The Secretary-General for Agriculture and Food, Carlos Cabanas, underlined Spain’s commitment, as the European Union country with the largest irrigated surface area, to the efficient use of natural resources, at the Summit of G-20 Agriculture Ministers held in Berlin.
At this forum focused on water and agriculture, Carlos Cabanas highlighted the role of innovation and new technologies as essential elements in guaranteeing a more sustainable use of water resources.
In this regard, he pointed out that modernisation and improvements in water management have led to a reduction in the consumption of water for irrigation purposes in Spain by 14% between 2000 and 2013 whilst increasing the irrigated surface area by 7%.
In his speech at the plenary session, Carlos Cabanas stressed the importance of information and communication technologies as a key element in economic growth, job creation and economic diversification, which should serve as the basis for ensuring food security within a sustainable agriculture system.
In this regard, the secretary-general highlighted the creation in Spain of the Focal Group on Irrigation, Energy and the Environment, a multidisciplinary team that has compiled a list of 75 innovative initiatives in which information and communication technologies form one of the main lines of research.
To end, the secretary-general underlined the need to reduce the digital gap between the rural environment and urban areas as an essential element in achieving a robust, innovative, integrating and inclusive economy.
Final Communiqué and Action Plan
At the meeting, the first to be held under the current German Presidency of the G-20, a Final Communiqué and Action Plan was approved, highlighting the central role of agriculture and water in guaranteeing food security at a global level and its contribution to the fight against climate change.
The participants also stressed the importance of innovation in the sustainable use of water resources in agricultural and livestock production, as well as the role information and communication technologies play in this area.
Lastly, in the fight against antimicrobial resistance, the communiqué highlighted the importance of a common effort to minimise the use of antibiotics in agricultural and livestock production.