The Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food, Luis Planas, has stressed that the digital transition of the agri-food sector is essential to ensure sufficient food production for the entire population and, at the same time, facilitate the preservation of ecosystems and address climate change.
In his speech last night at the ministerial session of the international conference Agriculture Innovation Mission (AIM) for Climate held in Washington, Luis Planas reiterated Spain's firm commitment to research and innovation in agricultural production and support for that knowledge to be transferred and reach all links in the food chain, especially primary producers of small and medium farms.
In regards to this, the Minister advocated the need to advance in the development of new genomic techniques for agricultural production, an issue that he announced will be one of Spain's priorities in the Presidency of the Council of the European Union that will correspond to it in the second half of the year and during which it will try to achieve a common position of all Member States.
The Minister mentioned a few of the measures promoted by the Government to reduce the vulnerability of the agri-food sector to climate change and to facilitate the preservation of agricultural ecosystems to make them more resilient. Among them, he highlighted the important investment effort in irrigation modernization, a key piece of the Spanish agri-food system, since irrigated crops generate two thirds of the total agricultural production. He recalled that the ministry plans to invest more than 2,100 million euros until 2027 in actions aimed at improving efficiency in the use of water and energy, and to promote the use of non-conventional sources such as regenerated and desalinated water.
Planas also alluded to the support for the formation of consortia for open, circular and interactive innovation for agricultural productivity and sustainability, with a line of 168.3 million euros, in which producers will actively participate.
The minister also stressed the importance of betting on organic farming. The strategies of Biodiversity and From Farm to Table, the European Green Pact, provide the objective that by 2030 it will represent a quarter of total agricultural production. Spain currently has about 2.7 million hectares dedicated to organic production and is the second country with the second largest eco-area, after France.
The international conference Agriculture Innovation Mission (AIM) for Climate addresses the challenges of food production in the current scenario of climate change in the world and how to promote the development of climate-smart and sustainable agriculture to ensure food security.
During the first day of this summit, in which 47 government representatives and 350 entities from around the world participated, Luis Planas held a bilateral meeting with the Secretary General of Agriculture, Nature and Food Quality of the Netherlands, Jan Kees Goet, to whom he presented Spain's priorities for the upcoming Presidency of the Council of the EU.
Throughout today, the Minister will hold bilateral meetings with the Secretary of the Department of Agriculture of the United States, Thomas James Vilsack - co-chair of the conference-; with the Minister of Agriculture and Food of Canada, Marie Claude Bibeau; and with the Minister of State for Food, Agriculture and Fisheries of the United Kingdom, Mark Spencer. He will also meet with the U.S. Special Presidential Climate Envoy, John Kerry, and will hold a meeting with a dozen representatives of Spanish agri-food companies operating in the United States.