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Support grows for agriculture climate initiative

Thirty countries and several organizations have pledged their support to the Agriculture Innovation Mission for Climate (AIM), an initiative to transform the global agriculture sector.

US Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack made the announcement at the UN Food Systems Summit. The US Department of Agriculture (USDA) is prioritizing efforts to promote AIM for Climate with the goal of increasing public and private funding for climate-smart agriculture and food systems innovation.

US President Joe Biden and United Arab Emirates Prime Minister Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum first announced plans for the initiative at President Biden’s Leaders’ Summit on Climate in April. Since then, the number of supporting countries has more than tripled. New countries announced at the Food Systems Summit include the Bahamas, Bangladesh, Finland, Georgia, Ireland, Japan, Kenya, Lithuania, Morocco, New Zealand, Romania and Sweden.

AIM for Climate will focus on three main investment areas: scientific breakthroughs via basic agricultural research; public and private applied innovation and research for development; and the development and deployment of practical, actionable research and information.

“The climate crisis threatens to disrupt food systems around the globe, exacerbate food insecurity and negatively impact farmers’ livelihoods,” Vilsack said. “We must invest in innovative, science-based solutions to help agriculture mitigate and adapt to climate change — and that’s what AIM for Climate is all about. We welcome our newest AIM for Climate supporters and urge additional nations and organizations to join us in this global effort to accelerate agricultural innovation through increased investment in research and development.”

FAO Director General Qu Dongyu said the future of agriculture systems needs to be built on science and innovation.

“AIM for Climate is an important initiative to help increase investments in innovative solutions that can accelerate global agri-food systems transformation,” he said. “As the lead UN agency specialized in agri-food systems, FAO helps to harness the latest developments in the rapidly changing scenarios of science, technology and innovation, playing a key role in mapping out and disseminating new solutions.”

AIM for Climate will be officially launched at the 26th UN Climate Change Conference (COP26) in Glasgow, Scotland, in November.

Supporting countries include Australia, Bahamas, Bangladesh, Brazil, Burkina Faso, Colombia, Denmark, Finland, Georgia, Ghana, Honduras, Hungary, Ireland, Japan, Kenya, Republic of Korea, Israel, Lithuania, Mexico, Morocco, New Zealand, Philippines, Romania, Singapore, Sweden, United States, United Arab Emirates, Uruguay, Ukraine and Vietnam.

Supporting organizations include the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation; Food and Agricultural Organization of the United Nations; and United Kingdom COP26 Presidency.

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