The next panels gave an idea of where the international expert and donor communities see agriculture and rural development in international cooperation. The panel consisting of international experts from different areas highlighted again the major impacts and stresses that the agricultural sector will face by 2030. They recommended that actors should take a long term perspective and act to support the change of farming systems into sustainable agriculture. Also the efforts of donors need to make sure that the rural space gets more socio-economically and environmentally attractive and that their reduced budgets are wisely used to support country governments. The panelists agreed that the Agenda 2030 and environmental factors will create new production methods and codes, requiring new commitments to sustainability, value-chain development and resource management. In the last panel representatives from the donor community discussed the position of ARD in international cooperation.
Mr. Mizzi from the European Commission expressed the opinion that developing countries’ economies will continue to diversify over the next 15 years, focusing on provision of services and promotion of rural non-farm activities. He foresees that new food systems will increase productivity and herewith be able to still the demand, coming from the growing population in urban areas. Finland welcomed the positive impacts that the international agreement on the SDGs had for the international communities’ efforts in rural areas. SDGs have now institutionalised the linkages between food security and economic and social development. The focus of donors’ efforts in the next ten years should be on enabling the young girls of today to become motivated farmers in 2030. In the future Ms. Pekkola sees bilateral funding replaced by private sector, shortening the impact way, reducing transaction costs and opening the door to new technology and innovation. AfDB’s efforts will work to strengthen the social recognition of agriculture and address the demographic shift in the farming industry. Agriculture and farming should be seen as a business opportunity in 2030 and the majority of youth employed in the agricultural value chains. USAID welcomed the comments from the colleagues on the panel and emphasised the need to recognise the complexity of rural development and Agenda 2030. In the future, the US has taken steps to instituionalise their effort to ensure international food security and reduce poverty, as well as efforts to exchange and collaborate cross sectors and institutions.