The recently ended Berlin Agriculture Ministers’ Conference under the auspices of the 10th Global Forum for Food and Agriculture (organized by Federal Ministry of Agriculture) held in Germany affirmed to the role of ICT technologies as an important tool to agriculture, for example in improving water-use efficiency.
The theme of the meeting as “Agriculture and Water – Key to Feeding the World”, and pointed out that climate change, land degradation and many trends such as urbanisation, population growth, migration have increased the competition for the demand of water, resulting in the need for more ‘sustainable stewardship’ of water.
Statements on ICTs and water issues
With regards to improving water quality, the ministers intend to, “make available knowledge, technologies (including ICT) and experience relating to methods for the maintenance or improvement of water quality”, amongst the many measures proposed.
Likewise in reducing water scarcity risk, the ministers intend to, “foster the dissemination of ICT technologies as an important tool to improve agricultural water-use efficiency”.These statements show the pivotal role ICTs have been recognised in the management of water.
In conclusion, the agriculture ministers agreed that, they must strengthen efforts in the research and development of technologies, including ICT applications, to improve the efficiency of water use in agriculture.
Moreover, relevant UN organisations such as FAO, as well as OECD and World Bank Group to support information and dissemination on water and sustainable water management and technologies in agriculture; including other water policy level support.
About the meeting
The meeting was attended by agriculture ministers of 83 nations, as well as high-level representatives of international organisations such as the European Commission and the FAO. Together they adopted an ambitious communiqué and committed to a sustainable stewardship of water.
The Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO) was represented by FAO Director-General José Graziano da Silva, whose address is surmised here.