Gender equality: Essential for food and nutrition security

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.

 

Women vegetable farmers in Burkina Faso. Photo: Michael Jooß, GIZ
Women vegetable farmers in Burkina Faso. Photo: Michael Jooß, GIZ

By Brot für die Welt (BfdW)

Brot für die Welt is a globally active developmental organization of the German Protestant Regional and Free Churches and their deaconry. In more than 90 countries, Brot für die Welt helps poor and marginalized people to independently improve their lives.

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Food and nutrition security exists when all people at all times have physical, social and economic access to food, which is consumed in sufficient quantity and quality to meet their dietary needs and food preferences. Food and nutrition security is achieved by having monetary income available to buy food/and or producing food in agriculture. What and how much these two sources contribute to food and nutrition security depends on people’s life circumstances. Whether in the countryside or in the city, in small or large families, young or old, women always play an important role in food and nutrition security both as wage earners and food producers.

 

Women use their income to ensure the food and nutrition security of their family

The money women earn is becoming increasingly important for the food and nutrition security of many families, particularly in cities. Urban households are much more dependent on purchased food than rural. This, in turn, increases the dependency on monetary income and the ways to earn it.

 

The income that women earn is usually low but essential for feeding their families, even in households in which several people work. Many men can frequently no longer fill the role society prescribes them as the sole breadwinner of their families due to a lack of jobs and low wages. Additional income earned by women is crucial. More and more households in Latin America, sub-Saharan Africa and many countries in Asia are not only dependent on the unpaid care work but also the money that women earn. The situation escalates in families in which men react violently against women and children due to these changes that challenge their role.

 

Saleswomen offer their products. Photo: Klaus Wohlmann, GIZ
Saleswomen offer their products. Photo: Klaus Wohlmann, GIZ

For women who have no partner or husband, the economic situation is usually even more difficult, particularly if they have young children. They remain solely responsible for taking care of and feeding their families. Due to low education and training opportunities, the poor access to the formal labour market as a result and the responsibility of looking after the house and family, they rely on employment in the informal sector that is marked by social insecurity, particularly if they live in a city. According to the ILO (2018), women make up to 90 per cent of the employees in the informal sector in the African countries. In the Asia-Pacific region, this figure is two thirds. The structural disadvantage that results in women and girls having a lower social, educational and economic status compared to men, affect the ability of women and girls to determine their lives themselves and to use their right to sufficient food and a balanced diet, particularly if they are poor.

 

Women ensure food and nutrition security as farmers

In rural areas, women can often grow and sell food themselves in order to feed their families. Women play an important role as farmers and managers of natural resources, particularly in Africa. However, they are faced with many challenges in this area. An analysis conducted by the FAO (2011) shows the severity of the situation: If female farmers had the same access to productive resources as men, they could increase their productivity by 20 - 30 per cent. This could result in an increase of food production in developing countries by 2.5 - 4 per cent.

 

However, agriculture is globally considered a man’s domain. In most contexts, the typical gender-specific division of work is the trend: Women look after the farming household and support the men as helpers or workers, not as equal farmers even though they have agricultural knowledge, expertise and experiences. This attitude is maintained, frequently by the women themselves who do not question the typical allocation of roles, even if reality is changing and men are employed outside of agriculture, for example in construction, mining, trade or in the transport sector.

 

Women thresh rice and separate the chaff from the grain in the village of Banankoro Mali. Photo: Joerg Boethling, GIZ
Women thresh rice and separate the chaff from the grain in the village of Banankoro Mali. Photo: Joerg Boethling, GIZ

While men work in better paid jobs and may even migrate, women remain in agriculture that, as a result, has become feminised. Although women are frequently responsible for food and nutrition security, it is usually men who own the land and decide how it is used. However, women can only fully develop their potential as farmers if their agricultural skills, experience and knowledge are recognised and encouraged by the men in their families and communities as well as by state and non-state development players who are present in rural areas. This include reducing or redistributing the workload of women as well as the equal access to and control of resources.

 

Restricted access to and control of land - a particular challenge for female farmers

Due to their weak position in society, women often only have restricted access to and control of land, water and other resources. In Uganda, for example, women do most of the field work. However, hardly any of the fields belong to them. Only 14 per cent of women own land compared to 46 per cent of men. 40 per cent of men and women do own their land jointly (FAO, 2017). Legal inequality such as in inheritance law or also in local legal systems prevents, or in many countries in the Global South, restricts the access to and control of land, for example in the form of land ownership of women. In order to feed their families, it is not only important for women to own their own land, but also have access to public or community land to gather water, fire wood, animal feed, herbs and fruit. The right to use this land is frequently regulated by local land rights systems that generally benefit men. Widows, divorced or abandoned women must expect them being denied access to this land.

 

In order to meet the climate-related challenges for small-scale farming, women and men must equally provide their perspectives and equally look for solutions.

 

It can also be observed that women frequently cultivate land that is less fertile, which results in low harvest, while men grow cash crops on more fertile parcels of land and sell them to generate income. Since women are responsible for caring for their families, they usually choose to grow a wider range of food crops compared to men, which contributes to a varied and healthy diet and to biodiversity on the fields. Women also frequently keep animals such as chickens, goats or pigs that increase the food supply or contribute to their income. The farming families live the gender-specific distribution of resources and labour depending on the region and context with more or less flexibility and permeability.

 

Woman at harvest. Photo: Dorothea Hohengarten/GIZ
Woman at harvest. Photo: Dorothea Hohengarten/GIZ

Lack of equality puts food and nutrition security at risk

The restricted access to and control of land are not the only challenges that female farmers face. Women are also at a disadvantage when it comes to access to loans, technologies including digital technologies, training and further education in the areas of agriculture and marketing as well as consulting, which is usually provided by men for men. With the feminisation of agriculture, feminising agricultural consulting should have long since followed in terms of concepts, content and staff.

 

Disadvantaging women also has a negative impact on food and nutrition security in times of climate change. Women and men have local knowledge on which agricultural production is based. Women use their experiences and knowledge to adapt to climate change in the best possible way. Due to their limited access to capital, information and knowledge about climate change and the adjustment strategies, they suffer from the consequences particularly severely and differently to men. In order to fully understand the challenges that climate change presents to small-scale farming, women and men must equally provide their perspectives and equally look for solutions. Failure to do so increases the risk that women will continue to be at a disadvantage with negative consequences for the climate, small-scale farming and food and nutrition security.

 

Members of the Kufuna Kwefaako Farmers Group in Uganda visualize the gendered division of labor in their families. Photo: Carsta Neuenroth/Brot für die Welt
Members of the Kufuna Kwefaako Farmers Group in Uganda visualize the gendered division of labor in their families. Photo: Carsta Neuenroth/Brot für die Welt

Sustainable development goal 2 addresses the described problem with a sub-goal of doubling the agricultural productivity and the incomes of women and other marginalised groups through better access to land, markets and other productive resources by 2030 (UN, 2015). The corona pandemic has caused the number of men, women and children affected by food and nutrition insecurity to increase dramatically, so the efforts necessary to achieve this goal must be considerably increased.

 

The people affected by food and nutrition insecurity are lacking political influence, the technical and financial resources to implement constructive solutions as well as income security to improve their situation. Ultimately, they have to overcome economic, social and political marginalisation so they can achieve food and nutrition security and ensure their right to food. This article has demonstrated why this cannot happen without the equal participation of women.

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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.

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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.

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‘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.

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The lessons learned from the last food crisis - A solution?

A Contribution by Agnes Kalibata

Inadequacy and fragility of food systems becomes more apparent with every food crisis. The question we must answer is “Where do we go from here?”

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From shared conviction to global response

A Contribution by Jan Rübel

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".

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‘Preserving and restoring fertile soils is a global responsibility.’

An Interview with Jochen Flasbarth (BMZ)

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.

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Scaling up Food Security

An Artikel by Jan Rübel

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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Five tips to reduce food waste

A listicle against food waste

Whether it's banana bread made from brown bananas, conscious shopping plans or foodsharing, we give you five tips on how to reduce your everyday food waste.

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What does it take to truly shift the paradigm on food systems?

An Interview by GDPRD

Why are short- and long-term responses important to address current and future global crises? Sebastian Lesch, Head of the Agriculture Division at the German Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ), provides answers to these and other questions in an interview with the Global Donor Platform for Rural Development (GDPRD) and explains how much Germany welcomes all donors pulling together and acting in concert.

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Strengthening food markets across the rural-urban continuum

A Contribution by Thomas Forster

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.

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A dashboard as a key tool for global food security

A Contribution by BMZ

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.

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The importance of water for sustainable rural development

A contribtion by WE4F

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.

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From reaction to action

A contribtion by GIZ

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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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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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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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.

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Sustainable, feminist and socially just: The new Africa strategy of the BMZ

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).

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The goals of transformation should leave no one behind

An Interview with Mareike Haase and Stig Tanzmann

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.

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Agricultural policy belongs in prime time

An interview with Dr. Julia Köhn

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.

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BMZ releases video on the transformation of agricultural and food systems

A contribution by GIZ

The Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ) has released a video on the transformation of agricultural and food systems. In the video, Federal Minister Svenja Schulze also speaks about the urgent need to combat global hunger and contribute to resilient agricultural and food systems.

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“More of the same is not enough - we need to rethink”

An interview with Dirk Meyer

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.

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Agricultural prices and food security – a complex relationship

A Contribution by Dr. Fatima Olanike Kareem and Dr. Olayinka Idowu Kareem

High agricultural prices affect developed and developing countries alike, but the problem is aggravated for the latter through the lack of or inadequate resilience measures. Dr. Fatima Olanike Kareem, AKADEMIYA2063, and Dr. Olayinka Idowu Kareem, University of Hohenheim, explain what can be done to mitigate the negative effects on food security.

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Strengthening the market linkages of smallholders in the face of global supply shocks

A Contribution by Niladri Sekhar Bagchi

The consequences of the Russian invasion of Ukraine have enabled many countries to open up new export markets for their agricultural goods. However, smallholder farms have been largely left out. Drawing on his experience in India, our author gives a brief overview of how this can be changed.

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Innovative donor approaches and sustainable finance – A Review of UNFSS+2

A contribution by the Global Donor Platform for Rural Development

Two years following the UN Food Systems Summit, the Global Donor Platform for Rural Development and the Shamba Centre for Food & Climate hosted an official side event at the UNFSS+2. The event explored how public donors can increase the impact of their investments.

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“It created hope. It created a life”

An interview with Ally-Raza Qureshi, WFP

Iraq suffered many years of war, sanctions and economic crises. However, Ally-Raza Qureshi from the World Food Programme in Iraq sees progress. But now the effects of climate change are becoming apparent in the country. What is to be done?

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What is needed for a long-term fertiliser strategy?

A contribution by Michael Brüntrup

The world is currently experiencing a historic food crisis. High fertiliser prices are part of the problem. In addition to the necessary short-term aid measures, the crisis ought to be made use of to develop and implement longer-term fertiliser strategies for sustainable, in particular smallholder increases in production in the Global South.

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New Podcast – Out now!

A Podcast by Food4Transformation

In a world facing crises – from pandemics, armed conflicts, and climate change – how do we ensure everyone has enough food within planetary boundaries? A new podcast by Food4Transformation discover solutions talking to government officials, scientists, NGOs and farmers around the world.

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What the Middle East conflict means for the children in Gaza

An Interview by Jan Rübel

The Gaza Strip depends heavily on humanitarian aid, more than ever with the current war. Gaza population is very young: Half of them are children. What is their situation on the ground? Questions for Lucia Elmi, Unicef Special Representative to the State of Palestine.

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Agricultural Financing – from a broader Perspective

A Contribution by GIZ

In Sub-Saharan Africa, not all financial institutions (FIs) have access to knowledge about how to implement processes to enhance rural financial inclusion. The pan-African Community of Practice (CoP) plays a pivotal role in supporting these institutions along this transformative journey.

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Agriculture is more than Culture or Tradition

A Contribution by Simeon Kambalame

How can agriculture engage more young people in rural areas? Advocacy and education campaigns can play an important role here. Simeon Kambalame, Timveni Child and Youth Media Organisation, has launched such a campaign in Malawi.

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Gender Justice – a Precondition for Resilience

A contribution by IFPRI

Women and girls in poorer countries are affected in particular ways by the multiple crises the world is currently facing. Uncovering the linkages between gender, resilience and food security, experts from International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI) look at ways to support women and girls’ capacity to respond to crises.

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Where can international cooperation in Gaza come in, Ms. Asseburg?

An Interview by Jan Rübel

The armed conflict between Israeli forces and the Hamas is escalating. What does this mean for a Gaza, region that was already heavily dependent on external aid? Questions for Dr. Muriel Asseburg, Senior Fellow at the German Institute for International and Security Affairs (SWP) in Berlin.

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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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Nature conservation around the world

A Contribution by WWF

From measures to promote biodiversity in Germany to more sustainable cocoa cultivation methods in Ecuador: WWF works at many different levels. At the Green Week, it will be demonstrated just how multifaceted nature conservation work is and what role each individual's decision plays.

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Together for food security in Zambia

A Contribution by Claudia Jordan (GIZ)

The Agriculture and Food Security Cluster of the Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ) GmbH in Zambia shows how synergies among different projects and partner organisations can help people to eat healthier, diversified food. A delegation of the Bonn based Division of Agriculture and Rural Development learned this in a field visit in the Eastern Province of the Southern African country.

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Climate Resilience in the Apple Value Chain

A Contribution by Puneet Bansal

In Himachal Pradesh, India, natural disasters are becoming more frequent and climatic conditions are changing – with negative consequences for apple production and farmers' livelihoods. Holistic and multidimensional innovation bundles are required for the entire value chain in order to make the food system more resilient in the future.

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Felix Phiri and two decades of Agriculture

A Conversation with Felix Phiri

Felix Phiri has been Head of the Department of Nutrition, HIV and AIDS at the Ministry of Health in Malawi for almost 20 years. A conversation about constants and change.

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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

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.

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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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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.

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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..

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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.

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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.

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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.

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Priscilla Impraim and her chocolate business

A contribution by Jan Rübel

Priscilla Impraim is one of the first women in Ghana to enter the chocolate business. Despite some hurdles, she founded the company Ab Ovo Confectionery Limited in 2006 with currently six permanent employees and 25 seasonal employees.

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Towards Climate Justice: Securing Women’s Land Rights for a Resilient Tomorrow

A Contribution by TMG

In the midst of global climate discussions, a resounding call emerges: Women's land rights must be the cornerstone of our climate actions. They're not just pieces of the puzzle; they form the foundation for true climate resilience. TMG Think Tank for Sustainability reports from the first African Climate Summit.

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"Climate change is unifying people from the region"

A Contribution by Jan Rübel

In the West Bank, political tensions and increasingly poor weather conditions are making farming more difficult. What needs to be done? Questions for Abbas Milhem, Executive Director of the Palestinian Farmers Union (PFU).

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(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.

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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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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  

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(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. 

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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.

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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.

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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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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.

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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.

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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.

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"Human capital will play a pivotal role in the transformation of African economies"

A contribution by Ben Leyka

The potential the African food sector holds is still far too strongly associated with the continent’s natural resources, Ben Leyka maintains. He seeks to change this with the African Agri Council.

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CompensACTION aims to reward farmers for climate performance

A Contribution of the Initiative

The CompensACTION Initiative for food security and a healthy planet, launched by the German Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ) in 2022, is gaining momentum. It aims to financially compensate smallholder farmers for their contribution to preserving ecosystems. Initial successes have been achieved in Ethiopia, Lesotho and Brazil.

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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

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

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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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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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"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.

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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.

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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.

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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!’

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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.

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When sustainability becomes part of the curriculum

A contribution by Jan Rübel

During the trade Grüne Woche, school classes visited the BMZ (German Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development), Brot für die Welt and Misereor. Each class spends one hour at their stand to learn about the global challenges posed by food systems. A review by Jan Rübel.

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The Insect Whisperer

A Contribution by Jan Rübel and Zain Jafar

Agriculture is coming under pressure worldwide: bacteria, viruses and insects are causing problems for crops. In Palestine, Dr. Rana Samara from the Palestinian Academy of Science and Technology is researching solutions to the problem. And she finds them in nature itself.

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Cotton of the Future

A Contribution by GIZ

VR glasses are hardly a conventional tool in agriculture: for the past three years, they have been used in rural areas of Burkina Faso and Cameroon as a training tool for sustainable cotton cultivation.

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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.

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(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

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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.

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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.

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“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.

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©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.

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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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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.

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(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

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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.

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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.

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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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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?

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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.

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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.

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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.

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Drugs and the Environment

A Contribution by Jorrit Kamminga

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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Building climate-resilient and equitable food systems: Why we need agroecology

Agroecological methods target diversity and resilience and can thus promote the protection of forests, water and soil. Julia Tomalka and Christoph Gornott, Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research (PIK), on the potential of agroecology to safeguard against climate change and build resilient agri-food system.

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How are transformation and crisis intervention related, Dr. Frick?

An Interview by Jan Rübel

Martin Frick has been director of the WFP office in Berlin for a year – since then one hunger crisis has followed another. What are the diplomat's answers? A conversation about opportunities in agriculture, the interplay of multiple crises, the importance of resilience and tighter budgets.

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New UN Biodiversity Agreement

A Contribution by Rural 21

Nations adopted four goals and 23 targets for 2030 to foster biodiversity conservation and counter acceleration in the global rate of species extinction at the UN Biodiversity Conference (COP15).

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COP27: Agri-food systems in the focus of the climate discussion

Stephanie Heiland, Project Manager at Sector Project Agriculture and part of this year’s Observer Delegation of the Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ) at COP27, shares her insights on the role of agriculture and food systems at the climate conference. Among other things, she reports from GIZ’s COP27 side event ‘Climate resilient agriculture and food systems in times of multiple crises and fragility’.

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G7 Sustainable Supply Chains Initiative: From Commitment to Action

Future generations need more sustainable and stable agri-food systems. But how can this comprehensive transformation succeed and what responsibility does the private sector bear? These questions were the focus of the G7 Sustainable Supply Chains Initiative (G7 SSCI) side event as part of the ‘Champion Youth Action’ day at the 27th UN Climate Change Conference (COP27).

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Climate, biodiversity and nutrition are inextricably linked

The Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development sees sustainable agri-food systems as an opportunity to protect the climate, preserve biodiversity and ensure food security in the future. Dirk Meyer, Head of Directorate-General 1 at the Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development, looks ahead to the upcoming COP27.

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Why biodiversity is important for climate protection & food security - and vice versa

The world is facing major challenges that need to be solved. We need to feed an ever-growing population, bring climate change under control and stop the loss of biodiversity. Martina Fleckenstein, Director of Global Policy at WWF, on what is expected from the climate conference in terms of biodiversity and biodiversity conservation.

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What connects gender and the environment

Women can play a vital role in the change process both when it comes to climate protection and adapting to climate change. But the reality is often still not quite like this: women and girls are particularly badly affected by the climate crisis. Is the topic of gender getting enough attention at the upcoming climate conference? Questions for Bettina Jahn from UN Women Germany.

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Social justice and climate justice: Fair Vibe at the Youth Climate Conference

At LCOY Germany, the local youth climate conference, views on climate protection from all political spectrums are discussed. The Fairactivists, a programme of Fairtrade Germany, participated with a panel discussion on the link between social justice and climate justice.

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Five climate-friendly methods in agriculture

A Listicle for climate protection and adaptation

These five management practices can increase agricultural production and contribute to climate change mitigation and adaptation.

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Farmers reap big from Climate Smart Farming

An Article by Angeline Ochieng & Victor Raballa

Journalists Angeline Ochieng and Victor Raballa visited Ms Bilha Munyole, a Kenyan farmer in Kimilili, Bungoma County, on her maize plantation. About the important role of mechanisation in climate-smart agriculture and in building resilience to the impacts of climate change.

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Think20 Policy Brief centres on Agroecology

Insights from the T20 Policy Brief

Given the urgency of transforming agricultural and food systems, GIZ India's Food Systems and Agroecology Working Group is exploring the potential of agroecology in collaboration with Think20 partners. A policy brief has now been published.

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Earth’s well, all’s well!

A Contribution by Fairtrade Germany

With the annual topic "Earth’s well, all’s well!", Fairtrade Germany is focusing on the concept of agroecology at all levels - and is thus taking the next step towards achieving greater global sustainability. At the Green Week trade fair, Fairtrade Germany will show how this can be achieved taking the cocoa supply chain as an example.

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Sowing change

A Contribution by Brot für die Welt

Roughly 800 million people suffer from hunger worldwide. Change is needed - for people and for the environment. Brot für die Welt reports on the starting points offered by everyone's ecological footprint and handprint.

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