In Africa, there are countless hectares of unused land and extremely long hours of sunshine. But the World Risk Report presented at the end of last year in Berlin also shows: Many African countries are struggling with weather extremes such as droughts or floods, and these are particularly threatening the livelihood of farmers in Africa and Asia. It is estimated that more than 25 million people worldwide are living in poverty every year because they are the victims of extreme weather events. These are triggered by climate change, which can be traced back to the fact that since the beginnings of the industrialisation, the global average temperature has risen by more than one degree.
Recently, international heads of state negotiated at the 23rd UN-Climate Change Conference in Bonn on measures to limit the increase of global warming.
One solution: Microinsurance to protect small farmers in the event of climate-related crop failures. Unlike in industrialised countries, farmers, especially small and micro-farmers, cannot afford premiums for traditional insurance. In Kenya, therefore, the microinsurance programme "Kilimo Salama" was launched back in 2009. This allows small farmers to insure themselves against climate-related crop failures.
The special feature: The insurance can be purchased together with the seed for five percent of the purchase price. The farmers do not have to negotiate laboriously with insurance agents first. The processing of the payment is also adapted to the local conditions: Via the M-Pesa payment system, payments can be paid conveniently by mobile phone. If the insurance is in force and the farmer is registered as a customer, solar-powered weather stations will check the climatic conditions in the respective cultivation region. If the rain stops or floods the fields, the farmer receives a refund on his mobile phone.
Weather Trends via SMS
So Kilimo Salama is using a number of innovations and reducing the administrative burden. Inspection visits, damage assessments and lengthy settlements are eliminated. Hence, the insurance is affordable for small farmers who farm only a few fields. In 2016, the project had more than one million participants in Kenya, Rwanda and Tanzania alone. Meanwhile, farmers in Ethiopia, Nigeria and Zimbabwe are also benefiting from the insurance.
In addition, the project focuses on sustainability: Weather station reports are evaluated to gather insight on regional weather trends. With this information, which is passed on via SMS, farmers can better adapt to climate change and plan their harvest accordingly.
With the support of insurance, small farmers are often prepared to take greater risks. They spend more money on seeds, grow more as such and earn more in the long term.
The microinsurance programme was developed as part of a partnership between the Syngenta Foundation for Sustainable Agriculture, an insurance company, and the mobile operator Safaricom. Since 2014, the programme has been run by the ACRE company established for this purpose.
Many members of the German-African Business Association now also have similar offers in their portfolio. For example, the insurance company Allianz which operates worldwide. It is represented in 16 African countries and provides microinsurance coverage to approximately 500,000 low-income families and individuals. The success is evident on both sides. With the support of insurance, small farmers are often prepared to take greater risks. They spend more money on seeds, grow more as such and earn more in the long term. In Kenya, this revenue growth in maize harvesting is estimated at around ten percent, which translates to an additional yield of $ 92.50 per acre of acreage
Increasingly, the economy and non-governmental organisations work together as one: Together with the NGO One Acre Fund, sfr Consulting, a company of the Munich Reinsurance Company, Munich Re, is currently offering a new insurance coverage against weather-related crop failures for small farms.
More than 500,000 small farmers in East Africa are supported with agricultural means of production, financing and training programmes.
The insurance is part of a larger project aimed at sustainably increasing agricultural production on the African continent: More than 500,000 small farmers in East Africa are supported with agricultural means of production, financing and training programmes. According to the NGO which was founded in 2006 in Kenya, the participants were able to, on average, double their entries and increase their income by more than 50 percent after enrolling in the programme. The risk transfer solution of the Munich Re subsidiary protects the participants of the programme.
Security despite Climate risks
In the face of tropical storms, floods and droughts, which in developing countries repeatedly threaten livelihoods and undermine development progress, politics is also responsible. Under German Presidency in 2015, the G7 set themselves the goal of securing an additional 400 million poor and particularly vulnerable people in developing countries against climate risks by 2020. And together with the private sector.
For this reason, the German Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development and the KfW Banking Group have launched a joint initiative to expand their climate risk insurance policies. The aim of the "InsuResilience Solutions Fund" is to develop marketable insurance products together with the private sector. They are intended to protect people particularly affected by extreme weather events against climate risks. The Federal Government is providing 15 million euros for this purpose. The private sector participates in the implementation of the fund by the same amount as the Federal Government.
In this way, African small farmers can protect themselves from climate disasters and utilise the many unused hectares of land and hours of sunshine.
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.
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
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.
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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.
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A contribution by Kerstin Weber and Brit Reichelt-Zolho (WWF)
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Double interview with Tony Rinaudo and Volker Schlöndorff
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Interview with Bernadette Arakwiye und Salima Mahamoudou (World Resources Institute)
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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.
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This year's United Nations World Drug Report highlights for the first time the nexus between illicit drugs and the environment. In view of climate change, it is time to feed the debate with facts and make drug policy greener
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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.
A Contribution of the 'Initiative for Sustainable Agricultural Supply Chains' (INA)
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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?
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.
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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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.
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
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A contribution by Jes Weigelt and Alexander Müller
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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.
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.
A contribution by Nadine Babatounde and Anne Floquet (MISEREOR)
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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.
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!
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.
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).
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.
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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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.
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.
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.
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
Interview with Martina Fleckenstein (WWF), Michael Kühn (WHH) and Christel Weller-Molongua (GIZ)
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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.
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.
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.
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.
The G7 is responding to the worsening global hunger crisis by mobilizing an additional $4.5 billion for this year alone. A key milestone for this in the run-up was the international conference on global food security "Uniting for Global Food Security".
Healthy, productive soils are a prerequisite for global food security – one of the priorities of German development cooperation. State Secretary Jochen Flasbarth on Germany’s efforts to support sustainable land management and why the VGGT are more important than ever today.
How can we reach more people with successful approaches to food security? In Berlin, an international conference organized by the Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationaler Zusammenarbeit (GIZ) addressed this issue.
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How to maintain functioning food markets in global food supply chains in the face of vulnerability and disruption? Markets that support local and territorial food systems are part of the solution. Thomas Forster presents proposals for these markets to cope with future shocks.
The Global Alliance for Food Security (GAFS), jointly launched by the German G7 Presidency and the World Bank, released the Global Food and Nutrition Security Dashboard during COP27: A Rapid Response Tool for Coordinating Global Action for Food Security.
A contribution by Prof. Dr. Anna-Katharina Hornidge
In the video format "#99SecondsWith" of the German Institute of Development and Sustainability (IDOS), Prof. Dr Anna - Katharina Hornidge talks about the new Africa-Strategy of the Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ).
How can the challenges related to water, rural development and climate resilient agriculture be addressed? What innovations need to be promoted? The Water and Energy for Food (WE4F) initiative presents strategies and innovations for sustainable, integrated water management in German and international cooperation.
A Year of Multiple Crises: Russian war against Ukraine, extreme weather events, high prices for energy and fertilizer, food crisis had severe implications for food security and agriculture globally and especially in Sub-Saharan Africa. A Transformation of the food systems is needed.
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.
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.
Four interviews kick off the relaunch under the new name „Food4Transformation“, asking the same questions from different perspectives. Dirk Meyer, Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development, thinks: less individual solutions are needed, but more systemic approaches. Because in addition to the goals for food security, the issues of climate and biodiversity must also be taken into account.
Four interviews kick off the relaunch under the new name „Food4Transformation“, asking the same questions from different perspectives. Dr Julia Köhn, Chair of the German AgriFood Society, points out in the interview: Only if innovation and transformation are profitable in the medium term can they close the food gap in the long term.
Four interviews kick off the relaunch under the new name „Food4Transformation“, asking the same questions from different perspectives. Mareike Haase and Stig Tanzmann from Brot für die Welt explain why the right to food, inclusivity, agroecology and food sovereignty are the central levers for a successful transformation.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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
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?
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
‘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’?
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.
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.
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.
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.