UNFSS Pre-Summit: What did it achieve?

After the summit means pre-summit: It was the first time that the United Nations held a summit on food systems. Martina Fleckenstein (WWF), Michael Kühn (WHH) and Christel Weller-Molongua (GIZ), who took part in the preparatory Action Tracks for the pre-summit in Rome, reviewed the situation in this joint interview.

Amina J. Mohammed, Deputy Secretary-General, United Nations at the Opening Plenary of Foody System pre-Summit ©FAO/Giuseppe Carotenuto

Michael Kühn

Michael Kühn is Senior Advisor Policy and External Relation at Welthungerhilfe. After studying political science and history in Hamburg, he worked at the Hessian Foundation for Peace and Conflict Research in Frankfurt, for the United Nations in El Salvador, at Greenpeace in Hamburg and the Lutheran World Federation in Haiti and the Dominican Republic. He has been working for Welthungerhilfe since 2007, first as regional coordinator in Haiti and since July 2010 as climate policy officer in Bonn.

Welthungerhilfe (WHH)

Welthungerhilfe

Martina Fleckenstein

Martina Fleckenstein focuses on conservation, agriculture and sustainable production at national and international level. She previously worked for more than two decades with WWF-Germany as Director, Agriculture & Land Use Change. Among other issues, she worked on sustainability standards, transparency in supply chains, international commodity markets, and sustainable consumption for a range of projects in Southeast Asia, Africa and Latin America.

Christel Weller-Molongua

Christel Weller-Molongua has been leading the Rural Development and Agriculture Division at the Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ) GmbH in Bonn since 2013. After studying geography with a focus on agricultural geography at the University of Trier she completed her post-graduate studies at the Center of International Rural Development of the Humboldt University in Berlin. She started her career with GIZ in Niger in 1989. This was followed by 14 years of project management and implementation in various African countries.

We can now look back to the first major UN summit to be held in a hybrid format. How did it go?

Martina Fleckenstein: I was in Rome and was positively surprised. In addition to personal conversations on the ground, this format actually made it possible to involve global actors who otherwise wouldn’t have been able to participate.

 

Christel Weller-Molongua: I was one of the 20,000 online delegates, and I can confirm this. Also, it was amazing to see so many country representatives taking an active part. You may remember that in the run-up to the event there had been criticism from civil society that they weren’t sufficiently involved, and although this was true for some groups, the overall organisation of the Pre-Summit showed repeatedly that there was a major endeavour to get civil society onto the stage to contribute their positions. It worked out well. So, with hindsight, I’m really pleased with the event. I even found it inspiring.

 

What was missing?

Weller-Molongua: Well, obviously, interaction is rather lacking at virtual meetings, as everyone tends to be more passive: no chats during breaks or discussions in the corridors …

 

Fleckenstein: … and this was much easier to do in Rome than at any other previous event. Delegate numbers were rather limited, as only up to 500 persons were allowed into the building. But this made everything more manageable and more personal. It was a format that might point the way for other summits in the future, with the caveat that no issues were discussed at the Pre-Summit, but it was largely a matter of presenting results. Ideas and solutions were shown and agreements obtained – as a joint effort of the member countries, civil society and private business.

 

Ms. Weller-Molongua, seeing that you found the summit so inspiring, were your expectations a bit low before you went?

Weller-Molongua: They certainly were. Not only did I have reservations about the hybrid format, but I certainly hadn’t expected so much in-depth discussion, covering such a wide range.

 

Fleckenstein: Also, it was the first time that there was a large proportion of women, and this had a very constructive impact.

 

Mr. Kühn, what were your feelings when you started working on the Action Track?  Did you think it would just be another summit with a few pleasant words?

Michael Kühn: I did. We were quite critical and thought: Here’s yet another procedure which will mean laboriously putting together information that is already available, and in the end there’ll be no political will to implement it, because any change to the existing food systems would be impossible without a few unpleasant decisions. As an organisation, on the other hand, we felt that perhaps it would be worthwhile not just to criticise the procedure from outside, but to get involved and to take part in the discussion, as we’d then be able to determine what went well and what didn’t.

 

So what happened?

Kühn: Action Track 5, where we made our contribution, was about creating resilience. There were some very compelling messages, for instance from SIPRI Director Dan Smith, who said: ‘Unless we get a chance to look at “hunger and conflict”, I will leave straight away.’ That was a lot of verve, and it made a difference. It also matched our own background and experience as an NGO. After all, here we were, talking about complex circumstances while being confronted with situations in countries that are facing armed conflicts. This makes it impossible to adopt a rational approach to changing any existing food systems, and other options need to be found. Alternatively, the problems could be solved at a higher level, by putting an end to ongoing wars.

 

How would you sum up the Action Track?

Kühn: My impressions were rather more nuanced. It was pretty chaotic. We joined in January and realised that there was a large number of partners from the North, but only very few participants from the South, and not many from civil society. That changed a bit, but not really properly, even though the organisers made an effort to more actively involve Southern partners from civil society.

 

What made it so chaotic?

Kühn: The deadlines were very tight. The period of time when we could gather information from various countries and generate ideas was roughly from Monday to Friday. If we’d been a thinktank, we’d probably have had all these things up our sleeve, but we had to dig quite a long way into it, which took a lot of effort. The pace was set by others, and so, as an NGO, we had to run fast to keep up. Nevertheless, we did manage to get our points across. There were times when I felt that the Action Track organisers themselves didn’t know what to organise. The questions they sent to the Summit office suggested that they’d been left to fend for themselves from time to time.

 

Fleckenstein: There’s definitely room for improvement here, as the tight timelines were also quite difficult for us. Not all the preparations were perfect. But then, of course, this was the very first UN summit on food systems. If there’s a second Food Summit, then quite a few organisational issues will need to be reassessed. Still, the result was very good: We’ve now got the “ingredients” necessary to work towards a food transition plan. What we need to do now is actually bake the cake that will be eaten at the summit in September.

 

The greatest challenge will be to put the food issue on the agendas of other UN conventions as well, i.e. the ones on biodiversity and climate and, above all, the Land Convention.

 

Weller-Molongua: it was a bottom-up process, and this always means chaos at some stage. We know this from participatory rural development work. When I compare the preparation period for this Pre-Summit with those of other summits, then it was rather short and therefore quite sporty. There were also times when I felt I was losing my bearings, and I had problems finding my feet during the Action Track where I was supposed to represent Germany in matters of content. So I rang Welthungerhilfe – and we realised we were actually fellow sufferers (laughs). As time went on, I began to regain my confidence, because I understood that we were walking in the same direction. So we consolidated the solutions into several solution clusters, which led to some initial coalitions.

 

Was it a matter of merging lots of separate ideas into a single shared framework?

Weller-Molongua: It was actually far more complicated. Nutrition is not a simple issue that follows a clear paradigm. Food systems mean systematically bringing together value chains, production, consumer behaviour and nutrition as such.

 

Kühn: What matters now is the actual implementation. On the positive side, I think some of the things we discussed in the silos and in our bubble are now gradually reaching the mainstream. Also, where there are multiple crises, they’re finally being identified as such. But this isn’t enough by itself. There are several decisions that need to be taken at the summit: Who’s doing what and when? And then the steps need to be monitored. The economist Jeffrey Sachs summed it up very neatly: In his statement, he urged all of us to do our homework, as a food system always consists of multinational actors who basically do what they want. Moreover, it is profit-based, and not enough money reaches poor countries, while there is a major lack of responsibility, particularly among large countries, in dealing with natural resources. International law is almost never respected. Yet human rights definitely need to be put back on the agenda. Ultimately, the UN Sustainable Development Goals for 2030 are a decision to implement human rights.

 

So what are the specific steps that are needed to make the New York summit a success?

Kühn: Obviously, there’s a need for political action on the part of governments, as proposed by Sachs. This will mean contributing money to fund the various national pathways. The sums that have been mentioned up to now are far too low. Also, there needs to be a powerful United Nations organisation. The administrative budget of the UN is a joke compared with the budget of the city of New York alone.

 

Weller-Molongua: I can definitely confirm that. Each country must now define its own pathway, though it’s perfectly all right for those pathways to look different. And they need at least twice as much money to move on to the next step, which is: implement, implement, implement. However, this isn’t just about the countries of the global South. There’s also been a national dialogue in Germany, though I haven’t followed much of it. It’s something that always involves reciprocal rights and obligations.  We’ll have to take a critical look at some fundamental issues and also at our own food system, and we’ll need to change a few things, so that we can contribute to a more sustainable development.

 

Fleckenstein: For me, it’s more important what will happen after the summit. We can’t afford to have a successful summit in New York and then just return to total silence again. Now that a channel has been opened, it needs to be filled with content. All the stakeholders will have to keep up their very impressive involvement. We mustn’t stop at this point.

 

What’s the role of Germany in all this?

Fleckenstein: Germany is a key donor. And next year, the German government will be hosting a G7 summit. This is something the government should prepare for quite soon, and perhaps it could put a special focus on food systems …

 

Kühn: It's all very well having a G7 declaration. But if, for example, the G7 were to announce that they want to make 3 billion euros available for education, and the UN organisations were documenting at the same time that 30 to 40 billion euros are needed, then that would sum up the problem. A G7 declaration would be useless. Such commitments, however, need to be made not only by the German government, but also by the USA, Russia, China and all other major countries.

 

Fleckenstein: I can also see a role for the private sector in contributing to a food transition plan, including funds that it might provide – in the right direction, of course. Calibrating this will be an important task.

 

Weller-Molongua: I can see a need for all these things. However, I’m doubtful whether it’ll be possible to obtain any financial pledges before the New York summit. The biggest players were present in Rome. But I’m certainly not aware of any specific commitments on their parts.

 

What do you reckon Germany should contribute?

Fleckenstein: We could follow the example of the UK, where a food system strategy was presented quite recently, whereas in Germany we’re looking almost exclusively at agriculture, i.e. food production on farmland. The UK strategy, on the other hand, also involves nutrition and consumption. We learned from the Pre-Summit that we need a systematic approach, in other words: we need to look at the plate of the consumer. Food waste and nutritional recommendations are equally important, and indeed across different ministries. The German Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ) handles food security at the international level, and the Ministry of Agriculture looks at production at the national level. But where are the Ministries of the Environment, Health and Finance? There needs to be a shared vision. I’ve sifted through all the various party manifestos for the German federal elections, but haven’t found anything about a food act anywhere.

 

What are other critical issues?

Weller-Molongua: I’d say the governance structure is still an open issue. UN Deputy Secretary-General Amina Muhammed did state at the summit that there should be no new structures and that the UN agencies in Rome would be in charge. But their areas of responsibility are limited. When it comes to making connections with biodiversity, the climate and other SDGs of the 2030 Agenda, as Ms. Fleckenstein said, then the UN structures in New York also need to be involved; anything else would fall short of the mark.

 

Kühn: In that case, the Committee on World Food Security (CFS) should to be given more support.

 

Fleckenstein: I’d have similar concerns if the follow-up process were to be handled entirely by the agencies in Rome, as this might reduce the innovative strength. What made the Pre-Summit so strong was precisely its diversity, with the participation of actors from civil society. We forged 2,000 ideas into 52 solutions clusters. It hasn’t yet been decided how the coalitions will be composed, but it’s important that civil society has its place among them.

 

Weller-Molongua: Are there any plans to set up teams that will lead the coalitions?

 

Fleckenstein: Yes, this is currently being discussed.

 

Kühn: And they won’t be led by member states?

 

Fleckenstein: The various countries are important and should be involved, but on an equal footing, together with civil society and all other actors.

 

Kühn: In our Action Track, it was said that unless we find member states to work with, a coalition will fail.

 

Fleckenstein: Yes, they’re needed, and implementation would be difficult without them. But the Pre-Summit also showed that change can only happen under a multi-stakeholder approach.

 

Did the Pre-Summit generate any momentum?

Fleckenstein: Many say the Pre-Summit was the actual Summit, as the one in New York won’t be as long – not three days, but only one and a half. Rome was far more a place of visions than New York will be.

 

Weller-Molongua and Kühn: We’ve got nothing to add to that.

Go back

Similar articles

“Corona exposes the weaknesses of our nutritional systems"

Interview with Arif Husain (WFP)

The United Nations plan a Food Systems Summit - and now the Corona-Virus is dictating the agenda. The Chief Economist of the UN World Food Programme takes stock of the current situation: a conversation with Jan Rübel about pandemics, about the chromosomes of development - and about the conflicts that inhibit them.

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) Welthungerhilfe

5 questions to F. Patterson: Why is there more hunger?

Interview with Fraser Patterson

Every year in October, the "Welthungerhilfe" aid organisation, with the Irish "Concern Worldwide" NGO, publishes the Global Hunger Index, a tool with which the hunger situation is recorded. What are the trends - and what needs to be done?

Read more

(c) Welthungerhilfe

5 questions to S. Fan: Where are the new roads?

Interview with Shenggen Fan

Shortly before ending his position as Director General of the International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPR) Dr. Shenggen Fan talks about the reforms and new modes of operation needed to achieve global food security in the coming decade.

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

Podcast: Fighting world hunger together

Chancellor Angela Merkel in the Podcast of the Federal Government

At the start of World Food Week around World Food Day on 16 October, Chancellor Angela Merkel stressed that the fight against global hunger will only be successful with international responsibility and solidarity (german only).

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

"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

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

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

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

Resilience in times of crisis

Yemen is currently experiencing one of the worst disasters, due to war, hunger and disease outbreaks. The GIZ is locally engaged to improve the nutrition and resilience of Yemenites.

A project of GIZ

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

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

(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

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

Building our food systems back better

A contribution by Jes Weigelt and Alexander Müller

What is required to make food systems provide sufficient, healthy food while not harming the planet? How should food security be maintained given the threat posed by climate change? Our authors look at some aspects of tomorrow’s food systems against the backdrop of the corona crisis.

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

Do we have to dare a new food system?

A contribution by Dr. Felix zu Löwenstein (BÖLW)

Lack of seasonal workers and virus explosion in slaughterhouses, rising vegetable prices, climate crisis – all this demonstrates: Our food system is highly productive and (at least for the rich inhabitants of planet earth) guarantees an unprecedented rich and steady food supply - but it is not resilient.

Read more

Video diaries in the days of Corona: Voices from the ground

A contribution by Sarah D´haen & Alexander Müller, Louisa Nelle, Bruno St. Jaques, Sarah Kirangu-Wissler and Matteo Lattanzi (TMG)

Young farmers’ insights on the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic on food systems in Sub-Saharan Africa @CovidFoodFuture and video diaries from Nairobi’s informal settlements.

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

(c) Klara Palatova/WFP

A global signpost: What way is the market, please?

A contribution by the World Food Programme

There is a clear global task: We need to feed nine billion people by 2050. We, the people of Earth, must produce more food and waste less. That is the top priority of the UN World Food Programme (WFP), too - the description of a challenge.

Read more

Frank Schultze / Agentur_ZS

Visions in agriculture

Video by Frank Schultze and Jan Rübel

At the beginning of December 2018, AGRA's board of directors met in Berlin. The "Alliance for a Green Revolution in Africa" ​​panel discussed the next steps in their policy of modernizing agriculture. How to go on in the next ten years? One question - many answers from experts.

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

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

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

(c) Nina Schroeder/World Food Programme

Green from the growth container

A contribution by Maria Smentek (WFP)

If there is a lack of fertile soil and rain, hunger breaks out quickly. Maria Smentek from the World Food Programme (WFP) explains how farmers and pastoralists can counter climate change with hydroponic-systems.

Read more

(c) Gudrun Barenbrock/GIZ

Edible bugs - the new beef?

A contribution by Marwa Shumo

Insect farming is economical and environmentally sustainable, they are high in protein and they live on agricultural waste. Marwa Abdel Hamid Shumo thinks: They are the best weapon to combat hunger

Read more

(c) Thomas Lohnes / Brot für die Welt

The hype about urban gardening: farmers or hobby gardeners?

A contribution by Stig Tanzmann

Urban gardening is becoming increasingly popular in northern metropoles. People who consider themselves part of a green movement are establishing productive gardens in the city, for example on rooftops or in vacant lots. In severely impoverished regions of the global South, urban agriculture is a component of the food strategy.

Read more

How the self-help approach empowers smallholder women

A report by INEF and Kindernothilfe

Supporting groups of smallholding women substantially contributes to strengthen rural operations economically. The organisation and associated group activities can help to reduce extreme poverty and improve the food situation.

Read more

Global responsibility: Tackling hunger is the only way forward

A contribution by Lisa Hücking (WHH)

Chancellor Merkel has begun an ambitious European political programme: Striving for compromise in budget negotiations, an orderly Brexit as well as an appropriate response to the corona crisis. Unfortunately, one of her positions that she previously held is nowhere to be found: Africa's prosperity is in the interest of Europe. 

Read more

Gender equality: Essential for food and nutrition security

A contribution by Carsta Neuenroth (BfdW)

The majority of producers in developing countries are women. Although they contribute significantly to the food security of their families, they remain chronically disadvantaged in male-dominated agriculture in terms of access to land, credit, technology and education.

Read more

Success story allotment garden: Food supply and women's empowerment

A contribution by Nadine Babatounde and Anne Floquet (MISEREOR)

To prevent malnutrition among young children and strengthen the role of women in their communities, Misereor, together with the local non-governmental organisation CEBEDES, is implementing a programme on integrated home gardens in Benin - a series of pictures.

Read more

A partnership to fight hunger

A contribution by GAFSP

The Global Agriculture and Food Security Program (GAFSP) was launched by the G20 countries in 2010 in response to the 2008-09 food price crisis to increase both public and private investment in agriculture. An overview of the programme's approach, results and impact.

Read more

Hunger must not be a consequence of the epidemic!

A contribution by Michael Brüntrup (DIE)

Even though COVID-19 poses a threat to the health of humanity, the reaction to the pandemic must not cause more suffering than the disease itself. This is particularly relevant for poor developing countries, where the impact of the corona crisis on food security is even more severe!

 

Read more

Developing countries hit doubly hard by coronavirus

A contribution by Gunter Beger (BMZ)

In most African countries, the infection COVID-19 is likely to trigger a combined health and food crisis. This means: In order to cope with this unprecedented crisis, consistently aligning our policies to the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) is more important than ever, our author maintains.

Read more

Hier steht eine Bildbeschreibung

Statement from GAFSP Co-Chairs: GAFSP and COVID-19 Pandemic

A contribution by GAFSP

COVID-19 has unprecedented effects on the world. As always, the most vulnerable are the hardest hit, both at home and - especially - abroad. A joint appeal by the German Federal Ministry for Economic Development and Cooperation (BMZ) and the Department for International Development (DFID).

Read more

(c) Michael Bruentrup/DIE

News from the starting block: Changeover

A contribution by Michael Brüntrup (DIE)

The region of Sub-Saharan Africa is on the decisive verge of a great development boost in farming: it could skip entire generations of technological development. But how? About possible roles and potentials of digital services.

Read more

An investment in Africa's future

A contritbution by Essa Chanie Mussa (University of Gondar)

Rural youth need viable livelihood opportunities to escape out of poverty and realize their aspirations. How could they be helped to fully unleash their potential? This is an aloud call that needs novel strategies among governments, policy makers, and international development partners and donors.

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

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

© GIZ

Actual Analysis: The locusts came with the crises

A report by Bettina Rudloff and Annette Weber (SWP)

The Corona-Virus exacerbates existing crises through conflict, climate, hunger and locusts in East Africa and the Horn of Africa. What needs to be done in these regions? To face these challenges for many countries, all of these crises need to be captured in their regional context.

Read more

"Extreme is the new normal"

A report by Alexander Müller and Jes Weigelt (TMG)

As the climate changes, the population of Africa is growing and fertile land and jobs are becoming scarcer. New ways are currently leading to urbanisation of agriculture and a new mid-sized sector in the countryside

Read more

© GIZ / Angelika Jacob

This is how developing countries can adapt better to droughts

A contribution by Michael Brüntrup (DIE) und Daniel Tsegai (UNCCD)

Droughts are the natural disasters with far-reaching negative consequences. While rich countries are still vulnerable to drought, famines are no longer found.

Read more

(c) Christof Krackhardt/Brot für die Welt

Together and resourceful against worldwide hunger

A contribution by Brot für die Welt

Climate change disturbs the climate in Ethiopia. The answer from small farmers in the northern region is convincing: diversify!

 

Read more

(c) Christoph Mohr/GIZ

Microinsurance against climate change

A contribution by Claudia Voß

Climate change is destroying development progress in many places. The clever interaction of digitalisation and the insurance industry protects affected small farmers.

Read more

(c) Nina Schroeder/World Food Programme

Hunger is caused by people, not the climate

Interview with Jacob Schewe (PIK)

A study by the World Bank predicts that millions of people in sub-Saharan Africa will have to leave their homelands because of climate change. We have spoken with one of the authors

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

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

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

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

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

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

How Can We Feed The World in Times of Climate Change?

A Contribution by Jan Grossarth

Genetically modified bacteria become edible proteins, cows graze on pasture, and no waste is produced in an industrial circular economy. Journalist Jan Grossarth sees a silver lining for the future of world nutrition

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

Fair Trade and Climate Justice: Everything is Conntected

A Contribution of the 'Initiative for Sustainable Agricultural Supply Chains' (INA)

Fair Trade organisations and the Initiative for Sustainable Agricultural Supply Chains (INA) have launched the #ichwillfair campaign during COP26 to highlight the link between global supply chains and climate change.

Read more

(c) GIZ

Sustainable Artisanal Fisheries and Aquaculture in Rural Areas

Fish is important for combating malnutrition and undernourishment. But it is not only notable for its nutritional value, but also secures the livelihoods and employment for 600 million people worldwide.

A Project of GIZ

Read more

(c) GIZ

Land Rights for Secure Livelihoods: My Land is My Life

Three quarters of the world's population do not have secure land rights, which hinders investment and innovation. The project "Improvement of Livelihood and Food Security" supports smallholder farmers in acquiring land.

A project of GIZ

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

No Food Security Without Climate Protection

A Contribution by Michael Kühn (WHH)

Climate change already affects the daily lives of people in the Global South. What are the challenges they face and what do these imply for negotiations at the climate conference in Glasgow?

Read more

GFFA for New Perspectives on the Planet’s Soils

A Contribution by Journalist Jan Ruebel

For five days, the 2022 Global Forum for Food and Agriculture (GFFA) in Berlin is all about strategies for a more sustainable land use.

Read more

Engaging the Community to Solve the Bushmeat Crisis

A Contribution by the Forestry Research Institute Nigeria

The 'Domestication of Small Monogastric and Ruminant Animals' (DSMR) project led by a Nigerian research institute works with local communities to solve the bushmeat crisis.

Read more

‘Invite yourself’ – Farmers organisations as key stakeholders of food systems

A Contribution by Andreas-Hermes-Akademie

The Andreas Hermes Academy (AHA) discusses the transformation of food systems with 30 representatives of farmers organisations.

Read more

German G7 Presidency – fighting hunger with all our might

A Contribution by Welthungerhilfe

In the run-up to the G7 summit, experts from politics and civil society discussed sustainable and more effective options for action by the G7 states to combat hunger.

Read more

How the War against Ukraine Destabilizes Global Grain Markets

A Contribution by GIZ

Since early February 2022, two of the biggest grain and oilseed exporters have been at war. An overview, which countries are affected most severely by the destabilized grain markets, and what comes next.

Read more

Five Questions for Dirk Meyer

An Interview with Dirk Meyer (BMZ)

Development cooperation needs to place good governance and a sustainable agri-food systems transformation at its center: After the first 100 days in office have passed, Dirk Meyer from the German Development Ministry (BMZ) spells out the goals, guidelines and priorities of the Ministry’s new lead.

Read more

The Black Sea Breadbasket in Crisis: Facts and Figures

An infographic by ONEWORLD no Hunger

Rising food and gas prices, physical destruction and supply chain disruptions: Why the Black Sea region matters and how the war in Ukraine affects global food security.

Read more

(c) Thomas Trutschel/BMEL/photothek

Rethinking funding

By Anna Sophia Rainer

Peasant farmers tend to fail due to bank credit limits. But investment could help them generate a sustainable income. This has given rise to an intense discussion about potential digital solutions.

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

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

(c) Katapult/GIZ

The digitised farmyard

An interactive graphic Jan Rübel

Lots of apps are entering the market, but what really makes sense? For African agriculture, some of it seems like a gimmick, some like a real step forward. So this is what a smallholder farm in Africa could look like today - with the help of smartphones, internet and electricity. 

Read more

Africa's digital disruption

Graphics

What Africa is experiencing in the course of digitisation is a disruption. Here three steps are taken in one, there you remain. In any case, the changes are enormous and bring some surprises. A graphic walk.

Read more

Africa's face of agriculture is female

A contribution by Beatrice Gakuba (AWAN-AFRIKA)

Africa has a huge opportunity to make agriculture its economic driver. However, the potential for this is far from being made exhaustive use of, one reason being that women face considerable difficulties in their economic activities. The organisation AWAN Afrika seeks to change this state of affairs.

Read more

Not waiting for a savior

An article by Lidet Tadesse

While Africa is the least affected region by Covid-19 so far, the number of confirmed cases and deaths on the continent is quickly rising. Despite the challenges many African countries continue to face, the African response to the coronavirus pandemic displays innovation and ingenuity.

Read more

“They said: You can do it”

A contribution by Bread for the World

As President of the IABM cooperative in Muhanga, Alphonsine Mukankusi is not simply focused on the figures. She has learned how to deal with people and how to take on responsibility. At the same time, her work helps her to come to terms with the past

 

Read more

Investing in Healthy Soils: Curse or Blessing?

A Contribution by WWF

How investing in healthy soils provides incentives for more sustainable agriculture even as it demonstrates the need for far reaching changes in the agrisector.

Read more

Successful Blueprints for African Agriculture

A Contribution by GIZ

At the 8th German-African Agribusiness Forum (GAAF) representatives from business and politics discussed successful investment models to improve living conditions in Africa.

Read more

Together towards Sustainable Development: Private Sector Cooperation

A Multimedia-Toolbox by GIZ

Achieving the Sustainable Development Goals through responsible investments in the agri-food sector of emerging countries.

Read more

"The virus does not need visa"

Interview by Dr. Ahmed Ouma (CDC)

Countries across Africa coordinate their efforts in the fight against corona by the Centre for Disease Control (CDC) of the African Union in Addis Abeba. Until now, the curve of new infections has been successfully flattened – why? Dr. Ahmed Ouma, Deputy Director, explains the work of CDC in an interview with Tilman Wörtz.

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

©WFP/Rein Skullerud

Revolutionising Humanitarian Aid

A contribution by Ralf Südhoff

Financial innovations can prevent a crisis turning into a catastrophe. The livelihoods of people in affected areas may well depend on intervention before a crisis – and on risk funds.

Read more

Kakaoernte

Doing More With Less

A contribution by Jochen Moninger

Innovation is the only way to end hunger worldwide by the deadline we have set ourselves. The secret lies in networking and sharing ideas – and several initiatives are already leading by example.

Read more

A new U.S. Africa policy?

An article by Jan Rübel

After four years of Donald Trump in the White House, it is time to take stock: What policies did the Republican government pursue in African regions? And what will change in favor of Joe Biden after the election decision? Here is an evaluation.

 

Read more

Innovations for a secure food supply

A contribution by German Agribusiness Alliance

The COVID 19 pandemic is hitting developing and emerging countries and their poorest populations particularly hard. It is important to take countermeasures at an early stage. Companies in the German agricultural sector want to make their contribution to ensuring the availability of urgently needed operating resources.

Read more

Good health is impossible without healthy food

A contribution by Heino von Meyer

Corona makes it even more difficult to achieve a world without hunger by 2030. So that this perspective does not get out of sight, Germany must play a stronger role internationally - a summary of the Strategic Advisory Group of SEWOH.

Read more

(c) Christoph Pueschner/Zeitenspiegel

Can this end world hunger?

A report by Stig Tanzmann

Time to dig deeper: We can only benefit from technical progress if we have a solid legal framework for everybody. But so far, none is in sight - in many countries. Instead, international corporations grow ever more powerful.

Read more

"Without peace, there will be no development"

Interview with Karina Mroß (DIE)

What contribution does development cooperation make to conflict prevention? What can it do for sustainable peace? Political scientist Karina Mroß talks to Raphael Thelen about post-conflict societies and their chances for peaceful development.

Read more

(c) Privat

The 'Grey Gold'

A contribution by Maria Schmidt (GIZ)

The Cashew Council is the first international organisation for a raw material stemming from Africa. The industry promises to make progress in processing and refining cashew nuts - and answers to climate change

Read more

(c) Privat

Small Farms, big money

A contribution by Agnes Kalibata

Agnes Kalibata, AGRA president since 2014 and former minister of agriculture and wildlife in Rwanda, is convinced that Africa's economy will only grow sustainably if small-scale agriculture is also seen as an opportunity.

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

How can the private sector prevent food loss and waste?

An interview with David Brand (GIZ)

From a circular food system in Rwanda to functioning cooled transports in Kenya: The lab of tomorrow addresses development challenges such as preventing food loss and waste

Read more

From lost products to safe food - Innovations from Zambia

A contribution by GIZ

In Zambia, innovative approaches are used to address the problem of post-harvest losses in the groundnut value chain. GIZ's Rapid Loss Appraisal Tool (RLAT) can help to develop more such approaches.

Read more

The Future of Development Politics: Voices from the Parliamentary Groups

A Contribution by Journalist Jan Rübel

Representatives of the six parliamentary groups offer their views on the future of German development cooperation.

Read more

How to Combat Hunger in Times of Climate Crisis?

An Interview with Martin Frick (WFP)

The climate crisis fuels world hunger. What needs to change in the global fight against hunger, and which role plays humanitarian aid in international development cooperation?

Read more

ICTforAg 2022: Conference

An Initiative by GIZ Fond i4Ag

In March 2022, the virtual conference ICTforAg summons leading actors in the agrartechnology and food sector from low- and middle-income countries to exchange ideas advancing resilience, nutrition and agriculture-led growth.

Read more

Cooperation and Effective Incentives for Sustainable Land Use

A Contribution by GIZ

The second GFFA expert panel highlights the need for governance action to reverse global trends of land degradation.

Read more

Soil Restoration Starts with the People

A Contribution by TMG Think Tank for Sustainability

Highlighting how secure tenure rights are key to achieving land degradation neutrality and soil restoration targets..

Read more

World Soil Conference ends with resolutions on drought management and land restoration

A contribution by GIZ

At the UNCCD COP15, the nearly 200 Parties met in Abidjan, Côte d'Ivoire. A key goal is to halt the loss of fertile soils by 2030.

Read more

(c) Nina Schroeder/World Food Programme

Policy against disasters

Interview with Thomas Loster

Insurance companies could provide protection during droughts in Africa. How exactly this could be done is what the industry is currently trying to figure out. First experiences are available. An interview with the Managing Director of the Munich Re Foundation, Thomas Loster

Read more

„You must be multisectoral in your thinking”

Interview with Adriano Campolina (FAO)

For years, place-based approaches to development have been considered important features in development cooperation, at the BMZ and in FAO. Both organisations are aiming at advancing these approaches: an interview with Adriano Campolina from the FAO on territorial and landscape perspectives.

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

(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

© 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

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

Quinoa could have a huge potential in Central Asia, where the Aral Sea Basin has been especially hard-hit by salinisation.

Planetary Health: Recommendations for a Post-Pandemic World

A contribution by Dr. Kathleen Mar and Dr. Nicole de Paula

Against the backdrop of the COVID-19 pandemic, health is receiving unprecedented public and political attention. Yet the fact that climate change is also affecting the environmental and social determinants of health in a profound and far-reaching way deserves further recognition.

Read more

Building Better Resilience to Transboundary Threats

A Contribution by the TMG Think Tank for Sustainability

Fuelled by climate change, desert locust plagues become increasingly frequent. A plaidoyer for a paradigm shift on handling transboundary crises.

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

FERTILE SOIL THROUGH THE RIGHT COMBINATION OF METHODS

In the Ethiopian highlands, much of the soil is exhausted. New fertilizers and improved seed are making it fertile again.  

A Project of GIZ

Read more

©Sofia Shabafrouz

SUNFLOWERS OVER TOBACCO

The farmers in Malawi have long been holding on to the cultivation of tobacco - which led to a dangerous dependency.

A Project of GIZ

Read more

(c) Florian Kopp / Misereor

THE BEST IDEAS GROW LOCALLY

Small farmers in Burkina Faso are trying to tackle big challenges locally. Local organizations are helping them.

A project of Misereor

Read more

(c) Florian Kopp / Misereor

HOW MILK PRODUCTION CHANGED A VILLAGE

Powdered milk exports pose a threat to cattle farmers in Burkina Faso. Pasmep helps shepherds increase their own milk production.

A project of Misereor

 

Read more

STUDY VISITS STRENGTHEN LOCAL FARMERS' ASSOCIATIONS

At Andreas Hermes Akademie, farmers from Africa and India are learning new techniques and organizational forms.

A project of Andreas Hermes Akademie

 

Read more

(c) Eli Wortmann, Kolundžija / ZEF

RESEARCH FOR AGRICULTURAL INNOVATIONS

The Program of Accompanying Research for Agricultural Innovation (PARI) brings together partners working to ensure a secure food supply in Africa and India.

A project of the Center for Development Research

Read more

(c) WFP / Carlos Muñoz

CASH AND VOUCHERS AGAINST HUNGER

Often food is not lacking, but the money for it is. With electronic vouchers hunger is to be controlled in the Horn of Africa.

A procet of the WFP

Read more

(c) WFP/ Mohammad Batah

IRIS SCAN TECHNOLOGY FOR SYRIAN REFUGEES IN JORDAN

Syrian refugees in Jordan don't pay for their food with cash or credit cards, but rather with a quick glance at the camera.

A project of the WFP

 

Read more

INCOME STRENGTHENS PEACE

Congo is daring to rebuild. Improving nutrition and incomes will provide hope for the future, particularly for women and adolescents.  

A project of Welthungerhilfe

 

Read more

FROM EXODUS TO MORE SELF-CONFIDENCE

In Afghanistan, thousands of domestic refugees live in poverty. A project brings education and acrobatics into their lives.

A project of Welthungerhilfe

Read more

HAY FOR THE DRY SEASON

Climate change makes the nomadic life of the Masai in Kenya more difficult. A new project introduces them to agriculture.

A project of Welthungerhilfe

Read more

GREEN BUSINESS IDEAS IN RURAL AREAS

It is above all a lack of opportunities which is driving many young Indians into the cities. An educational; program creates new opportunities in the countryside.

A project of Welthungerhilfe

Read more

TOWARDS A SUSTAINABLE COCOA SECTOR

About 60 percent of the cocoa processed in Germany comes from the Ivory Coast. It is grown by 800,000 cocoa farmers, who typically only own up to five hectares of land.

A project in cooperation with the GIZ

Read more

(c) GIZ

THE FOOD ON THE TABLE DETERMINES OUR HEALTH

Cambodians eat too much rice. GIZ is joining with farmers to form multi-purpose farms, as well as advising health care centers on nutritional questions.

A project of GIZ

Read more

FROM RANCHERS TO MANUFACTURERS

How to: In Benin, farmers are opening factories now that they have learned what an entrepreneur needs to know.

A project of GIZ

Read more

DEVELOPMENT THROUGH SWEET POTATOES

For Kenyan small farmers, the harvest yields little more than they need for themselves. How the orange sweet potato can change the life of an entire region.

A Project of GIZ

Read more

SECURING THE FOOD SUPPLY IN MALAWI

Securing the food supply requires a holistic approach. That's why mango and papaya will be on the menu in Malawi.

A Project of GIZ

Read more

HEALTHY FOOD FOR ALL

Brazil is world champion in the use of pesticides. In the southern part of the country, a network of organic farms is supplying municipal schools and kindergartens with healthy food.

A project of Brot für die Welt

Read more

BETTER VOCATIONAL TRAINING FOR FARMERS

At vocational schools in Ethiopia, farmers learn to use their land sustainably. The curricula are tailored to climate change and droughts.

A project of IAK Agrar Consulting

Read more

(c) Cotton made in Africa

MARKET FORCES, NOT DONATIONS

For more than ten years, Cotton made in Africa has been setting standards for the protection of the environment and better living conditions in the cotton industry of sub-Saharan Africa. 

A project of Cotton made in Africa

Read more

(c) GIZ/Jackson Muchoki

STRONG TUBERS: SUPPORTING POTATOE FARMERS

Potatoes are staple foods in Kenza. Raising their profit is an important contribution to prevent malnutrition. 

A Projct of GIZ

Read more

Local rather than global

An increasing number of people in Togo's capital city are consuming cheap imported food. The OADEL organization promotes local products.

A project of Brot für die Welt

Read more

©Sofia Shabafrouz

HERE IS MY HOME

Where in the Ethiopian Tigray just a few years ago only parched soil and sand could be seen, grass is growing again. Previously, the inhabitants fled from famines. Today farmers use the valley for the cultivation of grain or vegetables - and have new prospects.

A project of World Vision

Read more

(c) GIZ

IMPROVED LAND GOVERNANCE

Weak land governance and insecure land rights are still major development challenges for Africa. The global program to strengthen land governance in Africa aims to strengthen marginalized groups.

A project of GIZ

Read more

(c) Joachim E. Roettgers

SUSTAINABLE STRUCTURAL CHANGE

Researchers from the Humboldt University of Berlin are developing solutions for more socially inclusive and sustainable structure of structural change in sub-Saharan Africa.

A project of the Center for Rural Development

 

Read more

(c) Joachim E. Roettgers

MAINTAINING SOIL FERTILITY

Many farmers suffer from droughts. A climate program to combat desertification helps Indian small farmers preserve soil fertility.

A project of KfW

Read more

(c) Save the Children

A STRONG NETWORK

Malawi has just survived the most severe food crisis in 35 years. An initiative helped with money for food aid - the goal: to strengthen self-sufficiency. 

A project of Save the Children

Read more

(c) Foto XtraPay

XtraPay - thanks to farmers

XtraPay wants to make international supply chains more transparent and establish a direct connection between producer and consumer. The bonus payment system was successfully piloted on 16 August in ten Edeka supermarkets in Braunschweig.

A project of BMZ

Read more

(c) Luis Vera/Misereor

High on soya

The spread of monocultures is globally harmful to the environment and violates human rights; it makes for more losers than winners. But there are ways out, here one example: Smallholders in Parguay are fighting back.

A Misereor project

Read more

The human finca

Interview with Marvin Antonio Garcia Otero

In Eastern El Salvador, campesinos are cultivating a self-image to encourage rural youth to remain in rural areas. With help from Caritas, they have adjusted the cultivation methods to their soils and traditions - Marvin Antonio Garcia Otero,the deputy director of Caritas of the Diocese of San Miguel believes this is the best way to prevent rural exodus and criminality.

Read more

© GIZ

Ideas on the ground: Local solutions for global challenges

Interview with Sebastian Lesch (BMZ)

A world without hunger and with sufficient healthy food as well as climate-friendly agriculture can only be achieved if ideas are transformed into innovations and ultimately also applied - a conversation with BMZ Head of Division Sebastian Lesch on the Innovation Challenge programme of the new Agricultural Innovation Fund.

Read more

“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

Answers from the youth: "Leave or stay? That depends on it!"

GIZ study; conducted by Geopoll

Does Africa's youth want to live in the city or in the country? Which career path seems particularly attractive? And how optimistic are the young people about the future? Young adults from rural areas answered these questions by SMS.

Read more

"Agriculture can become a job engine"

Interview with Reiner Klingholz

How can agriculture modernise Africa? And does the road to the cities really lead out of poverty? Dr. Reiner Klingholz from the Berlin Institute for Population and Development in conversation with Jan Rübel .

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

(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) Christoph Püschner

The price isn’t everything

By Bettina Rühl

In Togo’s capital, Lomé, home-grown rice costs almost twice as much as the imported product from Thailand. Yet there are good reasons for preferring the local product

Read more

Uli Reinhardt/Zeitenspiegel

Enough of being poor

By Marcellin Boguy

In western Africa a new middle class is emerging. Their consumer behaviour is determining the demand for products – home-produced and imported goods, on the internet or at the village market. The people of Ivory Coast in particular are looking to the future with optimism.

Read more

(c) Christoph Püschner/Zeitenspiegel

Slaves do not produce quality

By Tilman Wörtz

Every child in Germany knows Ritter Sport – but most of the children harvesting cocoa on western African plantations have never even eaten chocolate. Can a chocolate manufacturer change the world? Conversation with Alfred Ritter about the power and powerlessness of a businessman.

Read more

New campaign for women: "Poverty is sexist"

Interview with Stephan Exo-Kreischer

This is a benchmark for everybody: More rights for women are a very influencing solution in the struggle against extreme poverty and hunger worldwide, says Stephan Exo-Kreischer, Director of ONE Germany. The organisation specialises in political campaigning as a lever for sustainable change.

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

(c) Simon Veith

A fresh opportunity

Interview with Lutz Hartmann

By leasing a three hundred hectare fruit plantation in Ethiopia, Lutz Hartmann has realised a long-cherished dream: to run his own business in Africa. Now he has a personal interest in the issue of Africa’s development.

Read more

Controversy: Do supply chains need liability rules?

Discussion about the potential supply chain law

The German government is struggling to pass a supply chain law. It is intended to address violations of human rights, social and environmental standards. What would the consequences be for business? A double interview with Veselina Vasileva from GEPA and economics professor Andreas Freytag.

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

Ebay Against Hunger - How an App Supports Crop Sale of Rural Small Holders in Zambia

Small holders around the world are often forced to sell their harvests below market value due to a lack of market and pricing information. A new app by the UN World Food Programme (WFP) is going to change this.

A project of WFP

Read more

More than just a seat at the table

A contribution by Welthungerhilfe

Africa is home to the world’s youngest and fastest growing population. For many young people, agriculture could offer a job perspective. But to improve the living conditions and job prospects of young people in rural areas, political reforms and investments are desperately needed, as these people will be at the centre of agriculture and agricultural development in the future.

Read more

Africa's rapid economic transformation

A report by T. S. Jayne, A. Adelaja and R. Mkandawire

Thirty years ago, Africa was synonymous with war, famine and poverty. That narrative is clearly outdated. African living standards are rising remarkably fast. Our authors are convinced that improving education and entrepreneurship will ensure irreversible progress in the region even as it confronts COVID-19.

Read more

(c) Joerg Boethling/GIZ

What it takes now

A contribution by Heike Baumüller

Artificial intelligence, big data and blockchain are the hottest topics of our time. The digital transformation of the African agricultural sector is ready for take-off. What will it take for the future of technology to hit the ground running?

Read more

(c) Foto Privat

Story: In Blocked Chains We Trust

A contribution by Solomon King Benge

It is 2080. We are on a farm somewhere in Africa. Everything is digital. The blockchain is an omnipotent point of reference, and the farm is flourishing. But then, everything goes wrong. A dystopian short story, written exclusively for SEWOH.

Read more

(c) Joerg Boethling/GIZ

"We are not Uber for tractors"

Interview with Jehiel Oliver

Jehiel Oliver was a successful consultant. One day, he quit his job in investment banking to become a social entrepreneur. His mission: tractors for Africa. Rental tractors. What gave him that idea? Find out in his interview with Jan Rübel.

Read more

An opportunity for the continent

A contribution by the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation

Africa’s population is young and ready to take its destiny into its own hands. Agriculture offers amazing opportunities in this regard. The Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation wants to support the next generation in this way.

Read more

© AHA

The farmes themselves are the benchmark

A contribution by Andreas Quiring

Strong farmes are the key to a self-determined, sustainable development. Social innovations can help make the farmers’ actual needs the benchmark.

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

Reference values: A building block on the road to social equality

A contribution by Friederieke Martin (GIZ)

A quick and cost-effective method calculates living wages and incomes for many different countries. The GIZ together with Fairtrade International and Richard and Martha Anker have developed a tool that companies can use to easily analyse income and wage gaps.

Read more

Quinoa could have a huge potential in Central Asia, where the Aral Sea Basin has been especially hard-hit by salinisation.

Supermarket Scorecard on Human Rights

A contribution by Dr. Franziska Humbert (Oxfam)

Oxfam’s supermarket scorecard, which is in its third year, shows one thing in particular - it works! Supermarkets can change their business policies and focus more on the rights of those people around the world who plant and harvest food. However, this does not happen without pressure. 

Read more

(c) Christoph Pueschner/Zeitenspiegel

From start to finish: a vision of interconnectivity

A contribution by Tanja Reith

At the moment, the agricultural industries of African countries exist in relative isolation. Imagine peasant farmers digitally connected to the value chains of the global food industry. How could this happen? A guidebook.

Read more

The Life of Their Dreams - What Children Want

Interview with Gnininkaboka Dabiré and Innocent Somé

Later on you want to become a farmer yourself, or would you prefer to take up another profession? Two young people from Burkina-Faso talked to representatives of the Dreyer Foundation about their parents' farms, the profession of farmer and their own plans for the future.

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

KLAUS WOHLMANN / GIZ

Wanted: German investment in African agriculture

Interview with Stefan Liebing

Stefan Liebing is chairman of the Africa Association of German Business. The manager calls for a better structure of African farms. Jan Rübel asked him about small farmers, the opportunities for German start-ups and a new fund.

Read more

Uli Reinhardt/Zeitenspiegel

Bitter fruit

A contribution by Frank Brunner

Why aren’t bars of chocolate made where cocoa is grown? Author Frank Brunner analyses the industry’s fragile value chain from the plantation to the supermarket

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

Silicon Valley for Africa’s agricultural start-ups

A contribution by Michel Bernhardt (GIZ)

The project “Scaling digital agriculture innovations through start-ups” (SAIS) supports Africans going into business in the agricultural and food sector in scaling their digital innovations and thus reaching out to a larger number of users.

Read more

It all comes down to the young population

A contribution by Jan Rübel

What happens when young people leave the rural areas? How can the region achieve what is referred to as the demographic bonus – and how can it reap the benefits of the demographic dividend? A look at demography shows the following: What is most important is promoting women’s rights and education.

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

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

Joerg Boethling/GIZ

"The Green Revolution reaches its limits"

Interview with Stig Tanzmann (BfdW)

Stig Tanzmann is a farmer and adviser on agricultural issues at ‘Bread for the World’. Jan Rübel interviewed him about his reservations about AGRA's strategy.

Read more

Frank Schultze / Agentur_ZS

The communicator

A contribution by Jan Rübel

What do electrical engineering, telecommunications and agriculture have in common? They arouse the passion of Strive Masiyiwa: Thirty years ago, he started an electrical installation company with $75, later riding the telecommunications wave as a pioneer. Today he is committed to transforming African agriculture.

Read more

MarkIrungu /AGRA

Spiritual mortar for the young generation

A contribution by Jan Rübel

Fred Swaniker is working building a new era of leaders. And what about agriculture? ‘It needs to be more sexy!’

Read more

(c) Privat

Human Rights, Land and Rural Development

A contribution by Michael Windfuhr (German Institute for Human Rights)

Land rights are no longer governed by the law of the strongest. That is what the international community has agreed to. Governments and private companies have a duty to respect human rights and avoid corruption.

Read more

picture-alliance/Zentralbild

Land is Crucial for Development

A contribution by Roselyn Korleh and M. Sahr Nouwah (WHH)

The Liberian town of Kinjor is a picture-book example for what happens, if land rights aren’t protected, and it illustrates how to move forward from there. The keyword: Multi-Actor Partnership

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

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

(c) Christoph Püschner/Brot für die Welt

The North bears the responsibility, the South bears the burden

A report by Susanne Neubert (SLE)

Adaptation to climate change can be achieved by making agriculture more environmentally sustainable – if the rich countries also reduce their emissions

Read more

No rainforest for our consumption

A contribution by Jenny Walther-Thoß (WWF)

In the tropics rainforests are still being felled for the production of palm oil, meat and furniture. It is high time to act. Proposals are on the table.

Read more

Biodiversity and agriculture – rivalry or a new friendship?

A contribution by Irene Hoffmann (FAO)

In this article, the author describes what we know about interlinkages, what role agriculture has to play in the sustainable use and conservation of biodiversity, and what the necessary changes in agricultural systems might look like, both on small and large-scale farms.

Read more

Poverty Power Hunger

Publication of the Heinrich Böll Foundation and TMG ThinkTank for Sustainability.

The global community is failing in the fight against hunger and malnutrition. This is shown in the factsheet "Poverty Makes Hunger" published by the Heinrich Böll Foundation and the TMG ThinkTank for Sustainability. Read the full report here.

Read more

How much do we actually waste, Mr. McFeely?

An interview with Peter McFeely (WWF)

The WWF has published a sensational study on food waste. The focus: farm-stage food waste. Peter McFeely, Global head of communications and strategic planning at WWF, explains what needs to be done.

Read more

Innovation Challenge 2021

Competition for ideas by BMZ

Out of 40 consortia that applied from all over the world, 14 were invited to present their innovative concept on agroecological approaches in the form of an online pitch and to face the questions of an international jury of experts. Find out which six semi-finalists were selected by the jury and what happens next in this article.

Read more

(c) GIZ

Youth Employment in Rural Areas

The world’s population keeps on growing; with this rise comes an increased need for food as well as productive employment opportunities. Offering young people in rural areas better employment prospects is one of the objectives of the sector project. The young population is the key to a modern and efficient agricultural economy.

A project of GIZ

Read more

How Smallholders became Commodity Suppliers

Small farmers are often left behind in African agriculture. Access to markets and improved competitiveness can only be achieved if the small farms join forces. But those affected in partner countries are often at a loss as to how to implement cooperative models. Here, the BMZ provides support through the SEWOH ONE World – NO Hunger initiative and the Social Structure Promotion (Sozialstrukturförderung).

A project by Deutscher Genossenschafts- und Raiffeisenverband e. V.

Read more

(c) Simon Veith

The future is rural

A contribution by "World Without Hunger"

The future is rural. Young African entrepreneurs gave their generation a vocie during the G-20 conference in Berlin. "World Without Hunger" asked six of them, how more jobs can be created in rural areas.

Read more

Nine Harvests Left until 2030: How Will the BMZ Organise Itself in the Future?

An Interview with Dirk Schattschneider (BMZ)

"One World no Hunger" (SEWOH) becomes one of the five core themes of the BMZ. Dirk Schattschneider, SEWOH Commissioner about previous approaches, future areas of action, and the political will to end hunger.

Read more

A Climate of Hunger: How the Climate Crisis Fuels the Hunger

A photo reportage by the Zeitenspiegel agency

Every one degree Celsius rise in temperature increases the risk of conflict by two to ten percent. The climate crisis is a humanitarian crisis, as the photos by Christoph Püschner and Frank Schultze illustrate.

Read more

Innovate2030: Digital Ideas against Urban Climate Change

A Call by BMZ and Partners

Innovate2030 is looking for creative people from around the world to develop smart and innovative solutions against climate change in cities. Initiated by the Make IT-Alliance.

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

'The Doors are Open - We Farmers are Ready'

An Interview with Shamika Mone (INOFO) and Elizabeth Nsimadala (EAFF)

At the UN Food Systems Summit, farmers organizations have been represented on the international stage for the first time ever. Two representatives talk about bridging personal aspirations with the representation of regional needs and international negotiations.

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

Côte d’Ivoire: Sweet Temptation without a Bitter Taste

A Story by GIZ

Until Easter 2022, GIZ publishes a new episode every fortnight introducing people who are committed to fair and sustainable cocoa in Côte d'Ivoire and Germany.

Read more

Strenghtening Farmers' Rights with Soft Laws

A Contribution by Welthungerhilfe

How the UN Voluntary Guidelines on the Responsible Governance of Tenure of Land, Fisheries and Forests (VGGT) contribute to fairer and more secure land access.

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

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

What Needs to Change for Africa’s Youth, Ms Kah Walla?

An Interview with Kah Walla

A conversation with the activist and entrepreneur Kah Walla about what needs to change for young people in rural Africa.

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

Feminist development policy – A new beginning?

An Interview by Journalist Jan Rübel

Cameroonian gender and peace activist Marthe Wandou on the role of women and girls in development policy – then and in the future.

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

How to Enhance Soil Organic Carbon – Uniting Traditional and Innovative Practices

A Contribution by GIZ

Indian farmers restore precious soil material combining traditional with innovative approaches. A case example how governance, agriculture and development cooperation can work together to combat climate change.

Read more

Digitalization: The Driving Force in the Future of Agriculture?

A Contribution by GIZ

At the ICTforAg conference in March 2022, the digital agriculture community exchanged on the challenges and opportunities associated with the next green revolution.

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

Small cup, big impact

A Contribution by UFULU and GIZ

A menstrual health pilot in Rural Malawi empowers rural women in Agribusiness through hygiene products and helps to improve working conditions in rural areas.

Read more

Teaserimage Finals Innovation Challenge

Innovation Challenge Finals

An event organised by GIZ on behalf of BMZ

The finals of the Innovation Challenge “Advisory for Agroecology” took place on 17 May - 2022 featuring six innovations in advisory that provided the basis for a discussion on how to bridge the gap between science and practice.

Read more