G7 Farm Ministers Commit to Sustainable Food Production, Support for Ukraine

Pool photo / The Yomiuri Shimbun
G7 members and representatives from international organizations attend the Agriculture Ministers’ Meeting in Miyazaki on Saturday.

MIYAZAKI — The two-day G7 Agriculture Ministers’ Meeting ended Sunday with a communique that confirmed the strengthening of cooperation on food security to expand production as well as support for agricultural production in Ukraine.

“We commit to promote policies that support sustainable productivity growth” to strengthen food security, the ministers’ communique read.

Against the backdrop of instability of food supplies caused by Russia’s invasion of Ukraine and climate change, the communique included a policy to promote expansion of production by using existing domestic resources effectively, stating that G7 members will aim to “achieve sufficient and sustainable production in the medium and long term to feed the growing global population.”

During the meeting in Miyazaki, the ministers from chair Japan, France, the United States, United Kingdom, Germany, Italy, Canada and the European Union, along with invited organizations, exchanged opinions on themes such as expanding production and diversifying supply chains in response to concerns about food shortages.

French Agriculture and Food Sovereignty Minister Marc Fesneau called for the necessity to strengthen food security, saying that Russia’s illegal aggression had shown that food could become a weapon.

Ukraine, one of the world’s leading grain exporters, has had its farmland and related facilities damaged due to the invasion, which has also adversely affected the food situation in developing countries.

“We stand ready to support the recovery and reconstruction of Ukraine,” the G7 ministers stated in the communique.

The Yomiuri Shimbun
Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries Minister Tetsuro Nomura speaks at a joint press conference after the end of the G7 Agriculture Ministers’ Meeting in Miyazaki on Sunday.

Japanese Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries Minister Tetsuro Nomura told Ukraine’s Agrarian Policy and Food Minister Mykola Solskyi, who attended the meeting virtually, that Japan would support the rebuilding of damaged irrigation and other related infrastructure in Ukraine.

The G7 members discussed sustainable agricultural production amid frequent droughts and other extreme weather events that have had a negative impact on agriculture.

The same day the communique was released, the ministers also adopted an action plan called Miyazaki Actions to achieve more production and sustainable agriculture and food systems.

In Kurashiki, Okayama Prefecture, the two-day G7 Kurashiki Labor and Employment Ministers’ Meeting that also ended Sunday discussed labor market policies for the post-pandemic period and reskilling.

Besides the G7 members, participants included representatives from the International Labor Organization and the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development.

In the Kurashiki Ministerial Declaration announced Sunday, the G7 labor ministers focused on “the importance of supporting and investing in human capital” against the backdrop of a decline in the working-age population.

Pool photo / The Yomiuri Shimbun
Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries Minister Tetsuro Nomura, fourth from left, and other G7 ministers attend a joint press conference after the closing of the Agriculture Ministers’ Meeting in Miyazaki on Sunday.