International Food and Agriculture Resilience Mission (FARM) initiative for food security in the most vulnerable countries
FARM aims to prevent the disastrous effects of Russia’s war in Ukraine on global food security. The war is having tragic consequences in many vulnerable countries in terms of prices, production and supplies of grain, particularly wheat, and therefore access to it.
Russia and Ukraine are key players in the production of many staple foods, including grain. Together, they account for nearly 30% of global wheat exports. Russia’s war in Ukraine is increasing the risk of food insecurity and could thrust millions of people into a food crisis in the most vulnerable countries.
To stave off a large-scale food crisis, the French Presidency of the Council of the European Union, along with its EU, G7 and African Union partners, announced the launch of the Food and Agriculture Resilience Mission (FARM) on 24 March 2022. FARM proposes a mechanism to address the food crisis, built around three pillars:
#FoodSecurity | The Minister for Europe & Foreign Affairs, the Minister of Agriculture & Food and the Minister Delegate for Foreign Trade & Economic Attractiveness met to discuss the #FARM initiative for food security in the most vulnerable countries.
👉 https://t.co/hpPvt6wtiJ pic.twitter.com/qxSvsW6OI0
— France Diplomacy🇫🇷🇪🇺 (@francediplo_EN) April 6, 2022
A trade pillar to ease tensions on the agricultural markets
In close liaison with the World Trade Organization (WTO), this pillar seeks to avoid a “crisis of confidence” on agricultural markets by avoiding export restrictions and strengthening transparency around agricultural stockpiles and prices. The recent adoption at the 12th WTO Ministerial Conference of a decision exempting purchases by the World Food Programme (WFP) from any export restrictions is a step forward.
At the @FAO Europe regional conference, @JY_LeDrian calls for food solidarity to support Ukraine 🇺🇦 and countries most exposed to the consequences of war. The EU 🇪🇺, through the #FARM initiative, is committed to preventing a global food crisis. pic.twitter.com/t1ZYUrd2SA
— France Diplomacy🇫🇷🇪🇺 (@francediplo_EN) May 11, 2022
A solidarity pillar to support Ukrainian agricultural capacities
France is working closely with the WFP to draw up a solidarity mechanism that could act as a “buffer” if the crisis worsens and would help provide the WFP and/or the most fragile countries with supplies for less than the market price. Support to the Ukrainian agricultural sector and the exporting of Ukrainian grain via the Solidarity Lanes initiative is also central to the FARM priorities. The participation of private companies including grain farmers, logistics actors and traders in this solidarity effort is essential.
A production pillar to consolidate agricultural capacities in the long term in the most affected countries
Under the coordination of the International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD), the third FARM pillar seeks to speed up the transition to sustainable and resilient food systems, particularly in Africa where food sovereignty is essential. The aim is to capitalize on the progress made in the sustainable agricultural and food production field at the 6th European Union-African Union Summit on 18 February 2022 and the existing Great Green Wall and plant protein initiatives.
Through the FARM initiative and with the support of international organizations fostering food and nutrition security, France and its European partners are proposing operational deliverables for the short, medium and long term, which will bring together all relevant public and private actors:
Global coalition of public and private actors for international food resilience
On all these fronts, close cooperation between public and private actors is essential in this solidarity effort in order to respond effectively to the food crisis. To this end, Catherine Colonna, Minister for Europe and Foreign Affairs, and Marc Fesneau, Minister of Agriculture and Food Sovereignty, convened a meeting of private sector actors alongside Franck Riester, Minister Delegate for Foreign Trade and Economic Attractiveness, and Chrysoula Zacharopoulou, Minister of State for Development, Francophonie and International Partnerships, on 23 June 2022. That meeting saw the launch of the Global Business for Food Security coalition, supported by France, the European Commission, the European Investment Bank, the WFP, IFAD and the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, as well as the adoption of private sector commitments to support it.
In 2022, the “Uniting for Global Food Security” ministerial conference organized by Germany on 24 June, the G7 Summit in Elmau on 27 and 28 June, the High-Level Special Event of the Committee on World Food Security (CFS) in New York on 18 July and the G20 Summit in Bali in autumn are key milestones in the mobilization of the international community and for the implementation of the FARM proposals.
Report of the French President’s independent academic working group tasked with producing geostrategic perspectives on the FARM initiative (French,PDF).