Food security is more than production volumes and high yields

Adrian Muller, Catherine Pfeifer and Jürn Sanders

Taking Biodiversity Focus Areas under production or abandoning lower yielding, more extensive production systems is the wrong approach to mastering the looming global food crisis, our authors maintain.

Its not just about increasing yields- its about increasing quality. ©Pixabay/Kira Hoffmann 2016

FiBL

The FiBL Research Institutes for Organic Agriculture are state-independent civil society institutions or non-profit enterprises in various European countries. The FiBL Group combines the goal of continuously developing organic agriculture along the entire value chain of the food system through research, knowledge transfer and advisory services, practice-oriented projects and public relations work.

Edited for length and clarity, this interview appeared first in Rural21 Vol. 56 No. 2/2022 on Healthy Soil, Healthy People, Healthy Planet and is part of a media cooperation between Rural21 and weltohnehunger.org.

The war in Ukraine has brought the debates on food security, land use and yields to a new level. Suddenly, for some, any means seems adequate to increase production to compensate for production drops in Ukraine and export insecurity from there and Russia. The European Biodiversity area targets and the Farm-to-Fork-Strategy with its goals of 25 per cent organic agriculture, 20 per cent less fertiliser inputs and halving pesticide use by 2030 are suggested to be put on hold. Organic agriculture is claimed by some to be problematic, as with its lower yields, it would contribute to increased hunger in the world. This production focus is not new. Increasing yields to assure food security and the potential danger of hunger from extensive production systems have been debated again and again. Similarly, high yields are claimed to improve the environment, while extensive systems with lower yields and higher land demand would result in net environmental losses. Here, we mull on these issues, bring some results from recent research together and ask whether such focus on yields helps to face the current challenges or does not address symptoms rather than causes.  

 

What are yields?

Crop yields are a central indicator for farmers. Higher yields usually lead to higher revenues and food availability. However, they are not a measure for food security, which requires much more complex concepts. Next to food availability, food security encompasses access, use and utilisation, as well as stability of these over time.
Production and yields of single crops are not even of primary importance from a food availability perspective.

 

More relevant is the quantity of food nutrients, i.e. protein, fat, micronutrients and calories provided by a given area.

 

Wheat produced as animal feed contributes differently to food security than wheat directly consumed as food. Maize lost or wasted, or even used for biofuel, does not contribute to food availability. For duly assessing the contribution to food availability, temporal aggregation is needed to address the total food output from complex crop rotations. Crop and livestock production need to be addressed together to account for the feed use of some crop rotation elements. Spatial aggregation is needed to capture the total food production from a territory, where animals graze and where food and forage is produced.

 

Use less land and get more from existing cropland

Neglecting these complexities hinders thinking beyond yields and intensification. Some scientists argue that using genetically modified crops in Europe to the extent practised in the US could reduce European agricultural greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions by 7.5 per cent. The assumed yield increases for maize are a key driver behind this. However, what is neglected here is that in almost all European countries, way over 50 per cent, and in many more than 80 per cent, of this maize is used as feed for livestock, producing even more GHG and contributing less to food security than direct food production from croplands.

 

Neither do high yields just come from anywhere. Fertilisers, plant protection, water and other inputs are needed to grow crops. In intensive systems, these usually stem from external sources. Arguments for high production for food security thus work only if these inputs are available. In the context of the war in Ukraine, this has particular importance, given that Russia is both a central exporter of mineral fertilisers and fossil energy.

 

Furthermore, high yields are not only based on the availability of external inputs, but also on many ecosystem services that in turn are threatened by intensive production systems.

 

This is not to say that yield increases and efficiency should not play a role. But resource use could often be organised more efficiently. For example, too much fertiliser is applied in many high-input systems, and some reduction would often be possible without yield losses. Production factors such as soils could be improved to achieve higher yields with similar inputs and without increased environmental impacts. Then there is the case of input use being low not because of explicit management decisions for extensive production, embedded in a corresponding agronomic and systemic context, such as for organic agriculture, but because of a lack of financial means to buy more inputs, without adapting other management aspects to this situation.

 

Suggestions for yield increases usually change production systems in given locations. A complementary strategy focuses on changing locations of given production systems by optimising crop location based on climatic and soil characteristics to realise maximally attainable yields. This has a high potential for improvement. Modelling studies show that with this strategy, cropland use could be reduced by 20 to 30 per cent and agricultural GHG emissions could be cut by 30 to 50 per cent.

 

This is promising but requires flexibility in the most inflexible crop production input, which is croplands with their fixed location. Choosing production systems in given locations to maximise yields fits much better into the current economic and institutional organisation of agriculture than choosing the location for a given production system. For farmers, the location usually is not flexible due to property rights, while the choice of production systems and management is. Nevertheless, knowing the potential for improvement of such a reallocation of cropping activities is important. Given the usually large financial and institutional involvement of governments in agriculture, setting some incentives for such improvements may be investigated in more depth.

 

Providing room for less intensive production

Efficiency increases and production changes do not utilise the flexibility we gain when adopting such a broader understanding of yields as presented above, focusing on the nutritional value and not on the single crop yield. Thus, consumption changes come into play. First, food that is not eaten because it is lost or wasted along the value chain should ideally never have been produced. Second, reducing feed production, e. g. forage maize, which is in many industrialised countries one of the most important cultures, or barley, maize and other grains that are to a large extent used for feed, can free large cropland areas for direct food production – if consumers with high animal source food consumption are prepared to eat less of these products. Such a reduction could also lead to health benefits for many of these consumers. Model-based assessments of such and related scenarios show that optimising healthy diets for minimal environmental impacts or even sourcing food protein from novel alternative sources rather than classical livestock and crops could reduce cropland use by 80 to 90 per cent without compromising food nutrient supply.

 

To hedge against potential production drops in Ukraine, addressing the cropland used for food or feed and similarly addressing how the commodities produced are used has a big and more sustainable potential for food security than taking biodiversity focus areas under production or abandoning lower yielding, more extensive production systems. These shifts in consumption and corresponding shifts in cropland production lead to a smaller food system in terms of material, nutrient and energy inputs and outputs. This reduces the pressure on agriculture to produce high yields to meet a certain nutritional goal and thus provides the space for more extensive production, with fewer inputs and lower yields. Extensive systems tend to have lower environmental impacts at territorial level and to be associated with the provision of many ecosystem services, including those supporting agricultural production and hence food security in the long term, such as pollination, healthy and fertile soils, or water provision.

 

Clearly, as relocation of cropland use, such consumption changes require a thorough transformation of the food system, not just some incremental short-term adaptation.

 

It is thus much more difficult for policy-makers and businesses to commit to such a vision than to mere production and yield increases.  

 

Of prices and trade
Food commodity prices and trade are at the centre of the debate on food security. Ukraine is a key exporter of wheat and other bulk commodities. Some countries are heavily dependent on such imports, and the huge price increases could lead to famines. However, short-term activism to increase production elsewhere to compensate for potential losses is not the best answer. Food commodity prices are driven only partly by total production. They correlate strongly with energy prices and also depend on the demand for bioenergy and feed. Also, the reduced storage capacities over the past decades, relying on global markets and economising on expensive storage infrastructure play an important role, as do speculation and psychological aspects of market players.

 

Obviously, action has to be taken to assure food security for the regions heavily dependent on imports from Ukraine. For this, the debate needs to not only relate to quantities and prices, though. Rather, the interplay between self-sufficiency in commodity production, yields, the allocation of commodities between food, feed and energy and the dependence on food and feed imports and inputs such as fertilisers and energy needs to be critically assessed, ideally within a long-term strategy for food security.

 

What does this mean for future food production?

It is crucial to ask for which use we produce what, where and how to take action with regard to the big challenges food systems face today, including the immediate crisis. The debate needs to go beyond production quantities and yields, and decisions should be taken based on all potential options and accounting for all crises, including droughts and heatwaves and further climate change impacts. Only then is it possible to develop a diversification strategy that mitigates risks and ensures the resilience of the global and national food systems.

 

For such, we have many options to take action, all with their respective advantages and drawbacks. Intensification and yield increases can reduce land use and environmental impacts per unit of product. But where applied, their aggregate impacts within a local ecosystem context bear the danger of transgressing carrying capacities. Extensive systems such as organic or agro-ecological approaches rather avoid this. Due to the relatively lower yields, though, the impacts from higher land use are curbed only when such is avoided by reducing the size of the whole food system. This necessitates changes on the consumption side and along value chains towards reduced waste and losses and reduced consumption of animal source food, all very challenging to achieve.

 

Optimising production locations for highest yields has big potential to reduce land use without the drawbacks of intensification, but it requires huge interventions in production decisions.

 

The potential benefits of novel food also face reservations, as these are mostly still in a prototype phase and consumer acceptance is often an issue. Finally, there are many aspects we have not even touched on yet. Examples include vertical farms and soil-less production or new breeding technologies, the central role of training, knowledge and information requirements and provision, as well as the role of power relations and inequality.

 

The bottom line is to not be dogmatic. None of the named approaches will solve the problems alone; none may be banned on ideological grounds or pushed naively, and exercising due caution is always warranted. Let us embrace this complexity and wisely build on the rich basis for solutions, with which all these approaches together provide us.

 

Go back

Similar articles

“Healthy ground brings good and many fruits”

Interview with Ben Sekamatte and Boaz Ogola

Africa's cotton production plays a key role in the fight against poverty. The "Cotton Made in Africa" initiative promotes sustainable cultivation - one element of which is the use of organic pesticides. Entomologist Ben Sekamatte and cotton company manager Boaz Ogola talked with Jan Rübel about soil and yields.

Read more

(c) Privat

A classroom in the Garden of Eden

By Iris Manner

Deforestation harms people and the environment. With nurseries, farmers can earn money and do good. You just have to know how to do it

Read more

Support for sustainable start-ups

Companies in Africa that need financing between $20,000 and $200,000 find relatively few investors, as this sector is too large for microcredit and too small for institutional investors. This creates a "gap in the middle" where companies have limited options. A project of the World Resource Institute provides a remedy with the Landaccelerator 2020.

A World Resources Institute project

Read more

Climate Adaptation Summit 2021: ‘We can do better’

Event report by Jan Rübel (Zeitenspiegel)

The first Climate Adaptation Summit put climate adaptation at the center of politics for the first time. The virtual meeting united global players with one goal: building resilience is just as important as climate protection itself. Around 15,000 participants discussed direct proposals.

Read more

Mr. Samimi, what is environmental change doing to Africa?

Interview with Cyrus Samimi (IAS)

Environmental change is having a particularly strong impact on the African continent. Its landscapes see both negative and positive processes. What is science's view of this? A conversation with Cyrus Samimi about mobility for livelihoods, urban gardening and dealing with nature.

Read more

(c) GIZ

COST-BENEFIT ANALYSES FOR MORE SOIL CONSERVATION

With the help of sustainable farming methods, soils can be preserved and made fertile again. The investment required is also worthwhile from a financial perspective.

A project of GIZ

Read more

Pesticides – a blessing or a curse?

A debate between Lena Luig and Ludger Weß

What are the consequences of using synthetic pesticides in agriculture? Where do they help, where do they harm? Lena Luig, expert for the development policy organization INKOTA, and science journalist Ludger Weß discuss this controversial topic of international scope.

Read more

© GIZ

Resilient small-scale agriculture: A key in global crises

A contribution by Kerstin Weber and Brit Reichelt-Zolho (WWF)

Biodiversity and sustainable agriculture ensure the nutrition of whole societies. But there is more: These two factors also provide better protection against the outbreak of dangerous pandemics. Hence, the question of preserving ecosystems is becoming a global survival issue.

Read more

© GIZ

One Health – What we are learning from the Corona crisis

A contribution by Dr. May Hokan and Dr. Arnulf Köhncke (WWF)

Due to the coronavirus crisis, the connection between human and animal health has gained new attention. Politicians and scientists are joining forces to propagate the solution: One Health. But what is behind the concept? And can it also guarantee food security for all people worldwide?

Read more

Ms Rudloff, what are the benefits of a supply chain law?

By Jan Rübel

The Federal Government is fine-tuning a law that would require companies to ensure human rights – a supply chain law. What are the consequences for the agricultural sector? Dr Bettina Rudloff from the German Institute for International and Security Affairs (SWP) discusses linking policy fields with added value.

Read more

The Forest Maker and his director

Double interview with Tony Rinaudo and Volker Schlöndorff

Tony Rinaudo uses conventional reforestation methods to plant millions and millions of trees – and Volker Schlöndorff is filming a cinema documentary about the Australian. The outcome so far: An educational film on behalf of the BMZ (Federal Ministry for Economic Co-operation and Development).

Read more

Freed from trade? Towards a fairer EU Trade Agenda

A contribution by Dr. Jan Orbie (University Gent)

‘Fair’ and ‘sustainable’ are key words in Germany’s EU Council Presidency. At the same time, Germany pursues ‘modernization’ of the WTO and ‘rapid progress’ on free trade agreements. Are these goals really compatible? Can we be concerned about fairness and sustainability while continuing with ‘business as usual’?

Read more

Can we win the race against deforestation?

Interview with Bernadette Arakwiye und Salima Mahamoudou (World Resources Institute)

Deforestation is leading to a shortage of ressources. What are the options for counteracting? A conversation with Bernadette Arakwiye and Salima Mahamoudou about renaturation and the possibilities of artificial intelligence.

Read more

From Berlin to Yen Bai: 10,000 trees for Vietnam

A contribution by GIZ and BMZ

It began with clicks at a trade fair and ends with concrete reforestation: a campaign at the Green Week in Berlin is now enriching the forests of the Yen Bai Province in Vietnam. A chronicle of an education about climatic relevance to concrete action - and about the short distances on our planet.

Read more

What do you expect from this Pre Summit, Mr. Haddad?

Interview with Lawrence Haddad (GAIN)

Nutrition experts from all over the world are coming together in Rome. They are not only distilling 2000 ideas to improve food systems - they are also preparing for the big UN summit in New York in September. An interview. 

Read more

Mr. Campari, how do we create sustainable food systems?

Interview with Joao Campari (WWF)

Journalist Jan Rübel spoke with Joao Campari ahead of the UNFSS Pre-Summit. The Chair of Action Track 3 highlights key challenges in transforming existing food systems towards sustainable production and shares his expectations for the Summit.

Read more

The fight against illegal fishing

A Report

The oceans are important for our food supply, but they are overfished. To halt this trend the global community is now taking action against illegal fishing. Journalist Jan Rübel spoke with Francesco Marí, a specialist for world food, agricultural trade and maritime policy at "Brot für die Welt," and others.

Read more

Land Rights, Gender and Soil Fertility in Benin

A contribution by Dr. Karin Gaesing and Prof. Dr. Frank Bliss (INEF)

Especially in densely populated areas, land pressure leads to overexploitation of available land and a lack of conservation measures. The West African country of Benin, with heavily depleted soils in many places, is no exception.

Read more

Mr. Marí, what happened at the alternative summit?

An Interview with Francisco Marí (Brot für die Welt)

Brot für die Welt (Bread for the World) did not attend the UNFSS pre-summit. Instead, the organisation took part in a counter-summit that took place at the same time. A conversation with Francisco Marí about the reasons, the process - and an outlook for the future

Read more

Food System Transformation Starts and Ends with Diversity

A Contribution by Emile Frison and Nick Jacobs (IPES-Food)

While having failed to solve the hunger problem, industrial agriculture appears to be causing additional ones both in environmental and health terms. Emile Frison and Nick Jacobs call for a transformation.

Read more

City, Country, Sea: 6 Innovations in the Fight Against Climate Change

A listicle for climate-neutral agriculture

Vertically growing plants, magnetic cotton. Hairy leftovers fertilizing fields, tractors running on algae? These six innovations could lead agriculture’s next Green Revolution!

Read more

‘None of the Three Traffic Light Coalition Parties is Close to the Paris Agreement’

An Interview with Leonie Bremer (FFF)

At the climate conference in Glasgow, activists from various groups protested again – Leonie Bremer from ‘Fridays for Future’ was there too. How can climate protection and development cooperation work hand in hand?

Read more

Diversity Is the Fundamental Principle to Use

An Interview with Shakuntala Thilsted

A conversation with aquatic researcher Shakuntala Thilsted on the long-neglected nutrition benefits of aquatic diets and the empowering qualities of a sustainable aqua-food systems transformation.

Read more

‘Preserving and restoring fertile soils is a global responsibility.’

An Interview with Jochen Flasbarth (BMZ)

Healthy, productive soils are a prerequisite for global food security – one of the priorities of German development cooperation. State Secretary Jochen Flasbarth on Germany’s efforts to support sustainable land management and why the VGGT are more important than ever today.

Read more

Strengthening food markets across the rural-urban continuum

A Contribution by Thomas Forster

How to maintain functioning food markets in global food supply chains in the face of vulnerability and disruption? Markets that support local and territorial food systems are part of the solution. Thomas Forster presents proposals for these markets to cope with future shocks.

Read more

GFFA 2021 focussed on climate and COVID-19

A report by David Sahay (Zeitenspiegel)

110 speakers from 120 countries met virtually at the Global Forum for Food and Agriculture (GFFA) to discuss the challenges to global food supply. They asked the question: How can food systems support the health of people and the planet?

Read more

KLAUS WOHLMANN / GIZ

"Farmers are smart"

Interview with Maria Andrade

From the lab to the masses: Maria Andrade bred varieties of biofortified sweet potatoes which are now widely used all over the continent. She sets her hope on the transformation of African agriculture.

Read more

Small fish with a big potential

A contribution by Paul van Zwieten

African inland fisheries are increasingly reliant on the capture of small fish species that are sundried and traded over long distances. They make an important contribution in alleviating “hidden hunger”: consumed whole, small fish are an important source of micronutrients. Only that, unfortunately, politicians haven’t yet realised this.

Read more

The state of food security in Cape Town and St. Helena Bay

A study by Markus Hanisch, Agustina Malvido, Johanna Hansmann, Alexander Mewes, Moritz Reigl, Nicole Paganini (SLE)

Post-Covid-19 lockdown: How food governance processes could include marginalised communities - an extract of the results of an SLE study applying digital and participatory methods.

Read more

"Soy can be made into more than just flour"

A report by Johanna Steinkühler (GIZ)

The soybean is a natural crop that can be used to make a lot of food. So, Tata Bi started a small processing business first on her own, then with a few other women, which provides the women with an additional source of income year-round besides selling the soybeans.

Read more

School Feeding: A unique platform to address gender inequalities

A contribution by Carmen Burbano de Lara (WFP)

Besides the well known impacts of Covid19 lockdowns for the adult population, the associated school closures led to 90 percent of the world’s children with no access to schools. However, school meals are in often the only daily meal for children. Without access to this safety net, issues like hunger, poverty and malnutrition are exacerbated for hundreds of millions of children.

Read more

(c) Privat

Borderless food security

A contribution by Christine Wieck

Enabling smallholders to trade across regions and borders promotes food security and economic growth. Although everyone is calling for exactly that, implementation is still difficult

Read more

How do you campaign “Food Systems”?

Interview with Paul Newnham, Director of the SDG 2 Advocacy Hub.

The UN Food Systems pre-Summit in Rome dealt with transforming the ways of our nutrition. How do you bring that to a broad public? Questions to Paul Newnham, the Director of the Sustainable Development Goal (SDG) 2 Advocacy Hub.

Read more

What is wrong with our nutrition in Germany, Mr. Plagge ?

An interview with Jan Plagge (Bioland)

Vitamin-poor nutrition must become more expensive, in-vitro meat is not a panacea, and agricultural systems should be more decentralised. Bioland President Jan Plagge in an interview about the challenge of (future) world nutrition.

Read more

African Nutrition - 'Try It at Home'!

A Video Series by Agribusiness TV and GIZ

Share in the taste of African Nutrition – Try it at home! The mini-series showcases traditional, nutritious dishes across the African continent.

Read more

Côte d’Ivoire: The Future Starts With Food

A Contribution by GIZ

How nutrition trainer Edwige helps cocoa farmers in Côte d’Ivoire to prepare for a healthier future.

Read more

"Pandemic increases violence against women"

Interview with Léa Rouanet

African countries still face huge gender gaps in terms of access to work and capital. What are the consequences of Corona for women in Africa? Jan Rübel interviewed Léa Rouanet on lockdowns and gender-based violence. The economist works at the Africa Gender Innovation Lab of the World Bank.

Read more

(c) Privat

How much private investment is the agricultural sector able to bear?

By Pedro Morazán

Small farmers in developing countries must modernise their farming methods, but poorly understood reforms could exacerbate poverty instead of alleviating it.

Read more

Uli Reinhardt/Zeitenspiegel

No dirty dealing

Von Marlis Lindecke

Shit Business is Serious Business: A successful cooperation between research and the private sector.

Read more

(c) Simon Veith

The Big Bang is possible

Interview with Joachim von Braun

Happy youngsters in rural areas, green development and the connection to the digital age – professor Joachim von Braun believes in this future sceneraio for Africa. For three decades the agricultural scienties has been researching how politics can create prosperty on the continent. 

Read more

5 Questions for Gunther Beger (BMZ): What must be done?

Interview with Gunther Beger (BMZ)

How much will it cost to sustainably end world hunger by 2030? This question was posed by the German Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ) that commissioned two research teams with finding an answer. The results of the studies will be presented on October 13 in the run-up to World Food Day.

Read more

'It has never been more possible'

Interview with Carin Smaller (Ceres2030)

Over a period of two years, the Ceres2030 team spent researching answers to the questions of how much it will how much it will cost to realize SDG 2 and where that money should be spent most effectively. IISD Senior Advisor and Ceres2030 Co-director Carin Smaller about small farmers, machine learning and women empowerment.

Read more

Is the international community still on track in the fight against hunger?

Interview with Miriam Wiemers (Welthungerhilfe)

The Global Hunger Index (GHI) 2020 shows that the world is not on track to meet the international goal of “zero hunger by 2030”. If we continue at our current speed, around 37 countries will not even have reached a low hunger level by 2030.

Read more

"Agricultural research unties the Gordian knot"

Interview with World Bank Vice President Voegele

The CGIAR agricultural research organization is systematically repositioning itself. We spoke with Juergen Voegele, Vice President for Sustainable Development at the World Bank, about progress to date - and discuss what needs to be done collectively to stop global hunger in ten years.

Read more

“We have to prepare for the unexpected”

Interview with Dr Maria Flachsbarth (BMZ)

In August, Germany’s development ministry set up a division concentrating on One Health topics. Parliamentary State Secretary Maria Flachsbarth on knowledge gaps at the human-animal-environmental interface, the link between One Health and food security, and lessons learnt from previous pandemics.

Read more

5 Questions for Jann Lay: What is Corona doing to the economy?

Interview with Jann Lay (GIGA)

The Corona pandemic is hitting economies around the world very hard - but developments in African countries are quite diverse. There are different speeds, resiliences and vulnerabilities. What are the reasons for this? Apl. Prof. Jann Lay of the GIGA Institute provides answers.

Read more

Video: 4 Questions to Claudia Makdristo

A video clip by Seedstars

Startups are booming in African agriculture. What are the current trend and challenges – and can other regions benefit from innovative approaches? A Video-Interview with Claudia Makadristo, Regional Manager of Seedstars  

Read more

Turning many into one: CGIAR network restructures

A contribution by Jan Rübel

International agricultural research is responding to new challenges: Their advisory group is undergoing a fundamental reform process and unites knowledge, partnerships and physical assets into OneCGIAR.

Read more

(c) Kate Holt / Africa Practice

Leveraging investment impacts

A contribution by Heike Baumüller, Christine Husmann, Julia Machovsky-Smid, Oliver Kirui, Justice Tambo

Any initiative whose aim is to reduce poverty in Africa should focus first on agriculture. But what kind of investment has the greatest impact? The use of scientific criteria provides some answers.

Read more

Small-scale farmers’ responses to COVID-19 related restrictions

A study by SLE

The lockdown due to COVID-19 hit the economy hard - including agriculture in particular with its supply chains and sales markets. What creative coping strategies have those affected found? The Seminar for Rural Development has begun a research study on th

Read more

"We must mobilise all available resources"

A contribution by Ismahane Elouafi (ICBA)

Freshwater deficits are affecting more and more people throughout the world. In order to counter this, our global food system will have to change, our author maintains. A case for more research on alternative crops and smart water solutions.

Read more

Karel Prinsloo/Arete/Rockefeller Foundation/AGRA

"Nutrition is a human right"

Interview with Joe DeVries (AGRA)

Joe DeVries is a breeder – and Vice President of AGRA (Alliance for a Green Revolution in Africa). What are the chances and risks of a ’green revolution‘ in Africa? A discourse between Jan Rübel and him about productivity, needs, and paternalism.

Read more

ONE WORLD no hunger - Meet the people driving rural transformation

A program by the partners of the special initiative One World no Hunger

The future is rural. On September 24, meet leaders and visionaries from Africa and South Asia who will enter into dialogue with european key actors.

Join uns here to meet the people.

Read more

JOERG BOETHLING / GIZ

Continent in an uptrend

A report by Dr. Agnes Kalibata (AGRA)

Partnering for Africa’s Century: Innovation and Leadership as Drivers of Growth and Productivity in Rural Areas

Read more

A new attempt at Africa's industrialization?

A contribution by Helmut Asche

Afrika is about ready. There are promising approaches for a sustainable industrialization. However, the path poses challenges to the continent.

Read more

The Rice Sector in West Africa: A Political Challenge

New insights on trade and value addition in the rice sector in West Africa

Low import tariffs, smuggling activities, unpredictable tax exemptions and weak enforcement of food safety standards: The potential of local rice value chains is undermined in West African countries.

Read more

What is Our Food Worth to Us?

A Contribution by the TMG Think Tank for Sustainability

Towards integrated accounting standards in the food and farming sector with the help of True Cost Accounting (TCA).

Read more

COVID-19 and Rising Food Prices: What’s Really Happening?

A Contribution by IFPRI

Taking a look at the data (as of February 11th 2022) what the current price hike means for world hunger and what can be done to prevent from another food crisis.

Read more

A New Mindset to Reform Agriresearch

A Contribution by Lennart Woltering (CGIAR)

In context of the 15th CGIAR System Council Meeting, Lennart Woltering shares his assessment of the ongoing One CGIAR reform process.

Read more

For a just transition to a sustainable planet we must secure land rights

A contribution by TMG

At the UNCCD COP15, the Töpfer Müller Gaßner Think Tank (TMG) hosted four side events. The agenda of the kick-off event included discussions for the Human Rights and Land Navigator.

Read more

The lessons learned from the last food crisis - A solution?

A Contribution by Agnes Kalibata

Inadequacy and fragility of food systems becomes more apparent with every food crisis. The question we must answer is “Where do we go from here?”

Read more