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EAEU Agriculture Ministers discussed food security in conditions of coronavirus pandemic.

EAEU Agriculture Ministers discussed food security in conditions of coronavirus pandemic.

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5/19/2020

During the emergency working meeting held via video conference on May 18, the ministers of agriculture of the states of the Eurasian Economic Union and the profile ministers of the Eurasian Economic Commission - members of the EAEU Agro-Industrial Policy Council - discussed general principles and approaches to ensuring food security. The measures taken in the Union countries were considered, including those aimed at constraining food prices in the context of the developing COVID-19 pandemic.

While opening the meeting, Chairman of the Council, Minister of Agriculture and Food of the Republic of Belarus, Ivan Krupko, noted that joint decisions of the heads of agricultural ministries are extremely important for stabilizing the situation and developing the common agricultural market of the Union.

 

“In the context of the coronavirus pandemic, issues of stable saturation of the market with food products are becoming increasingly acute and urgent. In addition to maintaining the stable and uninterrupted functioning of the Union’s internal agrifood market, we must join our efforts and take concerted actions to find new export niches,” emphasized Artak Kamalyan, Minister in charge of Industry and Agricultural Sector of the Eurasian Economic Commission.


The ministers of agriculture exchanged views on the possibilities of ensuring food security in the Union. Two main approaches were actively discussed: one related to the regulation of agricultural and food security issues exclusively at the expense of national production resources, and the other - to the use of a collective model that assumes the realization of the economic potential of all EAEU countries.


The meeting participants noted that the relevant act of the EAEU bodies will be adopted as the comprehensive document that defines general principles and approaches to ensuring food security. It is to be recalled that the provision on the development of common principles and approaches to ensuring food security in the Union based on the methodology of the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations was supported by all member states within the project of Strategic Directions for the Development of Eurasian Economic Integration until 2025.


The ministers also considered the issue of forming a common market for organic agricultural products in the EAEU. Today, all countries of the Union have adopted a legislative framework for the development of organic agricultural production. The areas of certified organic land, which make up about 900 thousand hectares, are growing, the number of producers of organic products has exceeded 1,300.


Artak Kamalyan emphasized that, in the near future, the worldwide growth in demand for such products will lead to a doubling of market volumes, which can reach $ 200 billion.


The analysis of the legislation of the parties showed differences in the marking of organic products, approaches to the regulation of production, certification and standardization, accreditation of conformity assessment bodies. In this regard, it was deemed advisable to build a system for regulating the organic circulation in the Union by preparing a supranational act aimed at the mutual recognition of documents on the conformity assessment of the organic production based on the unification of national legislation. This will ensure an unhindered movement of organic agricultural products in the EAEU and create conditions for the realization of export potential amid growing global demand for organic goods.


Reference

 The Council for the EAEU Agro-Industrial Policy was created by the decision of heads of the EAEU states to ensure the effective interaction between the ministries of agriculture of the Union countries in the implementation of the coordinated agro-industrial policy. It includes the ministers of agriculture of the member states of the Eurasian Economic Union and members of the Board (ministers) of the EEC for industry and the agro-industrial complex and technical regulation.​