Innovations for a secure food supply

International cooperation and trade with developing and emerging countries during the COVID 19 pandemic: Contributions of the German agricultural and food sector

Modern technologies strengthen the important role of women farmers as entrepreneurs: "Making farming a business!" Photo: Studio Fabian Hammerl / Africa Association
Modern technologies strengthen the important role of women farmers as entrepreneurs: "Making farming a business!" Photo: Studio Fabian Hammerl / Africa Association

German Agribusiness Alliance

The German Agribusiness Alliance is a joint initiative of leading associations and companies in the German agricultural and food sector. It serves as a platform for cooperating with select partner countries in the agricultural sector and includes the areas of plant breeding, crop protection, animal agriculture (animal genetics, animal welfare, animal feed, animal identification), agricultural engineering and equipment, post-harvest management, trade, practical training, and agricultural consultation services.

 

www.german-agribusiness-alliance.de

 

German companies offer the world innovative technologies and expertise in the agricultural sector, especially in plant breeding, crop protection, animal agriculture, agricultural engineering and equipment, post-harvest management, trade, practical training, and agricultural consultation services.

 

Particularly the use of digital technologies in agriculture offers great potential in order to align an efficient, modern agricultural industry that is attractive as an employment sector and secures the income of farmers and the population in rural areas with the requirements of environmental protection, whether it is modern monitoring of animal welfare, the precise and needs-based use of fertiliser, seeds and pesticides, the targeted irrigation of spaces, comprehensive cultivation planning and site-specific farming, efficient animal farming or digitally supported supply chains that give farmers production security.

 

Modern agricultural technologies allow for an efficient and sustainable harvest and secure supply chains.

 

When cooperating with the partner countries, the use of innovative technologies must remain guaranteed to secure the supply of agricultural products. Because the use of modern, efficient and safe technologies is what can make a significant contribution to increasing agriculture production using existing resources.

 

The free international trade with agricultural products and technologies is key to ensuring that people have a wide variety of safe and sustainably grown food in the long term. Working and transparent markets as well as stable local and global supply chains and production standards as well as adequate funding are essential for this.

Training on the efficient and careful use of soil cultivation equipment to promote better soil health. Photo: Deula-Nienburg / GAA
Training on the efficient and careful use of soil cultivation equipment to promote better soil health. Photo: Deula-Nienburg / GAA

 

In particular, the German agricultural industry participates in agricultural projects in various countries in Africa, Asia and Central Asia as well as Eastern Europe that serve to secure the income and food supply of family farms and smallholders. Training and further education in plant cultivation is supported in classes and presentations by providing content on seeds, pesticides and agricultural machinery that is tailored to the region so that farmers can safely and efficiently use modern technologies.

 

The corona crisis has not only threatened the national food supply chains, but also the availability of equipment in the upstream value chain (e.g. seeds, fertiliser) as well as agricultural machines, spare parts, and repairs.

 

The companies of the German agricultural industry want to play their part by ensuring that the much needed equipment is available for the projects as well as after. The German Agribusiness is ready to work with the governments of the partner countries to develop new approaches so that they can support their own food supply as well as export agricultural products. Many technologies are also suitable for short-term aid shipments in the food and health sector – particularly seeds, pesticides, agricultural machinery, malaria medication, locust insecticides, hygiene and other medical solutions (protective clothing, disinfectants, medication).

 

Relevance of long-term strategic approaches

The COVID-19 pandemic is also affecting the economies in developing, transformation and emerging countries, including the poorest groups of the population – here it is critical to quickly initiate countermeasures. Supply chains in the agriculture and food sector are systemically relevant: Supply shortages in the food and healthcare system can cause major social tension. Short-term humanitarian aid must therefore not replace longer-term strategic approaches to structurally tackle hunger – no matter whether it is research projects, investments in infrastructure, or education.

 

It is important that the German government takes an even stronger management role in implementing the SGDs in general and SDG 2 in particular by the EU and multilateral platforms. It can count on support from a wide alliance of civil society, science and economy in this.

 

The projects in collaboration with local partners can help to establish a modern agricultural sector based on regional private enterprise in the medium and long term. They can also increase the prosperity of countries and societies and simultaneously make them more resilient to future crises. The German agricultural and food sector will therefore actively participate in cooperating with developing and emerging countries in future - both in trade and with direct investments within joint projects.

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