Today, Argentina, Brazil, Canada, Mexico, and the United States affirm the important role that we as major agricultural and agricultural input exporters can play to strengthen global food security. At a time when nearly one in three people around the world does not have access to adequate, affordable, and nutritious food, supply disruptions further interrupt trade in grain, corn, cooking oil, and key agricultural inputs such as seeds, fertilizer, and refined fuels. At the same time, climate change has intensified severe weather events and made them more frequent. The resulting change in precipitation patterns around the world threatens crop yields, making farming more challenging, especially as the world emerges from the COVID-19 pandemic. High energy and fertilizer prices are an additional constraint, making agriculture more difficult to practice profitably and increasing world food prices for consumers, further exacerbating global food insecurity.
We, as major producers and exporters of food and other agricultural inputs affirm the need to take near-term actions with the goal of stabilizing food prices and sustainably maximizing agricultural yields. as well as building more resilient, safe, and sustainable global food systems for the future. We stand with the other over 80 countries that have endorsed the Roadmap for Global Food Security Call to Action released at the U.S.-chaired Global Food Security Ministerial Meeting held at the United Nations on May 18 and urge those countries that have not yet endorsed the Roadmap to do so.
In order to meet these goals, the aforementioned countries affirm that they plan to:
• Promote best practices to boost crop yields, agricultural production, and trade: We intend to work with farmers around the world to take steps to improve sustainable crop yields and enhance sustainable agricultural production. All exporting countries benefit from the use of effective practices and approaches, including: the use of high-yield crops and resilient seeds; double-cropping; seasonal soil rotation; integrated management of pests and diseases; pesticide productivity; vertical farming; fertilizer innovations and efficiencies; better irrigation use and techniques to improve the water footprint; new and innovative practices and technologies to support sustainable agriculture; greater access to precision agriculture technology and innovative financial tools, such as agricultural credit and crop insurance to guaranteed affordable credit access; and innovative storage techniques to reduce post-harvest loss before crops are sold on the world markets. Over the long-term, we intend to increase efforts to support the transformation of unsustainable agriculture inputs and food systems to make them more sustainable, resilient to shocks, financially and socially inclusive, and accessible to large, medium and smallholder farmers without distinction, according to national capacities and priorities. Countries intend to strengthen both physical infrastructure and logistical supply chain supports, as well as build on existing innovations for food cultivation, storage, and distribution to increase access to affordable, nutritious, and healthy food.
• Maximize food supplies and improve trade and transportation of food within world markets: A steady and predictable flow of diverse agricultural exports from major producing countries onto the global market can help maintain price stability, reduce shocks, and project calm over commodity markets. Conversely, panic about shortages and price spikes, hoarding and excessive stockpiling, and export bans can create a vicious cycle that contribute to global food insecurity. We intend to maintain or expand the fair and open trade of agricultural commodities, in line with existing domestic policies and international obligations and standards. We will work towards the objective of substantial progressive reductions in support, resulting in fundamental reform.
• Calibrate sanctions, where applicable, and work to avoid other restrictions, like export bans, to limit the impact on trade in agricultural commodities and avoid disrupting markets. We intend to ensure that our countries’ domestic sanctions regimes do not inappropriately target food and to take all appropriate actions to avoid export bans and other economic restrictions that could unduly interfere with the free flow of agricultural commodities around the world.
• Provide humanitarian assistance to the most vulnerable: Countries within available resources intend to make new, additive financial or in-kind donations to key humanitarian organizations providing immediate life-saving humanitarian assistance, including cash, food and nutrition supplies, health and nutrition programming, water and sanitation, and humanitarian protection to the most vulnerable populations – whether inside or outside of their borders – to prevent malnutrition or famine.
• Support increased access to fertilizers and their inputs (synthetic and organic based), including through production inside countries, as a part of their efforts toward food security. Subject to available resources, we intend to increase fertilizer production including with a focus on the development of climate-smart and versatile alternatives, coupled with integrated soil management and fertilizer efficiency techniques, such as 4R fertilizer management, to prevent shortages. Use of these soil management techniques combined with alternative fertilizer choices is critical to optimize global supplies of fertilizer and reduce single-source fertilizer producer dependency, increasing competition among fertilizer producers will also help stabilize production costs in supply chains and increase crop yields to vulnerable food markets.
• Optimize use of fertilizers, enhancing sustainability of water resources and biodiversity: We intend to promote innovative techniques, such as precision agriculture, that enable farmers to optimize the balance between fertilizer and water use per ton of food produced through crop, season, and alternative techniques. We also intend to promote the use of high-value and -yield crops and seeds to maximize renewable energy sources from non-food crops, feedstocks, formulations, uses, and crop data to better manage agricultural risks and shortages in advance of critical planting seasons, reduce soil erosion, and enhance sustainable biodiversity.
• Food insecurity is a rising global problem that does not respect international borders. It is also historically associated with poverty and social, economic, and political instability. As countries that serve as major food exporters and homes to farmers that feed the world, it is both in our interest and a core part of our values to take these steps to prevent hunger, malnutrition, and poverty around the world, as well as to make investments in more resilient and inclusive global agriculture and food systems, that support rural development and contribute to peace in the world.