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

The special initiative "One World No Hunger" (SEWOH) becomes one of the five core themes of the Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ). Dirk Schattschneider, Commissioner for the Special Initiative at the BMZ, talks about previous SEWOH approaches, future fields of action, and the political will to end hunger.

The BMZ's new core strategy comes into force immediately © BMZ

Dirk Schattschneider

Dirk Schattschneider heads the Directorate for Sustainable Supply Chains, Nutrition and Rural Development and Sustainability Standards at the BMZ. He is also the commissioner for the special initiative "ONE WORLD No Hunger". Previously, he was assigned to the Ministry’s regional office for Eastern Europe. He has also held positions at the Federal Ministry of Health and the Chancellery of North Rhine-Westphalia.

Learn more: Download the PDF about the core strategy of EWOH here.

The year 2021 is drawing to a close. In many places, only nine harvests remain to end hunger by 2030. How is the BMZ meeting this challenge?

The last seven years of SEWOH have shown that it makes sense to think of rural development holistically. If we want to fight hunger – and do so within planetary boundaries – we need to act in a way that is sustainable, ecological, social and economical. The broad approach we’ve established with the special initiative is the right way to go. It’s now time to utilise the experience we’ve gained – while continuing and consolidating successful approaches. That’s why we’ve made “One World No Hunger” one of only five core themes of the BMZ.

 

We’ve incorporated the experiences and lessons of the SEWOH into the core thematic strategy – thereby implanting them into the “DNA” of the BMZ, so to speak.

 

Global hunger has increased instead of decreased in recent years. Have the previous projects failed?

We must recognise that our agricultural and food systems are in a state of imbalance. Hunger and malnutrition are a problem – but so are overuse and waste. The causes are complex and diverse. Typical reasons include the low productivity of local agriculture and farming systems that are not adapted to the conditions. But unequal access to resources and unfair agricultural trade are also among the problems. Lack of knowledge about healthy nutrition or hygiene and wrong eating habits further aggravate the situation. Not to be forgotten are factors such as climate change, armed conflicts and the Covid 19 pandemic. These are dynamics that have contributed significantly to the deterioration of the food situation in recent years. That’s why it’s all the more important for us to continue pursuing approaches that are context-specific and supported by a broad network of partners – nationally, in our partner countries and on the international stage.

 

Where will the BMZ's new strategy start?

We focus on three fields of action: food security, rural development and agriculture. In the area of activity involving food security, we advocate for the human right to adequate food. We want to support the governments of our partner countries in making this right the yardstick for their actions. We shouldn’t lose sight of disadvantaged groups and people in crisis and conflict situations in particular – but also of the development of social security systems and programmes to promote nutrition.

 

In the field of action involving rural development, we want to help young people see future prospects in the countryside. To achieve this, the inequalities between urban and rural areas must be reduced. Rural governance that guarantees participation and enables all farmers to have secure access to land is also important – above all for regional economic development. Besides this, we want to anchor agroecological principles more firmly in order to strengthen the conservation of natural resources and promote climate protection worldwide.

 

Last but not least, we seek to strengthen sustainable value chains and food systems in the agriculture field of action. From local production and regional marketing to global markets, we aim to support small farmers in particular. We think of sustainability in all dimensions: socially, ecologically and economically. Local value creation needs to be improved through agricultural research and innovation – while food losses must be reduced. This is the only way to increase incomes and employment.

 

And globally – is there a lack of political will here?

Since the SEWOH came into existence, Germany has become the largest donor in the field of nutrition after the USA. The G7 Declaration in 2015 was a milestone – but more is needed to achieve the ambitious goal of ending hunger by 2030. The solution cannot come purely from the public sector.

 

A fundamental transformation of our food systems and production methods requires all stakeholders to come together.

 


From the private sector to science. And it needs committed and organised people: Farmers, producers and consumers. This year's Food Systems Summit called by UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres was a step in the right direction. The commitment to the summit and especially to the pre-summit in July was high. It will now be crucial to maintain political momentum and turn it into concrete results.

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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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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.

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(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.

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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

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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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“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.

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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

No dirty dealing

Von Marlis Lindecke

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

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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

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© 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?

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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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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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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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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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