Morocco's Minister of Agriculture and Fisheries, Aziz Akhannouch, at the EU High Level Panel at GFFA in Berlin.© Messe Berlin
Morocco's Minister of Agriculture and Fisheries, Aziz Akhannouch, at the EU High Level Panel at GFFA in Berlin.
Photo: © Messe Berlin
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In times of growing urbanisation, is sufficient attention being paid to rural areas and the agricultural sector? How can the conflicting priorities of land, water and food security be resolved? These questions were at the focus of a High Level Panel at this year's Global Forum for Food and Agriculture (GFFA) in Berlin in January.

Ensuring food security in a rapidly urbanising world is becoming a critical concern of the 21st century. Today, more than half of the world population lives in urban areas. This percentage is estimated to increase to two thirds by 2050. Such accelerated urbanisation has a significant impact on farming, the development of sustainable food systems and the development of rural areas. Responding to these challenges, a High Level Panel met at the invitation of the EU Commission during the Global Forum for Food and Agriculture (GFFA) in Berlin in January.

In his keynote speech, Professor Sir Gordon Conway from Imperial College, London summarised the main challenges and presented his proposals for action. According to Sir Gordon, the greatest challenge is the rapid growth of megacities, particularly in Africa, where people need work and have to be fed. In addition, he said, there are changing food patterns, for example a greater demand for meat, nutritious high-quality foods and organic products.

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