This October 15-19, the 45th session of the Committee on World Food Security (CFS) will take place in Rome, Italy. This Plenary session is an opportunity for many stakeholders to gather for discussion, debate, and decision-making on the most pressing issues in food security today. The world’s largest and most diverse policymaking body on food security, CFS is open to all UN member states, the private sector, civil society, philanthropic organizations, and research groups. The annual weeklong Plenary session is free to attend and is filled with side events, Plenary discussions, poster presentations, networking opportunities, and bilateral meetings.
Emerging Ag provides Secretariat services to the Private Sector Mechanism, the platform by which any member of the food and agribusiness sector can participate in CFS workstreams and events. This year’s PSM delegation to the Committee on World Food Security consists of over 150 registered delegates from 32 countries. The delegation includes farmers, fishers, and foresters; representatives of small and medium enterprises and innovative agricultural entrepreneurs; researchers, professors, teachers, and extension specialists; nutritionists, food scientists, and finance experts; and founders, presidents, and CEOs of some of the world’s largest agribusinesses. During CFS week and beyond, these diverse delegates work together to advocate for the role of the private sector in achieving SDG2: End hunger, achieve food security and improved nutrition, and promote sustainable agriculture. One of the most impressive things about the PSM is the fact that its delegates set aside individual priorities in order to champion business and industry as engines of progress. In the PSM delegation room, livestock experts sit next to pulse advocates, the fertilizer industry chats happily with the organic farmer, and sixth-generation commodity crop growers make connections with first-time ag entrepreneurs who dream of building urban farms in shipping containers.
The PSM is proud that this year, its delegation will feature more young ag leaders than ever before: about 40 people in the delegation are young farmers and agricultural professionals. One of the topics of focus of bilateral meetings during CFS is the call for the inclusion of Youth in Ag in the upcoming Multi-Year Plan of Work. The theme of this year’s High Level Dinner, an annual PSM-organized event, is Engaging, Recruiting, and Retaining Youth in Agriculture. A Youth Caucus will be held on Tuesday, 16 October to give young people extra opportunities to network. In addition to the young people themselves, another 20+ delegates are representatives of organizations that empower young ag leader with resources and knowledge. Nuffield International, Bayer, the Climate-Smart Agriculture Youth Network, Industry Disruptors / Game Changers, 4H, and the World Farmers’ Organisation are some of these standout groups.
One of the most popular parts of CFS is the calendar of side events, which allow attendees to share their work and perspectives. This year, PSM members received approval for five side events: Challenges and Opportunities for Youth in Agriculture: Perspectives from Future Leaders; Agripreneurship Policy and the Future of Agriculture; The Future of Farming; Enriching a Sustainable Food Future; and Scaling up Evidence-based Sustainable Agriculture Practices: Case Studies from 3 European Countries.
With all of these exciting opportunities, we are sure that CFS45 will be the most creative, diverse, and impactful Plenary session yet. Look forward to CFS report in late October.