Working with G20 partners on global food security

5 May, 2015

Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister for Agriculture, Senator Richard Colbeck, will today arrive in Turkey to represent the Australian Government at the G20 meeting of Agriculture Ministers.

Senator Colbeck said the meeting would focus on global food security issues and long-term goals for the G20 such as increasing investment, jobs and productivity.

"The G20 allows Australia to work with member countries to support the world's economic growth - in terms of agriculture our focus is to boost agricultural productivity and to improve global food security," Senator Colbeck said.

"The world's population is growing and food demand set to increase, making it an important and complex global challenge to ensure that populations have access to nutritious food in the future."

The Food and Agriculture Organisation of the United Nations estimate that to feed the world's projected population in 2050 we need to increase global food production by about 70 per cent.

Senator Colbeck said this would be a big task and that G20 countries need to do everything possible to boost agricultural productivity and minimise food waste, which is estimated to be around a third of all food produced globally.

"This forum is a great opportunity for G20 nations to work together to improve global food security, and Australia can keep playing an important role in these global efforts," he said.

"Not only are we a supplier of agricultural products to global markets, but we can also share our world-leading expertise and research on agricultural productivity and sustainability. There is also an opportunity to learn valuable lessons by teaming up with other countries and sharing experience and knowledge.

Senator Colbeck said the visit would provide a chance conduct meetings with other G20 partners to explore opportunities for trade, information sharing and collaboration.

"I'll be visiting a range of sites including a forestry research facility, fisheries institutes, freshwater fish farm and an agricultural research centre. This will be a valuable opportunity to find out more about Turkey's production and any innovations or efficiencies that could benefit Australia," Senator Colbeck said.

"I also hope to meet with other G20 members to advance our work on issues like illegal fishing and logging, as well as the government's free trade agenda.

"Strong international partnerships are essential to a healthy, growing and resilient global economy and it's important that Australia is an active member in international forums like the G20."

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