The European Development Days (EDD) is organized by the European Commission. It is a conference that aims to provide the development community with a common platform each year to share ideas and experiences. New partnerships and innovative solutions are born through this event, thus providing answers to some global issues. This year, the European Development Days were organized virtually from June 15-16. For EDD 2021, the theme was “The Green Deal for a Sustainable Future”. The European Green Deal is the EU’s roadmap for a green and inclusive transition to help improve people’s well-being and secure a healthy planet for generations to come.
The event was graced by a wide array of influential and knowledgeable personalities such as the President of the European Commission, Ursula Von Der Leyen, United Nations Deputy Secretary-General, Amina J. Mohammed, Administrator of the United Nations Development Programme, Achim Steiner, among others. Topics discussed either fell under the umbrella of “A Green Economy for People and Nature” or “Protecting Biodiversity and People.”
One major topic on the program was “Rural transformation and food systems.” Food production and, by extension food security, in rural communities is a significant challenge. In most developing countries, farmers are faced with several obstacles such as climate change, economic regression, water scarcity, and rapid population growth.
It is estimated that by 2050, the world will need to feed 10 billion humans, but to do so, agriculture must become sustainable and resilient. Nutritious food must become more accessible and affordable by creating more efficient agricultural value chains. Rural farmers must also be equipped to improve their livelihoods and create an environment for growth and poverty reduction.
How can we promote agricultural practices and technologies that raise rural income? How can we create food value chains in sub-Saharan Africa that are efficient, viable, and climate-resilient? These are some of the questions the forum sought to respond to at EDD 2021. Indeed, several sessions and virtual stands were running simultaneously so participants, as well as the general public, can see what they missed online.
The Green Deal goes beyond EU borders and commits the EU to engage with its partners to support the global transition. Stakeholders in the agricultural sector are committed to playing their part too in this great partnership. A green and climate-neutral economy and protecting biodiversity concerns us all – from citizens to governments worldwide. Together we can make a difference and we will.