
22. Agreed to intensify the exchange and cooperation in areas such as agriculture research and development and capacity building.
23. Noted that cooperation in agricultural trade and investment is vital for mutual development. We recognised the need to increase trade and investment in the agricultural sector through activities such as participation in exhibitions, trade fairs and investment fora.
24. Resolved to forge a stronger partnership for common agriculture and agrarian development and endorsed the 2013/14 Calendar of Events for Agriculture Cooperation Working Group of BRICS.
25. Welcomed the United Nations’ Declaration of 2014 as the International Year of Family Farming (IYFF) and committed to support the common agenda of events.
26. The Russian Federation, the Republic of India, the People’s Republic of China and the Republic of South Africa conveyed their appreciation to the Federative Republic of Brazil for its offer to host the 4th Meeting of the BRICS Ministers of Agriculture and Agrarian Development in 2014 and expressed their full support thereof.
27. Brazil, Russia, India and China expressed their deep appreciation to South Africa for hosting the 3rd BRICS Ministerial meeting.