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Agriculture; Food and the Marine | Irish Agri-food industry’s impact on Global Food Shortages

To ask the Minister for Agriculture; Food and the Marine the extent to which it may be possible for Ireland’s agri-food industry to help meet the challenges of world food shortages with particular reference to regions currently experiencing famine and starvation; if the international community can co-ordinate efforts in this regard; and if he will make a statement on the matter.

The global food security situation is concerning, especially the impacts on developing countries. International efforts must focus on the approximately 1.7 billion people across 100 economies who are severely exposed to challenging economic conditions and diminished food security, which is being exacerbated by the crisis in Ukraine. The link between hunger and conflict is well known and this is why at the UN Security Council, Ireland is playing a leading role on hunger.

In the context of our membership of the EU single market and participation in the Common Agriculture Policy (CAP), the EU communication “Safeguarding food security and reinforcing the resilience of food systems” sets out actions in the three areas of security, stability, and sustainability.

The EU Agriculture and Fisheries Council of Ministers will continue to focus on these core areas and to support the work of the recently established European Food Security Crisis preparedness and response Mechanism (EFSCM).

I welcome the development of the “EU Global Food Security Response” adopted in the June Council Conclusions.

Its four strands of action: solidarity through emergency relief and support for affordability; boosting sustainable production, resilience and food systems transformation; facilitating Ukrainian and global trade; and effective multilateralism; form an effective framework that joins up immediate and longer term action at local and global levels. In addition, all EU Members States and the Commission have endorsed the “Road Map for the Global Food Security – Call for Action” agreed between Foreign Ministers at the UN, which will guide efforts led by the UN Secretary General-through the UN Global Crisis Response Group, and coordinated with the G7 Global Alliance for Food Security.

I fully support the second strand of action of the EU response, boosting sustainable production, resilience and food systems transformation. At the UN Food Systems Summit in 2021, Ireland committed to sharing its own journey in food systems transformation and its plans for the future through our national strategy Food Vision 2030, and to assist developing countries in their own journeys. In support of this, my Department has supported the UN Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO) in the design of a global Food Systems Transformation Support Facility, which will be a critical component for technical support for global food systems transformation.

In Food Vision, our sector has laid out its ambition To become “A World Leader in Sustainable Food Systems” through the pursuit of four high-level Missions:
1. A Climate Smart, Environmentally Sustainable Agri-Food Sector
2. Viable and Resilient Primary Producers with Enhanced Well-Being
3. Food that is Safe, Nutritious and Appealing, Trusted And Valued at Home and Abroad
4. An Innovative, Competitive and Resilient Agri-Food Sector, Driven by Technology And Talent.

I am confident that the sector will deliver on its ambitions and will continue to contribute to national, EU and global food security.

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