The Minister of State at the Department of Agriculture, Food and the Marine (DAFM), Martin Heydon has highlighted the role of new technologies in improving food security.

The minister with special responsibility for Research and Development today (Friday, June 30) chaired a session of the fifth African Union-European Union Agriculture Ministers Conference.

The event took place in the headquarters of the United Nations (UN) Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO) in Rome.


The conference, co-hosted by the Africa Union Commission and the EU Commission brought ministers from Africa and the EU together to discuss enhanced cooperation for resilient food systems and sustainable agricultural value chains.

“Harnessing the potential of new technologies for enhanced food security and mitigation against climate change requires investments in research and innovation,” Minister Heydon, told delegates.

“If agriculture, forestry and rural areas are to become more productive, resilient and sustainable, those involved in research and innovation must work together to provide farmers, rural communities and policy makers with smarter policies and technologies.”

Minister Heydon outlined the key messages from his session to the wider plenary session of the conference attended by ministers of agriculture from across Africa and Europe.

This session was led by Josefa Sacko, African Union Commissioner for Agriculture, Rural Development, Blue Economy and Sustainable Environment; Janusz Wojciechowski, European Commissioner for Agriculture; and Qu Dongyu, Director General, UN Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO).

Ahead of a DAFM led agri-food trade mission to West Africa this September, Minister Heydon held bi-lateral meetings with representatives from Nigeria and Senegal.

The minister also participated in a meeting with the FAO director general.