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MICHAEL VATIKIOTIS: Please take your seats so we can begin. It’s pretty much a follow-on from the session that my friend and former colleague Adam Schwarz just moderated. He ended up talking about a few solutions. What I’d like to do today—and first of all, let me just introduce myself. My name is Michael Vatikiotis. I’m reasonably well-known in Indonesia because I lived here before as a journalist. I now work for the Center for Humanitarian Dialogue. It’s a Geneva-based conflict-resolution and mediation organization. We’ve become involved in food security in quite a big way with the outbreak of the war in Ukraine.
But I’d also like to use this opportunity—and I firmly believe that, as has been said already in the room today, the G20 conference meeting of leaders is an excellent opportunity to focus global attention not just on the problem, but also on action and solutions. And so what I’d like to do with the session today—because we will continue this discussion tomorrow—is to kind of draw up a list of ideas where they can be outline or in detail that we can perhaps hope to get the attention of the participants in the G20, and in particular I believe the Indonesian government, which is the host of the conference, if only because I know that President Jokowi himself has a real interest in the issue of food security. And I think it would be a real opportunity for him to say something meaningful and for us to be able to contribute to, at least in a small way, a couple of initiatives that could be put on the table for discussion and end up being agreed upon. So that’s an ambitious goal.
But I would like to start by highlighting one of the things that I think has now become much more evident in terms of food security. And before I open the discussion, I’ll just make this point because, as we’ve heard already today, there’s a lot of discussion about the supply of wheat and grain. But now I think what’s become very evident is that fertilizers are a key issue. According to figures that I’ve seen, even in a conservative scenario the high cost of nitrogen fertilizers is threatening the global production losses of up to 66 million tons of staple crops such as maize, rice, and wheat. And this will affect at least 50 of the most food-insecure countries, reducing the amount of crops they’re able to grow—including here in Indonesia, not necessarily food-insecure but definitely reliant on fertilizers. So that’s, I think, one issues that we should really try to bring to the attention of people here at the G20.
In addition to that, we’ve heard earlier today the importance of trying to draw a closer link between water, food, and energy. I was recently in Jordan, a country that is now increasingly facing water stress. Syria, a country already in conflict, severe water stress that’s generated huge numbers of cholera cases, it’s linked to water but also to food and to energy. And so I think one of the other things we might try to do is talk about how to strength—or, define and strengthen that nexus.
And in that connection, also, we might also want to look at, as we’ve already begun to, the two other issues that are floating around and hovering around food security, which is pandemic preparedness—because in the COVID pandemic there was this move, as we’ve heard already in the room, to impose export restrictions as a sort of knee-jerk reaction. And there perhaps needs to be a mechanism to address that in the future. And then, finally, climate security, which everyone tends to see as a sort of medium- to long-term problem which is already upon us, especially in the African continent.
So, with that, can I begin, please, with fertilizers, since it is an issue that has not been given a lot of airing? And I think it’s an opportunity here at the G20 to really put that on the table. So I would like to first turn to my old friend, Hashim Djojohadikusumo, because he’s into organic fertilizers, which of course is one solution. But I would like him to perhaps help us frame the issue and maybe look at some of the solutions. Hashim.
HASHIM DJOJOHADIKUSUMO: Thank you, Michael. It so happens that I had an interesting conversation with our colleague Pak Kasdi, who earlier addressed us with his remarks. And Pak Kasdi is the secretary general of the Ministry of Agriculture. And he just gave, you know, some tidbits—interesting tidbits about our fertilizer situation. I think Pak Kasdi said that Indonesia actually requires 25 million tons of chemical fertilizer, but we only have an allocation in our budget for 9 million tons, Pak Kasdi. So we actually have a budget shortfall for 60 million tons for chemical fertilizers.
I was aware of this problem about 10 years ago and I got very interested in actually starting some green sustainable solutions, and one of them is actually the production of organic fertilizer. And organic fertilizer from degraded forests, Michael, from biomass, from woody biomass. Actually, my colleague Dr. Willie Smits is the one who got me interested in this. But there are other solutions, as well. And one of the other solutions is the production of fertilizer from maggots. You know, this—maggots, from black soldier flies feeding on waste—and feeding on waste, feeding on garbage, but also feeding on the residue from, let’s say—well, General Clark mentioned about the production of cassava. You know, only 35 percent or 28 percent, I think, of cassava actually becomes tapioca, and the balance 70 percent is waste, General Clark. That waste can actually be the feedstock, Michael, for black soldier flies, which in turn produce maggots, which in turn produce very lucrative, high-quality liquid fertilizer from, dare I say, the urine from the maggots, OK? I know I was a bit squeamish as well thinking about this, but actually, there are many nature-based solutions, as Willie and Pak Kasdi actually mentioned—nature-based solutions to the problem.
Yes, we have a major problem, but there are solutions. And I am optimistic. I am optimistic because there are the greatest force all over the world—not only in Indonesia, but elsewhere; and we’re talking about Africa, we have friends from our African colleagues who were here earlier from the African Ex-Im Bank. There is room for optimism, I think, ma’am. And that is that nature-based solutions, I am convinced, is the wave of the future.
MICHAEL VATIKIOTIS: Thank you, Pak Hashim. So perhaps one of the things to perhaps sort of put on the radar of leaders is to start to explore those solutions immediately.
I’m conscious, also, that the immediate problem, of course, is the supply of particularly natural gas and ammonia nitrate, which is actually causing the production of fertilizers to decline drastically and for the price to go up. So I’d like to once again turn to Kira Rudik from Ukraine to talk about—because one of the keys to the supply and reduction of the price would be for a pipeline that actually runs from Russia to Ukraine and out to the—to the Black Sea. So perhaps, Kira, if you could give us a bit more detail on that.
KIRA RUDIK: So I would like to make a general comment and support my colleague, Vasyl, Mr. Ambassador, in terms of us tackling certain problems.
When we are talking about the pipeline and about the fertilizers, we are talking about a small part of the potential solution to the problem that would not fix itself. When we are talking about the issues that will arise in Africa, in all over the world, we for some reason omitting inevitable statement. There is war in Ukraine that was started by Russia, and it would not end by itself. It will just not. It will continue creating more and more issues for the whole world. And, yes, there would be sanctions and we will insist on them being stronger because these are people who are coming to my land to kill my people. And, yes, we will be working against all the transportation of ammonium through our land because we want to weaken Russia, because we want them to stop coming and killing our people, our children, raping our women, and destroying everything that is there to survive.
We are right now in this grain deal, which is a temporary very virtual agreement between many parties—it’s United Nations, Turkey, Ukraine, and Russia—that the transportation of the grains through Ukrainian ports and transportation of the fertilizers through Ukrainian pipeline continue. This is as fragile, as I have already spoken to you before, for so many reasons. Just two weeks ago, Russia decided that they will exit the grain deal, just by the one side, just—early in the morning they said, well, we are exiting.
And as of right now, same as was the general question of the security, we are facing one question that we do not have answer to, is: Who or what in the whole world is organization or a leader that can make Russia stick to their words? It goes same with Ukraine and war in Ukraine. It goes same with keeping up with the energy supplies. It was—it’s going same way with the food supplies. And because there is nobody right now, there are no resolution. There are no security guarantees that could be put in place so there could be a peace deal. There is no way for the grain deal to be put in place and be signed by all—by all the parties. You know why? Because neither U.N. nor Turkey nor anybody else can force Russia to execute to the word that they have given. And this is why inside Ukraine the deal is perceived as very virtual and something that would not last long.
I think everybody at these tables understand how essential for the world food security this ability is. And I want to stress again how fragile every single path of every single ship now is. It depends on the emotion, on the word, on unreliability of the country that is an aggressor and has been acknowledged a terrorist state by so many other countries. So when we are talking about resolving food security crisis, we must not close our eyes on the point that we must resolve security crisis first, because everything else that we will be doing—all the plans that we will be putting together—will be dropped by this one question: What or who will pressure Russia to keep their part of the bargain?
MICHAEL VATIKIOTIS: Thank you, Kira. And do you think that—and let me just follow up with a question. Do you think that actually comes down to, as—because it’s, obviously, in Russia’s economic interest—to payments to—I mean, in order to—this issue of how to keep their word—to essentially assuring and ensuring the payments?
MS. RUDIK: For the last eight years—and I want to again inform everybody that war in Ukraine started eight years ago. Right now is just a full-scale escalation. For the last eight years, the strategy of the leaders of the world was let’s have economic ties with Russia the way that they would be happy, that they would be satisfied, that they would be fed up, and then they would not have any intention or any logical reasons to attack. And they—then we will just make it too expensive for them to fight.
Unfortunately, this strategy failed. So the economic ties with Europe and the reliance of European countries on Russians’ energy and the billions of dollars that every single day are being paid by European countries to Russia did not stop them from attacking. Same way having money flowing in and having payments being on time and open to them would not stop them from anything. And again, I’m talking from the history and I have proofs to that. Every single day right now is a proof to that. Two weeks ago, when they dropped out of the grain deal, is a proof to that. But nobody can give me the proof of otherwise, that if they will have this assurance that they will continue going on and on on this deal.
We should not be emotional here, but be very logical and act with the historic facts. So, as of right now, all the historic facts I’m using as arguments to prove my point. Economic feeding the tiger and having the economic ties with it does not help and stop the empire of fulfilling on its imperialistic mission, expanding and destroying other nations.
MICHAEL VATIKIOTIS: Thank you, Kira. And I think that actually encapsulates what the challenge will be for the G20 leaders because there will be this argument on the table. But it still leaves the problem, which is of course the price of inputs is rising and is going to cause severe problems for food production in the coming year.
So I’d actually like to turn now and get a perspective on this from Rahmad Pribadi, who is involved in the fertilizer industry, and you know, to give it some perspective on exactly what is likely to happen, if he’s—if he’s here. Yes, he’s over there. Sorry.
RAHMAD PRIBADI: Thank you, Michael. First of all, let me introduce myself. My name is Rahmad Pribadi. I’m the CEO of Pupuk Kaltim, which is the fifth-largest urea producers in Asia-Pacific.
So let me speak—allow me to speak from the perspective of fertilizer producers. The issue in fertilizers is more on affordability rather than availability. Of course, availability is still an issue that we have to carefully watch what’s going on with some export restriction from some countries, but I think the key is affordability.
The affordability of fertilizer has worsened in 2022 because some issues in geopolitics and many other things.
Just to give you a perspective, in—if you prepare pre-crisis and 2022, the urea price has increased about 250 percent, whereas rice—the price of rice remained stable. Price before crisis and after crisis remained the same. So we are seeing now fertilizer becoming more and more expensive for farmer to purchase. And for that reasons, we’ve seen the decline of fertilizer consumptions. Globally, it is about 5 percent. But if you look at Asia, East Asia and South Asia, that number is even higher. That is 6 to 7 percent. That, I think, something that we—everybody has to be concerned about, like what, Michael, you have mentioned. The decrease in consumption of nitrogen fertilizer will immediately impacting food production.
So I guess, to that perspective, I would like to probably propose, if there is any initiatives that this forum can take, I think we all have to work together to make sure that fertilizer price remain affordable for the farmer, especially in Asia where most of the farmer are small farmers. That can be done, I think, through subsidy, which Kasdi has mentioned. But again, Hashim mentioned that the amount that is needed and the fiscal capacity of the government does not match, so that is something that we have to look for the solution.
For a country that—an agricultural country like Indonesia, who is at the same time also gas producers, probably we have to also look at reducing the feedstock price. Natural gas price for fertilizer industry has to be maintained low so that the price of fertilizer, especially for small farmers, can be maintained at a level where it is more affordable. And I think when we are talking about export restrictions on agricultural product, which Mr. Kasdi has mentioned in the previous sessions, I think that also has to include into fertilizers. I think the forum should push for removal of any export restrictions on fertilizer. Hopefully, by doing so fertilizer will be more affordable and the availability can be maintained.
Thank you, Michael.
MICHAEL VATIKIOTIS: So, if I read you correctly, a price-support mechanism for fertilizer. Given the political obstacles to ensuring a more natural supply, then perhaps this is something that requires special attention here at the G20.
And I want now to actually turn to Ambassador Dave Merrill because, you know, earlier today—earlier, in the first session, he talked about the need for the G20 to actually consider mechanisms to provide these kinds of solutions on a collective basis in ways that perhaps have not happened before. And I’m remined that, of course, in one of the earlier G20 meetings, during an economic crisis of 2008, there was a fund established, you know, to address the economic crisis. And I’m wondering if we might want to look at ways in which the G20 could agree to special mechanisms or forums in which these kinds of things could be done.
But, Dave, over to you.
DAVID MERRILL: Well, thank you—is it on? Yeah. Thank you, Michael. You’ve asked me to elaborate a little bit more, and I want to elaborate even more tomorrow so I want to save a little bit for tomorrow. But here are some specific things that we think can be done.
We had an in-depth session on this at the US-Indonesia Society—USINDO—September 9. We had experts from around the world.
Now, one is, of course, the financing of emergency food reserves and distribution. There was something done on that in some G20 meeting that took place this summer. I think it was among the finance ministers. And they, as you would expect, agreed that the multilateral development banks, WFP, FAO, WTO, et cetera should do more. There are some kinds of facilities that they have in mind and we’d like to hear more about what they intend to do. If there were a communique, which we don’t know, we would think that would be part of it, building on what they did this summer with the finance ministers.
There need to be national and local distribution schemes, internationally-coordinated food emergency reserves. I don’t know what they did about that, but you would think that something would be done about that.
And of course, encouraging NGOs and private charities. We’re going to be talking about that tomorrow afternoon. Now, the NGOs and private charities can only do what they can do with what they’ve got, but if the world can get them a little more to work with then they can do more.
It’s been mentioned about fertilizers several times. The fertilizer use is a problem. The fertilizer prices are a problem. We need to minimize trade barriers on fertilizer. We need to improve the liquidity of small and medium enterprises and national fertilizer value chains in lower middle income countries. We need to revisit security schemes for fertilizer—subsidy schemes, sorry—subsidy schemes for fertilizer to make them financially more viable, increase their impact, and improve the efficiency of fertilizer use to assist farmers to do more with less. There’s a lot of technology going around to achieve more with less fertilizer, more efficiency of fertilizer. In fact, there’s even one technology going around—I think there’s a representative here – that does—from Israel—who does productivity increases with no fertilizer—with no fertilizer, just through selective application of water at the right time. So there’s all kinds of technology—increased fertilizer, no fertilizer, the need to be redoubled, retripled, everything else.
Improving the productivity of smallholders growing staple food crops, that more or less goes without saying. But what should be done about that? What should be done to increase the yield—close the yield gaps for smallholders with sustainability? If you can’t have more wheat, you can increase the nutritional quality of diets—programs for women and children, micronutrients, and so on that can make what foods you do have go further. These are fairly obvious prescriptions, but I don’t think they’ve been written down.
Promoting agricultural research. A lot of us has been involved for decades in agricultural research—crops that would be resistant to climate change, higher yields on less land, and so forth.
Now, guaranteeing affordable supplies of staple foods would have to be looked at either by the G20 or by someone else. Physical supplies—make sure that there’s access via trade, and what we think there should be is some kind of G20 forum for food security dialogue. We’re not saying that Indonesia has to be the automatic chair of it, but Indonesia is in a good position to chair a forum. It’s not meant to be a new international agency but a place to discuss these things going forward. And we think Indonesia, with its more or less neutral position internationally has found itself in a great position to exert moral suasion and position itself to get the most out of the international community.
The other thing that Indonesia has done in the past is rice. There was a rice crisis in 2008, I believe, and Indonesia acquitted itself well in the rice crisis. And so countries that eat rice—I know it sounds uncharitable—but if they ate more rice and less wheat, then the demand for wheat would be less, and then the price of wheat could ease up.
And it shouldn’t be impossible for, let’s say, the Filipinos and the Indonesians to eat more rice. It’s not objectionable to them. Of course there are some that want wheat in their noodles, and maybe they have to pay more for the wheat in their noodles if they want the noodles that badly. But if countries who eat rice—I’m not sure where China comes out on this because they eat rice and wheat—but if countries who eat rice traditionally can be encouraged to eat more rice, at least temporarily, it would ease the international demand for wheat and the price of wheat, in addition to whatever can be done with getting the ships out of Ukraine and everything on that front.
So these are some of the ideas that we think should be encouraged by the G20. Now in the form of it, I don’t know. It’s opaque to us. It may be opaque to everybody, maybe it’s not opaque to some of you. But how the G20 can do this, whether through moral suasion, whether it’s through a communique—it doesn’t have to be a communique. If they can’t have a communique, they can have something. They can have a speech. They can have a declaration of principles, or all kinds of things can—there are plenty of minds in this room that can devise the title of the document.
MICHAEL VATIKIOTIS: Thank you. Thank you, David.
Hashim, go ahead. And let’s keep the discussion—and then Gaurav afterwards, yeah.
HASHIM DJOJOHADIKUSUMO: I do want to say I’m a good friend of David, and just a devil’s advocate, David—I mean, just to illustrate how complex the situation is—I don’t want to diverge too much from the theme, which is food security, but I think we have a problem if you are asking people to eat more rice. There are two implications. One aspect is the health aspect—diabetes. Me, I love eating rice. I eat—in fact, I had Nasi Goreng this morning. You know, it’s—but I think we have to admit that eating more rice, with its glucose in the rice, is a major driver of diabetes in China, India, and Indonesia. I mean, we’re—so that’s one.
Now another—the second one is the climate change aspect. I’ve been told by experts—maybe Pak Kasdi and others can enlighten us all—is that actually rice paddy cultivation is a major producer of methane into the atmosphere. And it’s a contributor—a net contributor of emissions to the atmosphere.
So, you know, it’s very—the whole thing is very complex, you know, and I just wanted to say that because I don’t know whether increased rice consumption is the answer, frankly. Thank you.
MICHAEL VATIKIOTIS: Thank you. Gaurav.
GAURAV SRIVASTAVA: Thank you, David, and thank you, Hashim.
You know, it’s important to remember. You know, my wife and I—she is Japanese-American, I am Indian-American. Culturally we are coming from multiple cultures, and that’s the beauty of the United States, is that you can come from anywhere and still be American.
I think we’re here to acknowledge the cultures and be able to work together, and as we are having this conversation, the more pressing question is people are hungry right now. They’re not going to go to bed tonight with a full meal. We’re going to have a coffee break with a couple of watermelons and decide whether we want some more cantaloupes in it. It’s a bit of a misnomer.
So the question is what do we do today, what do we do right now, and yes, the conversation today is Russia, and Ukraine, and the invasion. And it’s a pertinent topic to be discussed. But Indonesia’s philosophy, which David mentioned, of being neutral is because Indonesia has a population that is—that they have to feed. They have to run their cars, they have to run their bikes. They require oil, they require food, and how do you regulate that?
I think, as we have—as we convene here, the question is the mechanisms that are being put in place by the government today, do they regulate with what is needed in Africa, as the lady from the African EXIM Bank said before, and does suggestions like the price gap that we have today—does it work? I think that’s the more imperative question because it is OK to sit and pontificate on what’s going to happen in 50 years, but the question is I’m hungry right now. And I know—and I think Sharon can say if I get hungry this is—it becomes—even for me it becomes very difficult.
Imagine a kid who hasn’t eaten. So we have to really think about what do we do as top leaders as we convene here to work from a policy point of view and from a business point of view. I think that’s my—that’s what I think.
MICHAEL VATIKIOTIS: Absolutely. I mean, one statistic that grabbed me was that, just in September, food prices in Kenya increased 15 percent. And that’s already translated into insecurity and rising criminality. So it’s the impact on human security—not just stomachs but also, you know, physical violence.
GAURAV SRIVASTAVA: I mean, it is important to remember, you know, as we are sitting here, if the population is hungry, that is what gives rise to violence—violence that can destabilize whole nations.
So how do we work together with the two bread baskets of the world; that is Ukraine and Russia, in a program that is regulated whereby which the flow continues but it is better monitored under a system. I think it’s something to think about.
MICHAEL VATIKIOTIS: Yes, and, you know, we’ve already got two nice ideas that are on the table that could immediately make some impact: one is the idea of financing for emergency food reserves—of emergency food reserves, and then also this idea of a food-security-focused dialogue at the high level, between governments because that actually drives to the immediate needs for action.
I’d like to come back actually, if possible, to our friend from the African EXIM Bank because I thought she gave a very good perspective on the practical, you know, challenges of ensuring supply and affordability. So if you could come back again and give us some idea of what you think is needed and what could be—and what could be put on the table in this meeting over the next few days.
Q: Thank you. The name is Gwen Mwaba. Yeah. So, I mean, one of the things that we are doing for the African continent beyond the statements that I made around the immediate solutions is we’ve developed an Africa Trade Exchange whose purpose is really to aggregate the needs of Africa for grains and fertilizers so that we can approach supplies on a pooled procurement basis. We did the same for COVID-19 vaccines during the time when there was scarcity for vaccines, so adopting the same model, we believe that we can bring the cost of logistics down through aggregation, and also the supply, because of the volume, will be higher than individual African countries importing by themselves.
So this exchange is up and running. Now the exchange primarily is meant to support the implementation of the AfCFTA, and so the idea is that African producers of fertilizer would be supplying African buyers. And our statistics show that there is adequate production of the key fertilizers and their derivatives on the African continent; however, the supply doesn’t always end up in Africa, and part of that reason is because the supply is being purchased by countries outside of the continent.
So when we spoke to some of the larger suppliers in Morocco, in Egypt, and other African countries, one of the things they said is yes, we have production, but we’re tied into contracts of a year to 18 months. So one of the things we need is for some of those contracts to be released so that that fertilizer can be redirected to Africa so that, for the next farming season, they can be, you know, adequate at production and increased production if we can’t get fertilizers from the Black Sea region where Africa is a big importer.
In addition to that, obviously our institution will finance a lot of that production and supply of fertilizer, and we already have—we initially had $4 billion, which has already been consumed, so we need other international DFIs to come to the table to provide the financing that is needed to make these supplies available to the African continent.
And I think the other points were made in my earlier intervention around what we might be able to do around sanctions immediately. But basically so any support to the Africa trade exchange is very welcome.
And finally, even though this exchange was set up primarily to facilitate the implementation of AfCFTA, during the crisis that we’re facing because of the Russia-driven war, we are also reaching out to international suppliers globally—Western countries included—to participate on the Africa Trade Exchange where there are supplies available for both greens and fertilizers which can then be supplied onto the African continent. Thank you.
MICHAEL VATIKIOTIS: Thank you very much.
Actually, I’d like to come back to the ADB on this because, you know, it might be something that could be—if you could follow up on that discussion on trade exchange and what could be done multilaterally in this region. Thank you.
QINGFENG ZHANG: Yes, thank you so much, Michael.
Again, I—after the Russian invasion of the Ukraine war, actually this in May, while the international financial institutions we generally formulate the action plan to try to address this food insecurity, one of the key action is mitigating fertilizer shortage… and also the variability issues. That is a key issue because the last three years fertilizer price triple already, so the price will be high.
So I—one of the immediate actions, while helping Sri Lanka, the country or the crops in terms of the financial stability, so while we did these, we said… together we are quickly provide the social protection measures and also the budget support to help them to produce the fertilizer as quickly as possible. Of course, we also provide to those SMEs to help them to procure the fertilizer.
I think a second measure is very, very critical to how to translate this challenge into the opportunity to say—because of, you know, we too much rely on the chemicals. Probably in the future translated you know, this policy change to the more subsidy to encourage the efficient utilization of fertilizer.
And the same time, our colleague from Indonesia was mentioning about the nature-based solutions.
Finally, I have to say we’re also talking about in the future probably not necessarily relying too much on the natural gas as a raw material of the fertilizer. We need to use probably hydrogen as a source of fertilizer as a way out.
So we have a number of the solutions. So again I want to emphasize the smooth supply of fertilizer probably is a defining factor for the length, also, the—of this food crisis. So it’s very critical for the G20 have an agreement to ensure this smooth and the free trade of the fertilizer. That is very critical.
Let me just pause here. Thank you.
MICHAEL VATIKIOTIS: Thank you. Just as a—General, go ahead—because I want to then go back to innovation and technology, but go ahead.
GENERAL WESLEY CLARK (RET.): Well, I’d like to offer three specific suggestions starting on the technology side. Ten years ago the United States Agency for International Development was in Africa, in South Sudan, and Tanzania, and pushing two technologies. One was a cassava that did not have to be cooked to be eaten. Normal cassava was 20 years’ supply in the ground; this only lasts a couple of years, but now you don’t have to cook it. So it made it much more accessible.
Secondly, the introduction to Africa of yellow sweet potatoes as opposed to white sweet potatoes—now USAID was pushing this. What I don’t know and what I haven’t—maybe there are experts here who know this. Did it result in anything? Is there widespread, worldwide understanding that there’s cassava that doesn’t have to be cooked to be consumed, and that there should be no more white sweet potatoes in Africa? You need yellow sweet potatoes for Vitamin A.
So I don’t know whether these—I don’t know if we’re propagating agriculture advancements correctly, and this takes me to the idea of agricultural extension services. In Angola, the Israelis brought their agricultural extension service to bear on a project in an abandoned Portuguese valley, and brought in Israeli experts to talk about drip irrigation, to talk about how to price and develop for the markets, and it produced some exceptional results.
But that system is not in place in many African countries is what I’m afraid of. So I’m wondering whether one of the suggestions we can make to the G20 is that there should be a lot more emphasis on agricultural extension services. This is what has really produced America’s innovation in agriculture. It’s done by all the universities, land grant institutions do it.
Now the second thing, though, about it is some innovations are protected by intellectual property. There was a lawsuit a few years ago against a farmer in Indiana—you may have seen this—where he kept the grain from the previous harvest and replanted it. And then it turns out, no, he can’t do that because he has to buy fresh seed each year, and this was upheld by the US court system.
Obviously, there is some concern about if you take away intellectual property protections you undercut innovation. But do we have the balance right? What’s happened in the agricultural innovation market is firms have consolidated, and so Monsanto, for example, has a huge impact on corn and other grain innovation. Is there too much consolidation in this market at the expense of what’s good for the public?
And the third thing is the idea of strengthening the financial support for the World Food Programme so World Food Programme can provide reinsurance coverage for the kinds of grain deliveries to countries at risk or in cases of conflict zone so they can get in there and assure the owners of the vessels and the factors that they can be protected.
So those are three ideas. I just throw them out on the table. I’m not an expert in it, but I’ve worked in the system enough to know I think there’s something here and I would invite the group to tailor this or accept it, reject it, or refine it in some way specifically. OK.
MICHAEL VATIKIOTIS: Thank you, General.
Can I come back? Let me take two of these, at least, and maybe expand on them—the first on agricultural extension services.
I mean, I was going to ask Erez Fait because, you know, one of the things about nature-based solutions and technology related to that is the speed with which things can be conveyed to the farmers on the ground, and I see that as a problem because in many parts of the world it’s actually quite difficult to convince people to abandon their traditional practices.
So, please, could you—
EREZ FAIT: OK. First of all, you’re right. It’s like almost changing religious, almost, because farming, going from experience of their ancestors, and actually farming doesn’t change almost 10,000 years. Only technology improve. We have people, drip lines, but the practice is the same. So we apply the same amount of water and same amount of fertilizer.
We came—and, thank you, General, for mentioning some of the technologies, but we are coming from a different approach as a company of education the farmer because technology without education improving doesn’t work. People need to adapt.
So we started in Thailand. The minister of agriculture invited us to take one hectare of abandoned paddy that was meant to grow only rice and we managed to grow almost seven to 10 type of crops.
Next to me sitting Widja, that he is a local partner that actually managed a project that started by minister of defense three years ago. And the minister was practical, make decision, let’s do—let’s not talk and to move forward, and we established a five-hectare project where we grow more than 30 type of crops indoor/outdoor and we prove locally the new practice of growing rice only with 20 percent amount of water. No swamp, no methane, no weeds, and no germination replanting. And we did the same for corn and other crops.
And the beauty is that everything was run by a local team that was trained remotely because of the COVID, and we have the same in California, the same in New York, the same in Morocco now.
So when we speak about government, like, government provide health and provide education, and education/health doesn’t have ROI on the other side because it’s usually obvious that government need to provide health and education and security.
So I think—I’ve seen it also in Vietnam. I recently have meeting with Vietnam and they provide the farmers with the infrastructure because they understand that if they will build the greenhouses and provide the water and electricity, education, the farmers grow more and they pay tax, and by paying tax this become instead of vicious circle it’s become a positive circle.
And we can continue and I would like to give Widja, that he is coming from different field. He is coming from defense, from other background, and now we join together to change this ecosystem for good by doing it available.
And, again, it’s not more expensive. It’s less expensive because we are talking also with DFC and the US government to build locally the technology. If it’s a drip line, if it’s the facility, and then the logistic is much easier.
So government can finance the infrastructure to the farmers and then from the tax that they’ll pay you can deduct it.
MICHAEL VATIKIOTIS: Please go ahead.
WIDJAJANTO: OK. Thank you, Erez. Thank you, Michael.
I would like to resonate three things, Michael, if I may speak on behalf of this G20 discussion.
Let’s promote our G20 communiqué and global food security solution by having—one is about technical proficient. I learned a lot from Israeli company from my colleague here, Mr. Erez, from the project initiated by Mr. Prabowo, my minister of defense.
But the problem is this technology is only available in his country whereas our country doesn’t have diplomatic relations. So I have to go around third country, fourth country, fifth country. You know the result? Transshipment more costs.
So we need to find a solution…
Number two, for the TikTok generation and also about the farming practices that you mentioned, in our area, I’m the oldest. I am 52. The rest is young people. They do the farming with their phone. They do the farming—the control—with internet. So we make it sexy. We make it more hype for the TikTok generation. You’re right. So if you come to my farm, you will no longer see an old farmer, Michael, but young people, I promise you.
The third is financial inclusion. I would like to promote also because the problem is when I went tocentral Java, most of the farmer doesn’t have big land part. Small portion—0.5, 0.2. How do we incorporate this?
The nice guy here from ADP, they must have learned from some type of municipal here in Indonesia to promote also this kind of initiative, having strong support from a financial institution like ADP. G20, I believe, is a good opportunity by Michael to talk about this.
Last, but not least, about incentive, or I call it less import restriction. In my experience, to import agriculture technology stuffs the bank is crazy, let alone the fertilizer. So we need to tell the government: Don’t only impose tax for us. You can grab another revenue from the selling of the harvest, as Mr. Erez just mentioned, in other countries.
So this four angle I would like to propose to be discussed further tomorrow. I believe Erez has his session tomorrow. Be more than happy to do the testimony. Thank you, Michael.
MICHAEL VATIKIOTIS: Thank you, Pak. That is very useful input.
Now, I mean, we have two—in a way, we have the technology side and my concern there is the speed with which technology can be used to alleviate the problem.
But then we have, as we just heard from—earlier about the question of financial support for WFP, and on the question—I mean, finance, it seems, is the short-term solution. and I’d like to ask Niels again to comment on this because you have a very practical experience.
And then, Gaurav, I’ll come back to you.
NIELS TROST: Yeah. Thank you, Adam.
I think it’s important to take the discussion back a little bit to what we can do immediately, and I think it’s great hearing possible solutions in the field of innovation, which is all great. But I think that will bring solutions in five years from now, 10 years from now.
But, today, we have people starving—literally starving—in Africa. And I think Kira made an interesting comment about Russia pulling out of the grain deal and one has to wonder why did Russia pull out of the grain deal.
My understanding was that they were unhappy with the fact that many of those shipments did not end up in the country—in the continent that needs it most, which is Africa. So then we have to ask the question why do these shipments not go to Africa and the reason is that the grain prices—it’s affordability again. The prices are too high for Africa to be able to pay it and Europe can pay those high prices.
And the second issue is that financial institutions are not willing to finance these shipments from Russia because of self-sanctioning reasons, and I think if we want to look at an immediate solution we have to take this discussion beyond geopolitics and really look at practical solutions.
Even though it may be difficult to accept morally, I think we may have to come to the conclusion that we have to cooperate with the largest food producer in the world—the largest food and energy producer in the world, which is Russia.
Now, that may be morally a very difficult decision to take. But I do think as world citizens we have that responsibility and look at how can we practically help, for example, the African continent.
And I think, for me, one of the practical solutions is to look at self-sanctioning. You know, why are we self-sanctioning and should we be self-sanctioning? Do we not have a moral obligation to help those in need?
So that’s one thing that I wanted to focus on. And I think if we can convince the financial institutions that are part and parcel of this industry, the fact of the matter is we cannot as shipping companies finance these cargoes ourselves. The financial requirement is simply too large. We need the banks to start opening letters of credit again. We need the banks to say yes, we do have a moral obligation to bring food and energy to the world.
And the same applies to the insurance companies. Same applies to the shipping companies.
One of the comments that was made is about the importance of fertilizers and the affordability of it. Affordability, of course, is price. The largest fertilizer producers are based in Belarussia and Russia, and we have been sanctioning some of those producers and also self-sanctioning.
So I think, again, we need to address that. We need to look at that. Do we really want to do that? If we want to bring the price down the fact is you have to increase exports. It’s as simple as that. And, again, these are difficult decisions to take morally. But we do have—again, I like to stress it—we do have a wider, a bigger responsibility to bring fertilizers to the world and bring energy prices down.
Again, fertilizer prices are closely linked to energy prices. So if we want—if we really want to bring prices down and make food and fertilizers more affordable, we have to look at increasing energy exports and reducing self-sanctioning.
So these are just the points that I wanted to emphasize.
MICHAEL VATIKIOTIS: Thank you, Niels, and I know that a lot of people want to—some people want to put more proposals on the table, which is great.
Sharon, I think you wanted to speak. We need a microphone over here as well.
Sorry. Sorry. Just while we’re getting ready, you know, Niels, that’s a very good point. To your point about the moral, you know, and Russia being the largest producer, surely that’s a question of leverage as well. There needs to be a tradeoff here where supply, but it comes with leverage and in terms of, you know, making sure—holding to the agreement and who has that leverage.
But we’ll come back to that.
GAURAV SRIVASTAVA: I think the question is there is—we just—we need to find a solution on how to work with two breadbaskets, given the interconnectivity of food and energy.
But there’s another issue which I would like to circle, which is we’re talking about agriculture, and in most countries in Asia and Africa agriculture is done by women, and women and children are the ones who bear most of the flak for this—with the conflict in Ukraine with what’s going on now.
And maybe, you know, Sharon wanted to say a few things about—on that.
SHARON SRIVASTAVA: Thank you.
You know, just in sitting here and listening to everything, I see it as, like, there’s a current situation, which was the reason why we wanted to hold this in the first place because we saw how fragile the energy and food connection is because of these breadbaskets being held up in the world.
So I think a good way to look at it is that’s the current immediate situation that we need to think about how to deal with.
and then there’s the future solutions and situations, which include the new technologies—you know, the TikTok agriculture—and that comes down to the agency of human spirit, I believe, which is what someone here mentioned.
How do we think about empowering individuals in their own countries to grow their own food and how do we enrich the soil for those endeavors? Someone mentioned roots—fungus growing on roots and other solutions to being less dependent on exports and imports for their nations.
I think that the other point to your point is, as Nicole mentioned, there’s a disproportionate effect that food insecurity has on women and young people, and we’ve, certainly, seen that in our travels in Asia and Africa where women are really at the forefront of trying to feed their families.
So one thing we can think about are what are the laws that are in place that either support them to building, you know, food security for their communities or that disadvantage them.
Can they own their own land? You know, what are the inheritance laws around farming? Can they get business loans? I think someone brought up, you know, the loans—Ex-Im Bank. How do we think about empowering those women who are really at the forefront, in many ways, of feeding their communities?
And, of course, education, you know, because even if we do have the new technologies and we invest in those new technologies, how do we educate these women? And a lot of them are female farmers. Like, that is the reality, and how are we thinking about that? I think it’s a really important thing to think about in our discussions.
MICHAEL VATIKIOTIS: Thank you, Sharon, for bringing it down to that very human and vital level. Thank you.
Fred, you had a proposal.
FREDERICK KEMPE: So I think of these things more from a geopolitical standpoint. So I’d make two proposals for the G20 or maybe—in general, maybe this is even for the United Nations.
But it seems to me that we should—and this goes back to what General Clark said in the first session, which has been tweeted out and is getting some traction—your quote, General Clark, “A nation cannot invade another nation and jeopardize the food security for the entire world. It’s simply impermissible.”
So why not weaponize—why not make it an international crime to weaponize food security and hunger?
Now, calling things an international crime has done nothing to stop Putin so far. But, on the other hand, for it to be there to make clear that this is beyond the pale of what the international community can accept, I think, would be useful.
The other thing is countries, because of the fear of rising prices and food insecurity, applied export bans, which made the food insecurity worse—India on wheat, others on palm oil, others on fertilizer products.
So I think the G20 could agree that they would, as a group of 20 countries—leading countries of the world—agree not to engage in agricultural export bans.
And so I think these two geopolitical factors, because let’s not kid ourselves, the reason we are where we are right now, which is the World Food Programme called it the worst food crisis in modern history. The last one was 2008-2012. We’ve got 300 million people on the edge of disaster, 800 million people in food insecurity that weren’t there before the war in Ukraine.
And so I think it’s really—at a time like this, never let a crisis go to waste. This is the time for the G20 to put some signals in the ground of a geopolitical nature.
And then I really liked Hashim’s nature-based solutions, which didn’t get on anybody’s list. And so I think nature-based fertilizer solutions—I mean, this is a little bit beyond the geopolitical issues but I would put that on there as well.
MICHAEL VATIKIOTIS: Thank you, Fred.
Yes? At the back there. Thank you.
Q: Yeah. Thank you. Yeah. I just want to add on the point of empowering women on the farmer because I think that is very, very important, especially in Africa. If you look at how farming are done in the traditional way, the issue or the challenge that people are facing there is huge in term of capacity, also access to finance. Access to finance is a big issue because in many cases finance are not there and bank are not there to support to those farmers, especially the small farmers.
And also, in term of capability, they do not have much capability to really improve the productivity of their land. You know, they have limited—and most of them are doing it manually. So the technology, the capability are not there, and also support are not there.
So one of the things that, when we look at what we can do quickly to really see the impact of those people, I think, is about empowering them in term of technology, in term of access to finance. That’s very, very, very important.
In this respect also, I think, when it come to policymaker, the policymaker has a big role in term of how a country is willing to support the agriculture—how the country is willing, really, to eradicate the food insecurity. And those are the things that, you know in term of quick win that we can implement and do it. Thank you very much.
MICHAEL VATIKIOTIS: Thank you.
Q: Yes. I’m from East Africa and I just wanted to add on the point that Niels brought on the table talking about the impact on Africa.
So, obviously, Africa is a continent of 1.2 billion people, and the impact on food security has been huge. Just going back to the point that Niels made, the geopolitical nature is that you have a double whammy where not only does Africa not have the supply side of the food—you know, the wheat, the rice, everything—and you know, because of the sanction—the self-sanctioning that was talked about, Africa is not able to access not just food, but fertilizers as well. I can tell you that I am personally involved right now in trying to get fertilizer into Kenya. In Kenya, they have the short rains that come in December and right now they weren’t able to access the fertilizers because—one, because of the sanctions on getting fertilizers from Russia; and, two, the credit lines. You know, the financial institutions aren’t willing to provide the credit lines to bring these fertilizers and the food into Africa.
And the third aspect of that, obviously, is you then have a drought. You’ve got the environmental aspect of it, which, obviously, nobody’s talking about here because we’re talking food security and we’re talking about energy. But you know, you’ve got a huge drought, you know. The wheat that went into Djibouti and Ethiopia, there’s thousands and thousands of people starving, you know, who don’t have access to food. Now, when you talk about the fertilizer problem, not only don’t you have that food coming into Africa, but now the farmers who were going to actually grow food—talking about the short rains that I talked about that are coming in December—we won’t have that fertilizer in December. So, again the food—you’ve got the food that should have been grown locally not being available for people to eat, creating even more hunger.
So I think this is a very, very important forum to bring these particular issues to and see if, you know, some of the talent that we have in this room are able to bring this to the G20 and specifically talk about this problem in Africa. Thank you very much.
MICHAEL VATIKIOTIS: Thank you. Before I—I mean, before I sort of begin to sort of summarize some of these proposals, I think we had one more over here and then I’ll turn to Matthew. Then I’ll summarize, and then you can close.
Q: Great. Yes. I’ll be quick.
Just picking up on some of the comments that have been made about financing and financial inclusion. And a contextual/should have proposal—policy proposal point is—it didn’t come up this morning—is, predominantly in the aftermath or exacerbated by the pandemic is the issue of debt. We are seeing increased debt at the sovereign level, at the country level, as well as at the corporate level and even at the SME level. The IMF has warned of nonperforming loans and a debt crisis, really, at all levels. So when we think about the financing solutions and the financing challenge and the access to credit and opening up those credit lines and even financial inclusion and microfinance supporting small- and medium-sized enterprises and smallholder farmers, I think we need to keep that context and what that means as far as thinking about innovative financial solutions that are also operating and can address that debt issue and that reluctance, whether that’s debt swaps, whether that’s thinking about blended finance, and even getting into some of those microfinance. So just wanted to make sure that we’re linking in the debt agenda, which is on the G20, and when we’re bringing the food security and climate finance into it as well that we are linking to that overall kind of sovereign and macro debt crisis, because that will be on the agenda of the G20 as well. And we can tap into that, into those solutions.
MICHAEL VATIKIOTIS: Thank you. That’s useful.
MATTHEW KROENIG: Two possible solutions, one short term and one longer term.
We heard from several of our colleagues in the private sector that one of the challenges here is that banks are unwilling to provide financing because they’re afraid of falling afoul of Russia sanctions. And so I think one solution is education. You know, there’s always humanitarian carveouts in US and international sanctions. But educating the private sector about that, that they can facilitate flows of food without falling afoul of sanctions, that’s something that think tanks or universities, others around this room can contribute to.
Longer term, in the last section I said that part of the problem, I think, is we’ve become too dependent on too few suppliers providing too few food sources. It seems like a lot of what we did talk in the second session was about diversifying sources of food supply: providing financing, providing technology to, you know, increase domestic production—African fertilizers, for example—introduce new food types like yellow sweet potatoes. And so—and it’s not a concrete solution, but in terms of a strategic framework it seems like diversifying sources of supply so you’re not so dependent on any single source is an important part of the solution.
MICHAEL VATIKIOTIS: Thank you, Matthew.
Hashim, quickly, and then—yeah. Please go ahead, Hashim—Pak Hashim.
HASHIM DJOJOHADIKUSUMO: Yeah. I think—I think one of the things that we haven’t really found a solution or perhaps a proposal for a solution, on the payments problem. We’re talking about nature-based solutions. Thank you very much, Fred. I mean, that’s medium to long term, right? But as Niels and Gwen and our friend from Kenya, East Africa, you’re facing an immediate problem. December you need fertilizers, right? And the problem is there’s a lot of money which wants to go and send to Russia, but banks don’t want to facilitate the transfer of payments. That’s a problem. And so I think what we can do is maybe—this is a short-term solution—perhaps there is somebody from the Inter-American Development Bank, maybe from the African Development Bank. Can those multilateral institutions, can they guarantee the LCs without fear of retribution from AFAC, right, from the Treasury Department? I can tell you for a fact that Indonesian banks are deathly afraid of phone calls from the US embassy, you know? I mean, they’ve told me they’ve had phone calls from the US embassy representing AFAC from the Treasury Department making sure that Indonesian banks don’t open LCs to Russia, OK?
So this is something that I think has to be—maybe we can address it in a few days’ time at G20. Maybe the multilaterals can open the LCs. Maybe the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development can open the LCs. Maybe the European Investment Bank can open the LCs? So I think maybe that’s the short-term solution, a neutral multilateral institution and not too phased by nefarious activities by the Russians. At least it’s for humanitarian we open and they open the LCs to Russia, just purely on humanitarian grounds. Nothing—you know, I mean, not as a bias for the Russians or otherwise. That’s a short-term solution, maybe. I don’t know. But maybe our friends from the multilateral institutions can tell us.
MICHAEL VATIKIOTIS: Thank you.
GAURAV SRIVASTAVA: I think, you know, Hashim, you made a very important point here. And the crisis here is immediate and it needs to be addressed.
But while we are having this conversation, it is also important to remember that we’re not condoning anything here, but it is more to create accountability and let the trade flow. Let accountability happen under a proper program where systems can be put in place so that self-sanctioning doesn’t happen, so that the governments can work together. And that’s really what this is about, and it’s about creating a program of accountability between all the stakeholders. It is Russia, Ukraine, the United States, and other—and other members of the G20 that can work together to find a solution that makes everyone accountable for better solutions. I think that’s the goal.
MICHAEL VATIKIOTIS: Thank you.
General, I know you wanted to quickly jump in, and then I have to summarize.
GEN. CLARK: What Gaurav and Hashim and Niels are pointing out is absolutely essential. We don’t want to self-sanction in such a way that we’re depriving the world of food because of Russia’s military action. However—however—while we argue against self-sanctioning, if we’re going to call for that I think we have to stand forward and say Russia should pull out now. I mean, if we don’t say it on the—in the basis—in the name of food security, who’s going to say it? This is not really about US-Russia.
I’m sorry. I’m a former general. I know you probably think, ah, here he is trying to get mad at Russia and stuff. I’m not. I’m just observing a very obvious point. The immediate cause of this crisis, as we’ve all said, is a Russia—Russian unprovoked invasion of Ukraine. It is impermissible. And I would just like to humbly make the suggestion the first finding of the conference should be: Russia, stop the invasion. Pull out. Let Ukrainian farmers plant their crops, de-mine, et cetera, and then we can also resolve the sanction…
So I think, you know, before we go after self-sanctioning, we have to state the obvious. This is on Russia.
MICHAEL VATIKIOTIS: Thank you.
So I know we’ve sort of run out of time, but I did promise that what I would so is try to summarize and capture, rather, some of the suggestions that were put on the table at this session today that we might want to take forward in the—in the stakeholder discussion tomorrow in more detail. And as I saw them—heard them—I think it comes down to five or six suggestions.
First, financing of emergency food reserves. And I think, you know, I’m going to try and put emphasis here on the immediate needs. So that’s the idea that there should be a mechanism for financing emergency food reserves. And that sort of falls, I think, on many of the governments in the G20 and the multilateral organizations. The UN will be there.
The second would be a G20 forum for food security dialogue, which doesn’t obviously address the immediate problems but begins to create a mechanism for anticipating. These kinds of problems are going to be with us for some time and need special attention.
The third, which I thought was very nicely put by Gwen from the EXIM Bank, which is the idea of a trade exchange to aggregate the needs so that the costs can be brought down. And I think this is an idea that perhaps should be extended to many other parts of the world, as well, particularly in this part of the world.
And fourthly, agricultural extension services. This gets into the realm of something a bit longer term, but obviously vital. And under that would come the whole raft of innovations and nature-based solutions. I mean, as someone who has been recently working in East Africa on some of this—climate change related issues, one of the problems is actually persuading communities that are rather isolated of—and it really is about extension—of the need to, for instance, grow crops in a different way to address and mitigate the impact of climate change. So it’s very, very important; it’s just not immediate. But it has to be done.
And then we come onto the very important issue of finance. We heard one suggestion, financial support for WFP and grain delivery. But I think I do hear in the room a lot of voices calling for a better way to mobilize in this very complex and sensitive geopolitical context some way of finding the financing for obtaining the vital inputs to agriculture. And I very much—and I’ll just sort of capture it in one sort of phrase—I like the idea of this humanitarian mobilization of payment facilitation. And it makes sense to me as someone who’s worked in the humanitarian field that we do all sorts of things to bend—no, to adapt to difficult circumstances in the humanitarian field. Well, why not do payments as well? You know, and it’s something to think about.
And at that point—at this point, I will hand over to Matthew. And I hope this has been a useful discussion. Thank you very much.
MATTHEW KROENIG: Great. Well, thank you very much, Michael. I’d just like to say a few words to adjourn the session today and conclude the first of two days of the Atlantic Council’s Global Food Security Forum.
I was introduced earlier. I’m Matthew Kroenig. I’m the acting director of the Scowcroft Center for Strategy and Security at the Atlantic Council. We lead the Atlantic Council’s work on food security because we do see it as a real security challenge.
And it’s been a pleasure joining you today for this rich set of discussions on global food security challenges and opportunities. I learned a lot. I found it useful. I hope you did as well. We talked about some of the challenges—climate, COVID, conflict; some of the solutions—global governance, financing, technology. Michael did a brilliant job of summarizing those for us just a moment ago.
But this is just the first step. As you know, we’re going to come back tomorrow for a large public conference. We invite you all back here at 8:15 a.m. Bali time 7:15 p.m. Eastern Standard Time, for the second day. And we’re going to continue to build on some of the solutions we’ve identified today.
So we have a terrific lineup for tomorrow. Experts and officials to appear include Indonesian Defense Minister Prabowo Subianto, US Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer, Ambassador Cindy McCain, Desi Anwar from CNN International, and many more. So we hope to see you back here tomorrow.
Let me again thank our forum co-hosts, the Ministry of Defense and Coordinating Ministry of Maritime Affairs and Investment of the Republic of Indonesia, Gaurav and Sharon Srivastava. Thank you, Sharon and Gaurav, for making this possible.
And thanks to the moderators of our session, Michael and Adam, who did a terrific job.
And thanks to all of you who came to participate today. Thanks to all of you, the hundreds of you watching online.
And to those of you who are here in person, you don’t need to go home. We’re going to have a reception to immediate follow in the Cucina restaurant just downstairs. So if you’re interested in joining us, just find the staff with the black lanyards and we can lead you to the reception. We look forward to continuing the conversation over drinks and, again, to seeing you tomorrow.
So, again, thank you. Thank you very much and we’ll see you back here bright and early tomorrow morning.