The annual Global Forum for Food and Agriculture (GFFA) is due to take place next week with focus on global soil quality and sustainable land use.

This year's event - hosted by the Federal Ministry of Food and Agriculture (BMEL) in Berlin - will focus on the topic 'Sustainable Land Use: Food Security Starts with the Soil' and will be held virtually from Monday January 24 to Friday January 28.

The political main event will be a conference where 70 agriculture ministers form a position on this year's topic under consideration of a declaration presented by young farmers.

Over 90% of global food production depends on soil, however, the quality of soils is increasingly deteriorating and fertile land is becoming more scarce.

Ministers' conference

The Berlin Agriculture Ministers' Conference - the world’s largest conference of agriculture ministers - will be held on Friday January 28.

At the conference, ministers form a common political position on this year's topic, which results are then considered in further international agricultural policy.

On January 25, 2022, the final position will be negotiated at the senior officials’ meeting after countries have had the opportunity to comment on the draft.

The conference will be attended by around 70 agriculture ministers and representatives from over t10 international organisations. The list of participants however, is yet to be published.

Organisations, among others, include the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO), the United Nations Convention to Combat Desertification, the World Trade Organisation (WTO) and the World Bank.

Young farmers

As part of the GFFA, the 6th international Young Farmers' Forum will take place on Wednesday, January 26.

The Young Farmers' Forum is drawing up its own declaration on sustainable land use including their demands, which is then presented to the ministers attending the agricultural conference.

Up to 20 young farmers from around the globe were selected together with the World Farmers’ Organisation to exchange their knowledge and experience.

"Their role is decisive in shaping the global food supply of the future. The Young Farmers’ Forum and the GFFA offer them the opportunity to be heard at international level," the BMEL said.


The global forum involves 20 panel discussions with 120 speakers including Janusz Wojciechowski, the European Commissioner for Agriculture and Rural Development.

At this year's annual international conference, around 3,000 international participants from politics, industry, science and civil society will discuss agri-food policy issues.

Panel discussions accessible to the public include: Investing in healthy soils – curse and blessing of private sector financing and carbon offsetting; success factors for emerging farmers – paths of development towards sustainable land management; and innovations to boost investment in healthy soils.