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Global forum for food and agriculture 2017 - Berlin

Agriculture and waterThe Global forum for food and agriculture (GFFA)

GFFA is an international conference that focuses on central questions concerning the future of the global agri-food industry. It is held during the international rreen week (IGW) and will be taking place in its current form for the ninth time. The Forum gives representatives from the worlds of politics, business, science and civil society an opportunity to share ideas and enhance political understanding on a selected topic of current agricultural policy within the context of food security. The GFFA is organised by the Federal ministry of food and agriculture (BMEL) in cooperation with the Senate of Berlin, Messe Berlin GmbH and GFFA Berlin e. V.

The GFFA 2017 

Under the title “Agriculture and Water – Key to Feeding the World”, the forum will discuss what role agriculture, as a large user of water, can play worldwide in the sustainable stewardship of water as a valuable resource and in maintaining water quality, how it can be ensured that agriculture has access to water, and hence can provide the global population with food, given the increasing competition over water usage and how agriculture can contribute its considerable potential regarding the use of water towards political processes at international level.

Water is life. Approximately 70 percent of the earth’s surface is covered in water. However, only around one percent of this water is freely available as freshwater and able to be used by mankind. Over the last 50 years, water consumption has roughly tripled. Increasing water scarcity is being accompanied in affected regions by increased competition over water usage, which in turn is also putting political stability and economic and social development at risk.

The sustainable use of water as a vital resource is one of the major global challenges of the 21st century. This applies in particular to agriculture: approximately 70 percent of the freshwater used worldwide is used for the production of agricultural commodities. Estimates by United Nations suggest that the global demand for water in agriculture will increase by about 20 percent by 2050. Put simply, water is, together with soil, the most important input for agriculture. Only if agriculture has sufficient clean water it can fulfil its role as a major supplier of food and ensure food supplies for the growing world population.

In view of this global challenge, agriculture must find answers to the following questions:

  • What part can agriculture, as a large user of water, play worldwide in the sustainable stewardship of water as a valuable resource and in maintaining water quality?
  • Given the increasing competition over water usage, how can it be ensured that agriculture has access to water, and hence can provide the global population with food?
  • How can agriculture contribute its considerable potential regarding the use of water towards political processes at international level?

The 2017 Global Forum for Food and Agriculture (GFFA) will address these questions and a range of other issues. From 19 – 21 January 2017, key international players from politics, industry, science and civil society will, at the invitation of the Federal Ministry of Food and Agriculture (BMEL) and its cooperation partners, have the opportunity to exchange thoughts and ideas on “Agriculture and Water – Key to Feeding the World” and on related topics and regional aspects.

Location and date:

Venue: CityCube, Berlin

Date: 19 – 21 January 2017.

Programme overview

  1. The kick-off event officially marks the launch of the Global Forum for Food and Agriculture (GFFA) that, in 2017, will address the issue “Agriculture and Water – Key to Feeding the World”. The event gives an introduction to the GFFA subject and thus establish the basis for the diverse expert discussions that will be held in a wide variety of event formats in the days to come. The centrepiece of the kick-off event is a moderated panel discussion that, this year, will look at what role agriculture plays in the sustainable stewardship of water, which responsibility and challenges it faces and, given the increasing scarcity of water, how it can fulfill its role to provide the global population
  2. Expert panel discussions
  3. High level panels: The international organisations FAO and the European Commission are holding their own high level panels during the GFFA which will focus on specific aspects of this year’s main theme. The results of the two high level panels will feed directly into the Berlin agriculture ministers’ conference and the final communiqué.
  4. Berlin agriculture ministers’ conference: (closed to the public) will again take place in the Weltsaal of the federal foreign office in 2017. It will bring together politicians from all over the world to discuss the subject of “Agriculture and water – Key to feeding the world”. A final communiqué of the conference will formulate the Agriculture Ministers’ joint position and will feed into the international agricultural debate
  5. International business panel

Please note that most of the events are open to the public but require prior registration – at no cost through the official website of the Global forum for food and agriculture.

Picture credit: Global forum for food and agriculture

Find out the program details in GFFA's website