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

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.

Teilnehmende der Studie aus dem Lebensmittelsektor sind besonders von Nahrungsunsicherheit betroffen. (c) SLE
© Mark Plötz/pexels

Dr. Jan Grossarth

Dr Jan Grossarth is a freelance journalist and book author. His main topics are ecology, agriculture, food security and related social issues. After having worked as a senior editor at the Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung, he was head of communications at the Federal Ministry of Agriculture (BMEL) in 2019. Since 2020, he has worked as a freelance journalist for "Die Welt", "Jüdische Allgemeine", among others, and is a research associate in a project on bioeconomy at LMU Munich.

Karl Marx was a visionary. Some of his observations still have great explanatory value in the 21st century (even if the planned economies he inspired have ushered great darkness into the world). Marx predicted the ecological crisis as early as the 1860s. He wrote at that time that artificial fertilisers and resulting urbanisation would lead to a “metabolic disorder” of humans and the earth (Saito 2017).

 

This neologism has actually provided the metaphors currently used by the social and natural sciences to describe the ecological crisis: Great Acceleration, Anthropocene, Human Age. So what exactly is a metabolic disorder? Nothing other than the oft lamented “disease” or “imbalance” of the biosphere.

 

Early industrial intuition has become complex mathematical prognosis – sociological description has become biochemical evidence. The urban-industrial society is at a tipping point. The global metabolism of carbon, nitrogen and phosphates is subject to a high-risk dynamic of change. This stems from a number of factors: travel, construction and consumption, resource depletion for agriculture, population growth.

 

Die befragten Menschen möchten sich aktiver an Food-Governance-Prozessen beteiligen. (c) SLE
The skyscrapers of Nairobi. By 2040 at least, the majority of all Africans will live in cities. © Amani Nation

Urbanisation is the inevitable consequence of agricultural industrialisation. According to the United Nations, 70 percent of the world's population will live in cities by 2050 (Grossarth 2018). Hundreds of millions of small farmers will then also be living in cities. They are fleeing not only because climate conditions are worsening. They are also fleeing because their subsistence economies have no prospects for development – because these are shackles of poverty.

 

The development goals of “food for all” or “a world without hunger” can only be thought of meaningfully in the context of progressive urbanisation. In other words, continued industrial development. At least if the world population should continue to rise – to ten billion, as predicted.

 

Anyone who says both: reduce urbanisation and fight poverty is either ill-informed, historically blind or cynical.

 

Unfortunately, we live in a digital media democracy that broods simplistic viewpoints. Unambiguity, argumentativeness and criticality determine news values. This forces parties, non-governmental organisations and even academics to simplify the picture (Post 2018). That is why two camps have emerged among media experts: One cites agricultural industrialisation and the “wrong thinking” behind it as the core problem. The other is pinning all its hopes on digitalisation and technical progress. But it easily falls into the technocratic trap. This means: foolish ignorance of the justified criticism of global power structures, global distributive injustice, cultural-critical criticism of the agro-industrial desolation and the epochal destruction of peasant ways of life, traditions and diversity – even among the remaining farmers.

 

Abbildung des SLE basierend auf FIES-Indikator der FAO.
Apps with weather forecasts or assistance, for example, on the use of fertiliser or the detection of plant diseases, are a useful support for smallholder farmers. © Angelika Jakob

The digital media – under pressure from quotas and bias – are apparently also compelled to condense differentiated climate change forecasts into apocalyptic scenarios. The forecasts for African harvests are poor overall and explicitly “despite technological developments”, says the IPCC (Njang 2017). But there are wide regional variations. Bleak are the forecasts for those inhabiting the savannahs of Togo, parts of Madagascar, Uganda, Mali and north-eastern Ghana. Positive yield developments are to be expected not far away: in the north of Ghana. And also in parts of Burkina Faso and Nigeria. The dynamics of change in phases of rainfall and drought will be severe – but cannot be predicted with certainty in regard to their consequences.  The future is grimly bleak. Both established patterns of interpretation – the “wrong path of industrialisation”

 

Significant here: it is not politics but international corporations such as Nestlé, Mars or Lidl and Aldi that have been promoting sustainability for years.

 

They set standards for suppliers, they take over plantations themselves, they do research for more productive cocoa cultivation in their interest. But the food system needs to be radically reformed. This is not a task for Lidl – nor for citizens' councils – but for global politics

 

An industrial circular economy offers the only realistic and humane future prospects for the entire population. This is essentially free of waste. Neither food nor anything else is wasted. All nutrients and materials are recycled. Not ultimately elitist (and, often grounded in resentment or esotericism) ideals of sufficiency and abstinence are the standard (Scheler 2017). Rather, humans can learn “intelligent waste” from nature in the ecological crisis (Braungart 2009).

 

Quinoa könnte in Zentralasien ein riesiges Potenzial haben, wo das Aralseebecken besonders stark von der Versalzung betroffen ist. Foto: ICBA
A landfill site in Nicaragua. Every year, German households generate about 37 million tonnes of waste, or 450 kilograms per inhabitant per year. © Hermes Rivera

That is a planning task. But it does not lead to a planned economy. What needs to be planned is a completely new tax and financial policy that makes waste creation more expensive. Scrap metal, food waste and CO2 are all “wastes” produced by an industrial way of life. A smart, radically different free trade policy must be planned that punishes ecological dumping at external borders with high tariffs. The state must set the rules of the game in such a way that causing waste becomes very expensive. Companies must account for the true ecological costs: harm to water, air, soil and health.

 

The central areas of intervention have been identified in the articles of the SEWOH evaluation: Governance entails first and foremost prioritising the issue in the media and politically. This is because it easily retreats into the background – where it appears as a marginal and expert topic. The pandemic was a case in point. Innovations are of central importance. But they only merit this name if they serve social and human concerns. Agroecology describes the path to the agronomic future. Yet “along the way” it also formulates a completely new, transdisciplinary understanding of science. Supply chains need to be structured in terms of partnership rather than capitalism. The initiative should come from the developing countries themselves. Flourishing farmers are an important piece of the puzzle.

 

The state sets the course. But the creative economy solves the real problems.

 

CO2, genetically modified bacteria and energy will be turned into artificial, edible proteins – an invention from Israel (Israeli Embassy 2019). Carbon-neutral fuel could also be developed in this way. Toxins will become raw materials. And the oceans – where fertilizers and nutrients from 150 years of agribusiness history are stored – will become a source of raw materials. There are edible algae to harvest there

 

Quinoa könnte in Zentralasien ein riesiges Potenzial haben, wo das Aralseebecken besonders stark von der Versalzung betroffen ist. Foto: ICBA
Most legumes form a symbiosis in their root nodules with bacteria that fix nitrogen. In this way, they can enrich the soil with nitrogen, and are therefore often cultivated as green fertiliser in agriculture. ©GIZ/Conor Wall

Instead of the wheat monocultures characterising current farming, future agriculture will be small-scale and diverse. Arable fields will reproduce ecological systems and farmers will cultivate well-considered nutrient cycles: with nitrogen-fixing legumes, nutrient-rich manure crops, useful hedges that provide habitats for insects.

 

Farm animals will no longer be imprisoned in dark mass-fattening facilities – but instead, dwell close to the field in stables that receive architectural awards. Grazing animals have a future. But the resource-efficient chicken from the urban factory has a future too. It will eat insects that were fed on garbage. Yet foolish factory farming has no future.

 

“Raw materials” will no longer factor into the equation. Products will have multidimensional qualities instead of just price and nutrient. Digital channels will provide excellent information about this. Even human faeces will be processed industrially and returned to the fields. For this to be accepted and for politics not to smile wearily, there must be a general awareness of the problem that the development of a global circular economy needs to take top priority.

 

Both conservatives playing down the ecological problem and panic communication à la Greta Thunberg distract us from this. The latter focuses on a rigid CO2 avoidance policy and has had some success. The EU and Germany have made CO2 more expensive for other sectors of the economy or intend to do so.

 

But panic communication also brought radicalisation and ideological hardening.

 

The risk of “short-circuiting” wrong decisions by political or economic actors is high. If there were fuel from CO2-eating bacteria in the future, even the internal combustion engine would have a future.

 

Quinoa könnte in Zentralasien ein riesiges Potenzial haben, wo das Aralseebecken besonders stark von der Versalzung betroffen ist. Foto: ICBA
The idea of the circular economy was inspired by the resilience and longevity of ecosystems. In nature, there is no waste either. ©Matheus Cenali/pexels

Because the path of the circular economy is a global one, it will naturally also be the African one. Neither naïve metaphors of a life “in harmony with nature” nor a “fairer and more equitable world” will help a continent whose population is set to grow to two billion people by 2050 – about a tenfold increase since 1950. African innovation, “business mindset” and the development of a digital circular industry appear to be the path that also seems attractive to the people on the ground – but above all a much stronger integration of peasant production into national and international value chains.

 

Ideas of a “completely different”, long-term and structurally conservative smallholder path for Africa have to put up with the question of Western paternalism. The idealising, harmonising talk of the “global way” and or “one world” also tends to cloud the view of reality. There are interests of nations and power blocs. Advocacy and conflicts of interest are not per se an ethical disgrace. Only future historians will be able to judge whether in our time China – with its hard-line politics of interests – was more useful to Africa, or European development policy. An answer is not trivial.

 

Realistic development paths also include urban greenhouses that close material flows. The Netherlands is a leader and successful exporter of such technology. The rediscovery of agronomically efficient allotment gardens in cities is realistic. A common thread running through future agriculture involves cascade use: waste becomes fodder, refuse becomes recyclable material.

 

This will not be aided by ancient craftsmanship, but by enzymatic separation processes. The 21st century is set to become the age of the bioeconomy (Lewandowski 2018). New genetic breeding methods will play a major role – at least in industrial application, perhaps also in certain fields of agriculture. In the future, nitrogen fertiliser will no longer be synthesised on the basis of natural gas, but solar energy. What an opportunity for Africa! The first plants are under construction. Robots and drones will apply the fertiliser precisely where it is needed.

 

Diverse and circular agriculture will be climate adapted. Soils will be better shaded and moister. They will come alive with more insects and worms, fungi and bacteria. They will form humus and sequester carbon. Trees and hedges of agroforests will also sequester CO2.

 

Studienteilnehmende großer sowie von Frauen geführter Haushalte leiden stärker unter Ernährungsunsicherheit. (c) Friederike Krämer/GIZ
Urban gardening is also gaining importance for poverty alleviation due to urban population growth and simultaneous reduction of agricultural land as a result of climate change. ©Chuttersnap

It is not only natural science that determines farming methods. The effect of beauty – the atmospheres created in the new landscapes – on people’s perceptions are also an insight key for “good” agriculture. Wind turbines and solar plants have their place, but do not transform the world into one single power plant landscape. For that too entails “agroecology as a guiding outlook”
 
To give (local) cultural ideas of the good life, psychology, the poetics of land and food a space of relevance in the canon of sciences – because these are also in danger under the dominance of technical and natural sciences. And people rarely feed themselves on the basis of science anyway – but rather on the basis of culture, pleasure or frustration (Hirschfelder 2018).

 

Huge risks await the future. A green centrally planned economy would not be adaptable – because the problems and technologies of the day after tomorrow remain unknown.

 

Only when apocalyptic expectation is accompanied by hope so we shape the future (Schleissing 2020). Disaster forecasts have their purpose in that they awaken people to coming dangers and stimulate human creativity. But if they lead to panic politics – in the course of which products, groups, people and processes are divided into “good” or “bad” – this does not do justice to the ethical complexity characterising the mega-task of “sustainable world nutrition” (Vogt 2021). Then the metaphorical talent of Karl Marx would have been misjudged again.
 

Literature

  • Braungart, Michael, McDonough, William (2009), Cradle to Cradle. London.

  • Grossarth, Jan (2019), Future Food – Die Zukunft der Welternährung. Darmstadt.

  • Hirschfelder, Gunther (2018), Gesundheit und Ernährung: Die Macht der Kultur. In: Biologie unserer Zeit. Weinheim.

  • Lewandowski, Iris (2018), Bioeconomy. Shaping the Transition to a Sustainable, Biobased Economy. Berlin.

  • Niang, Isabelle et al. (2014), Africa. In: Climate Change 2014: Impacts, Adaptation, and Vulnerability. Part B: Regional Aspects. Contribution of Working Group II to the Fifth Assessment Report of the IPCC. Cambridge.

  • Post, Senja, Ramirez, Natalia (2018), Politicized Science Communication: Predicting Scientists’ Acceptance of Overstatements by Their Knowledge Certainty, Media Perceptions, and Presumed Media Effects. Journalism & Mass Communication Quarterly. 95, 4.

  • Saito, Kohei (2017), Karl Marx's Ecosocialism: Capital, Nature, and the Unfinished Critique of Political Economy. New York.

  • Scheler, Max (2017 [1912]), Das Ressentiment im Aufbau der Moralen. Frankfurt.

  • Schleissing, Stephan (2020), Apokalyptik und Ethik. Der Beitrag des Christentums zum Klimadiskurs, Vortrag in der Evangelischen Akademie Tutzing anlässlich der Tagung „Vor uns die Sintflut – oder: Was will eine aufgeklärte Klimaethik?“, 14. September 2020.

  • Vogt, Markus (2021), Christliche Umweltethik, Grundlagen und zentrale Herausforderungen. Freiburg.

  • Israelian Embassy in Germany (2019), Press Release, https://embassies.gov.il/berlin/NewsAndEvents/Pages/Israel-entwickelt-CO2-fressende-Bakterien.aspx

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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).

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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.

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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.

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© 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.

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"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

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© 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.

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(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!

 

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(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.

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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?

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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.

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‘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?

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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.

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“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.

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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.

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"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 .

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(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.

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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.

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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.

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(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. 

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(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

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(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.

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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.

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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.

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(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.

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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.

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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.

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“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

 

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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.

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(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.

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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.

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UNFSS Pre-Summit: What did it achieve?

Interview with Martina Fleckenstein (WWF), Michael Kühn (WHH) and Christel Weller-Molongua (GIZ)

After the summit means pre-summit: It was the first time that the United Nations held a summit on food systems. Martina Fleckenstein, Michael Kühn and Christel Weller-Molongua reviewed the situation in this joint interview.

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"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.

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(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?

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(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.

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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).

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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

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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.

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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.

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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.

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(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.

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(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

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(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.

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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.

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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.

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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!

 

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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.

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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).

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(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

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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. 

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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!

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(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

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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.

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