Minister Walker at APEC Ministerial Meeting: “Chile has a unique opportunity to provide its food products to the world over the next few decades.”
The Fifth Food Security Ministerial Meeting of the Asia-Pacific Forum, which brings the week of APEC agriculture activities to a close, was presided over by Minister Antonio Walker.
Puerto Varas, August 23, 2019.- Food Security Week, which began on August 15 in the Los Lagos Region of Chile, closed with the approval of a final statement by the representatives of the 21 APEC economies.
Agriculture Minister Antonio Walker highlighted the importance of the meeting and said, “The 21 APEC economies from the Asia-Pacific region have participated in this effort. It has been a great opportunity to hold this meeting, which addresses very interesting topics such as food security, here in Chile. We will need 70% more food by 2050, and we must produce it with less water, less land and in much more adverse climate conditions, so we are facing a tremendous challenge.”
“Chile has a unique opportunity to provide its food products to the world, and that is what this meeting is about. We are here to discuss how we face the next 50 years, and the Agriculture Ministry is working on that,” the national official emphasized.
Following the panel discussions and workshops held during the previous days with representatives from the various economies that form part of Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC), the final statement was approved by the representatives of the member economies.
In the statement, they recognize that the Asia-Pacific region faces major challenges in the area of food security and that they must find ways to provide the growing global population with sufficient safe, nutritional quality food. They also recognize the growing impact that global changes such as climate change, the increase in natural disasters and the degradation of land, soil and the marine habitat are having on food systems.
Along those lines, and in accordance with the lines of work set out by Chile, they agreed to shared actions around promoting sustainable food systems; adopting innovation, emerging technologies and digital opportunities; taking advantage of associativity and improving food value chains and trade; and strengthening rural development as a place for opportunities.
Minister Walker referred to the topics addressed during the meeting. “We shared experiences involving biotechnology, digital agriculture, we talked about Rural Family Farming, the modernization of Chilean agriculture and other topics that are of interest to us in order to have more productive and efficient agriculture with safer, higher quality products in better condition that also taste very good,” the minister stated.
In addition, an agreement was reached to reduce food loss and waste as an approach to reducing food security risks, and participants reaffirmed the importance of public-private collaboration for addressing current and future challenges in this area.
The activities of the “5th Food Security Ministerial Meeting” will conclude tomorrow with a visit to the Rumahue Conservation Park and a final luncheon attended by the officials from the participating economies.
The ministry is providing significant support to agricultural enterprise. We want to be the main friend, partner and support of agricultural entrepreneurs.
As a country, we should take advantage of the opportunity that the world is giving us in the next few years. The main bottleneck that we will face in this regard is water, and we must work together, both within the government and with the opposition, to address water as a state issue and see how we will handle agricultural production in the future. We have to address major irrigation projects, aquifer infiltration and technification of irrigation.