Story: In Blocked Chains We Trust


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.

Ich bin ein Alternativtext
Foto: GIZ

By Solomon King Benge

Solomon King Benge is the founder of Fundi Bots, an education non-profit with a mission to accelerate science learning in Africa. Fundi Bots uses high-impact learning tools like robotics and enhanced science curriculum material to promote better learning outcomes, improved career prospects and real-world technological advancement in African schools and communities.

In addition, he is a 2014 Echoing Green Fellow, 2014 Ashoka Fellow and a 2017, Segal Family Foundation African Visionary Fellow.

Solomon also enjoys art and storytelling through various media.

All contributions

March 20th 2025. Kwame Nkrumah University, Ghana.

On the night of March 20th 2025, in a hostel room at the Kwame Nkrumah University, a woman typed furiously away at a computer. The harsh light from the computer screen lit the darkness of the room, illuminating the sleeping form of her room-mate. The woman paused, squinting intently at the screen. She adjusted her glasses slightly, frowned and continued typing.


“For farmers, by farmers.” Its slogan was simple, concise and no-nonsense.


Her name was Fadi Donkor-Adjaye, a fourth-year student of the College of Agriculture and Natural Resources and she was writing the last few lines of code for what she called the NotreAger project. It had consumed the last three years of her life and now, it was done. At 2:26AM, Fadi clicked the “Upload” button and five minutes later, NotreAger was live.

Her desire, she told the Student University Blog the next morning as she started her carefully crafted marketing campaign, was to create a centralized marketplace for African farmers. “For farmers, by farmers.” Its slogan was simple, concise and no-nonsense.

“Fadi Donkor-Adjaye’s NotreAger project is a big and bold initiative,” the University Blog gushed. “At its core lies blockchain technology, which ensures that all transactions along the agriculture value chain can be monitored, managed, enforced and traced efficiently and securely, from the purchase of seed for planting to the final check-out by a customer in a supermarket.

“For example, a farmer can know, from the comfort of their mobile device, which final product their coffee, beans or rice ended up in, right up to the store that sold it. This gives the farmer stronger negotiating power and higher income because they can provide proof-of-quality while studying the supply and demand forces that drive the sales and prices of the final product.”

The blog went on to boldly declare: “The middle-man is officially dead!”




Fadi’s parents were smallholder farmers, and her entire life, she’d seen and experienced the struggle they went through, trying to keep her and her three siblings in school. She was especially devastated when her father passed away during her second year of university and her mother informed her that they had only one year of finances saved before they would go totally broke.


Fadi couldn’t allow this to happen; she had vowed to be the first girl in her family to finish university as an engineer.


If that happened, her mother had said, Fadi would have to drop out of school to enable her siblings – all boys – to continue education. Fadi couldn’t allow this to happen; she had vowed to be the first girl in her family to finish university as an engineer. Agricultural engineer, yes, but still an engineer.


Fadi knew that there were many ways you could make money on the internet, but hadn’t really had the need to explore until now, so she started doing research on online marketing, social media influencing and so on. But the years working with her parents on their family farm had sown the seed for hard, passionate work tilling the earth. And she had been obsessed with why her parents always struggled to find good prices for produce, especially as harvest seasons peaked. She also wondered why it wasn’t possible to store food to sell during the off-season when prices were better.


Her curiosity drove her deeper towards famer-focused solutions. She started gaining an interest in online markets for farmers like her parents and she soon discovered hundreds of apps that were doing exactly that, with varying levels of success. But she noticed a pattern: all these apps were developed by techies who didn’t know a thing about farming. None of them had grown up on a farm or had any experience farming; all they had was the “market research.”


Fadi was ten years old then, and didn’t understand, but nodded her head grimly and mouthed “global warming.”


As she kept researching, Fadi grew more and more confident. She had the experience, decades of it: toiling on the farm night and day; going to the market and haggling with buyers and middle-men; watching in dismay as crops failed because the weather patterns were changing.


“It’s global warming”, her mother had told her once, staring at the sky and shaking her head grimly. Fadi was ten years old then, and didn’t understand, but nodded her head grimly and mouthed “global warming.”


Fadi couldn’t code, but she vowed she would learn, because she wanted to make the product her way. It took her three long, excruciating years, juggling school and working online so she could stay in school and pay tuition for her siblings.


As it turned out, Fadi was an exceptional programmer, and her online marketing skills paid off in unexpected ways: when NotreAger launched on 25th March 2025, it had 0 users. Two weeks later, she had recruited 500 farmers to the platform.


NotreAger celebrated its first-year anniversary with 100,000 farmers from 30 countries across Africa. With $500,000 in annual profit in its second year, NotreAger was a runaway success.


Five years later, Fadi accepted an exceptionally large venture-capital-backed full buyout and retired to live on a large farm in Southern Ghana.


Terra Vertus, the company that bought NotreAger rebranded it to NeoAgro after three years. By 2035, ten years after its creation, NeoAgro had 35 million farmers in its network, coming from nearly every single African country. NeoAgro controlled 85% of the total African farming market, the majority of whom were smallholder farmers.




February 18th, 2080. Lamwor District, Northern Uganda.


Jackson Oloya tapped the small button on the side of his head, ending the call. He had been pacing the room, agitated and now he stood facing his FarmStation, a formidable but sleek computer unit on his desk. He looked at the holophone dock on the desk and shook his head in disbelief. The image fading away from the projected display was that of his farm manager who had just delivered some pretty bad news.


Still standing, Jackson switched on the FarmStation, and the multiple screens blinked to life one at a time. He connected to the internet and logged onto his NeoAgro account and opened up his dashboard. His quickly scanned the monitors, his heart sinking as each update came online. When the last one came on, he slowly sat down on his chair.


His farm manager was right: every single service was blinking red. Status: Offline.

He scanned the screen again, slowly this time. Robotics, Nutrients, Water, MarketPlace, Silo, Transport, Weather, Sensors... Everything was offline. Unavailable. No Access.

His FarmStation was no longer permitted to connect to NeoAgro, which meant his farm was officially a blacklisted farm, and he, Jackson Oloya was a rogue farmer.

He was in full panic now. If he wasn’t able to restore services quickly, his crops would start dying, his animals would not be fed, he would miss his daily NeoAgro targets and his ranking would start slipping. Fast. Within days, he might find himself back at the bottom of his cluster, erasing decades of hard work and then things would start to get really, really bad.

There was a bigger problem, however: Jackson had no idea why his services had been terminated. He was on track with rental payments for the NeoAgro services, the hardware maintenance logs were in perfect shape, he had no negative balances. But above all, his farm was a beacon that demonstrated the exponential impact of precision farming available to farmers who signed up for NeoAgro’s FarmStation service.

So why on Earth was his farm offline?



Jackson stood in the middle of the farm, with a deep frown on his face. He was expecting a call from a NeoAgro Customer Satisfaction Representative. He had been waiting for almost three hours.

His farm was a modest 3-acre piece of land, split into three parts to cater for: indoor crops, which were housed in the greenhouse; outdoor crops and; a large livestock shed where Friesian cows bellowed and chickens clucked loudly. The animals hadn’t been fed for almost ten hours now and they were getting extremely agitated.


Failure to pay salaries at the end of the month was the kind of nightmare he did not want to even think about.


The farm was eerily silent. Normally, at around this time of the day, you could hear the whirr of motors as the linear robots in the greenhouse moved from plant to plant testing soil moisture, acidity and nutrient values as they simultaneously planted, watered, weeded and harvested, depending on the crop and the cycle. The milking machines were also offline, which meant some of the cows were starting to get very restless. Towards the back of the farm, the autonomous transportation drones were neatly lined by the silo, which was firmly shut with a red “Access Denied” sign on its lock.


His workers – most of them maintenance engineers - milled about, idly chatting to one another as they waited for solutions from the boss. They all had worried looks though, Jackson noted. And he knew why: FarmStation had a reputation ranking system for farm employees, which allowed outstanding engineers and workers to get better jobs and wages. And since FarmStation also managed salaries… Jackson shook away the thought. Failure to pay salaries at the end of the month was the kind of nightmare he did not want to even think about.


The workers teased a younger-looking boy for being clumsy around the robotics unit and he laughed awkwardly, stating proudly that he will learn slowly.

Jackson’s holophone trilled in his ear. He quickly put on the projection glasses and looked at the caller. He frowned. It was an old friend: Clare Nassonko. His frown deepened. This wasn’t good. He hadn’t seen Clare in...

My goodness, he thought, it has been forever!

Jackson had met Clare during a farmers’ cooperative union meeting nearly twenty years ago. Back then, she was the East Africa Customer Acquisition Lead for NeoAgro and was on a product engagement trip, talking to farmers and cooperative unions about the new full access package NeoAgro was developing for farmers like Jackson.


“This is a day I've been looking forward to for a long, long time," Clare had said, slowly pacing back and forth in front of the hall.


Clare was a natural salesperson, and her presentation skills were incomparable. In a moment of weakness, she had whispered to Jackson that she relentlessly watched the videos of the greatest speakers who had ever lived, specifically the legendary Steve Jobs.


“Today… is a day you will never forget.” Clare smiled.


The farmers in the hall clapped. They were all NeoAgro users and they all had only good things to say about the service. Many of them had increased their income tenfold because NeoAgro provided them with full control and full access to the market. Of course, it came with fees, but, of course, they were more than happy to pay the fees. Over many decades, the traditional middle-men had lost all their power, as the farmers happily handed the power over to Terra Vertus’ crown jewel- NeoAgro, which now managed services for over 97% of African farmers.


With NeoAgro’s blockchain-based services, we didn’t just improve the way farmers accessed markets; we transformed the entire agriculture value chain. We gave you more value. We gave you control! We gave you…POWER!”


That day, Clare was there to convince them to trust NeoAgro a little bit more.


"Every once in a while, a revolutionary product comes along that changes everything.” Her gestures as she spoke were grand, but controlled like a military general inspiring troops before a battle. “NeoAgro didn’t just change farming; it changed the African continent. With NeoAgro’s blockchain-based services, we didn’t just improve the way farmers accessed markets; we transformed the entire agriculture value chain. We gave you more value. We gave you control! We gave you… POWER!”


The hall erupted with shouts and whoops. It took a while for the crowd to become quiet again. Clare basked in her audience’s adulation. She had them sold even before they knew what exactly they were buying.


“Well, today, I would like to introduce the most revolutionary product we have ever created.”

She paused for emphasis, scanning the room. The farmers were all leaning forward, Jackson more so.

"Today, we're introducing three revolutionary products. The first one is a new, real-time updated version of NeoAgro. We call it Version X, and it will provide access to marketplaces, weather services, transportation services, land management and credit facilities. The second is a breakthrough, fully automated farming system, complete with micro-robots, crop sensors, irrigation, harvest management and silo storage. The third is the most powerful farm management computer system ever built. And it ties all of this together, giving you a secure and efficient way to manage your entire farm.


“Three products… NeoAgro X… an automated farming system and… a powerful farm management computer.


“But… these are not three separate products.”


Clare stopped pacing. She looked into the audience, making strong eye-contact with several people, and waited for the implication to sink in. She could sense the tension and then the release as one by one, the farmers started making the connection.


“These are not three separate products.” Her voice was strong and firm, with the confidence of a speaker who knew she was in complete control. The air in the packed hall was electric.


“This is one unified, comprehensive product, and we’re calling it… FarmStation!”


And with a flourish that she had clearly practiced meticulously for months, she unveiled the sleek new FarmStation system. It looked incredible.


The applause was deafening. Everyone was standing up, high-fiving each other and chanting, “Long live, NeoAgro! Long live Terra Vertus!”




“Jackson!” the voice in his ear shook him out of his reverie, bringing him back to the present. He could still hear the chants in his memories, including his own joyful whoops.


But now, Clare was now VP of Customer Relations. Her successful sales push with the FarmStation had propelled her very quickly to senior management. She had personally overseen its adoption in East Africa, often travelling long, weary days with the technical teams to ensure the farmers were satisfied with the product. She had actually been with the team that installed his FarmStation.


“Clare! Thank goodness! I need your help!” Jackson was back in full problem-solving mode, the memories pushed to the back of his mind.


“Jackson, I know. Your name popped up on the blacklist and I decided to check for myself. You know I like to keep tabs on my farmers.”


“I have no idea what’s going on, Clare. I woke up this morning to a frantic and panicked holocall from my farm manager. All my systems are offline and I can’t seem to get a straight answer from anyone in NeoAgro’s customer support. The only responses I keep getting is that the issue has been escalated to another level. Clare, my cows haven’t been milked all day.”


“I know. I can see all of that from here. But there’s a big problem, Jackson. You… your farm violated our supplier integrity code.” Her voice was firm and even through the poor holocall connection, he could see that she was watching him intently.


“I don’t… I don’t understand,” Jackson responded, hesitantly. He was frantically scouring his mind, looking for where he could have messed up. Maybe it was one of his workers… No. He dismissed the thought. His workers were well-trained… the very best. Their rankings were at the top of their cluster. There was no way they could be at fault.


“Jackson…” Clare’s voice had gone down a note and sounded deadly serious. “The digital signature of the fresh beans harvest you submitted last week does not match the signature of beans you should be harvesting from your farm.”


“What? That’s not possible!”


“But it is what we’re seeing.”


 “Clare, are you accusing me of tampering with the seed?”


“I’m not accusing you. But NeoAgro is foolproof and the ledger is incorruptible. Someone did something illegal on your farm. The data from your FarmStation shows an unapproved input from the planting stage. Someone provided the robotics unit with illegal seeds.”


“Hang on a second. Isn’t the FarmStation supposed to block all access and stop activity if there’s an error at that stage?”


“Yes, it should. But not if it assumes you’re adding a new crop to your garden or splicing a new strain of an existing crop. We can see the proof-of-work from your farm, and the smart-contracts kicked in at all the appropriate stages. However, someone did something illegal, at the most vulnerable point: seed storage. Unfortunately, the first stage of the NeoAgro blockchain system is based on our trust in you, the farmer. And that trust has been violated.”


Violated. Such a heavy, ominous word, Jackson thought.


“So what so I do now? Can this be traced? You know me Clare. You know I wouldn’t do this. My team also wouldn’t do this. I trust them completely, and besides, they have a lot to lose.”


“For now, you’re blacklisted, Jackson.” Clare’s voice on the other end of the holocall was cold and distant.


Jackson felt the world shrinking around him. A cold sweat trickled down his back as Clare continued talking.


“NeoAgro does not make any exceptions for farmers who violate the integrity code. The very fabric of NeoAgro depends on our farmers doing exactly as the system tells them, when it tells them and where it tells them. Down to the microsecond. A farmer breaking this rule destroys the trust and could easily lead to an integrity infection within the entire network.”


Jackson was speechless. This wasn’t Clare speaking. It was the voice of NeoAgro’s power. The same power he and other smallholder farmers had handed over decades ago.


They cared only for the cold, harsh, incorruptible data that came from the millions of FarmStations that ran every single farm in Africa.


“I’ll see what I can do.” Clare’s voice had become just a little bit sympathetic, but there was a cold edge to it. “I have to warn you, though, my hands are tied. This can take a long time to resolve.”


They had become close friends over the years since they met and had stayed in touch until she had been transferred to another country, where her increasing workload had made it harder for her to make time for a call, or a coffee when she was in the country. But NeoAgro’s rules, policies and frameworks no longer cared for friendships, un-milked cows, wilting crops or starving farmers saying a prayer around an empty dinner table. They cared only for the cold, harsh, incorruptible data that came from the millions of FarmStations that ran every single farm in Africa.


After a silence that seemed like an eternity, Jackson asked, “How much time are we looking at before I get a response?” He wasn’t sure he wanted to hear the answer.


“Five weeks, and even then, I’m still not sure.”


Five weeks?!! F***! Just one week off NeoAgro would cause unimaginable chaos. Five weeks was a death sentence.





Jackson walked through the greenhouse. He’d turned off the non-essential power supply to the entire farm, leaving just the lighting. There was no point keeping the power on now; his farm was doomed and his cluster rating was going back to zero. He had built his entire life around NeoAgro, and now… just like that… it was gone. The NeoAgro Legal and Compliance team wouldn’t even listen to his pleas for lenience based on his track record. Broken trust was broken trust, they had said. The blockchain doesn’t lie, they had muttered. Our data is incorruptible, they had insisted.

He reached the exit of the greenhouse and waved at one of his workers who was just entering; the same worker who was being teased earlier in the day. The worker was new, a fresh-faced kid, barely out of his teens, from another village across the country. He had been sent for training by a distant relative of Jackson’s wife.

The worker waved back, and continued on his way.


As Jackson fired up his motorcycle and drove back home to break the bad news to his family, the worker reached the seed storage unit, where the robotics system picked seed for planting.

Opening the packet in his hand, he carefully inspected the contents.

When he had just started working here a few weeks ago, he had noticed that sometimes the container that stored seed was not as full as it needed to be, and, eager to please his new boss, the young worker had been collecting seeds from the market across the road to fill up the container. He’d spent the idle afternoon today collecting more seed from the market and had carefully wrapped them in the packet he now held open before him.

Satisfied that the seeds had no stones – the robotics systems didn’t tolerate foreign objects in the seeds – he smiled and poured them into the container and closed the seed storage unit.

The worker left the farm and started walking home, as the sun was setting. He was happy. His boss was going to be so proud of him for being so proactive…


As the night came, the neighboring farms hummed and buzzed along, business as usual. Robots planted, weeded, irrigated and harvested. Milking machines tugged and squeezed, filling carefully labeled containers with fresh milk. And transportation drones zipped across the dark, moonless sky, landing, loading and taking off with extreme precision.


And in the darkness, a red halo appeared over Jackson’s farm, illuminating the night sky with pulsing words…














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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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Reference values: A building block on the road to social equality

A contribution by Friederieke Martin (GIZ)

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.

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Quinoa could have a huge potential in Central Asia, where the Aral Sea Basin has been especially hard-hit by salinisation.

Supermarket Scorecard on Human Rights

A contribution by Dr. Franziska Humbert (Oxfam)

Oxfam’s supermarket scorecard, which is in its third year, shows one thing in particular - it works! Supermarkets can change their business policies and focus more on the rights of those people around the world who plant and harvest food. However, this does not happen without pressure. 

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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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Ms Rudloff, what are the benefits of a supply chain law?

By Jan Rübel

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.

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Uli Reinhardt/Zeitenspiegel

Bitter fruit

A contribution by Frank Brunner

Why aren’t bars of chocolate made where cocoa is grown? Author Frank Brunner analyses the industry’s fragile value chain from the plantation to the supermarket

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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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Global responsibility: Tackling hunger is the only way forward

A contribution by Lisa Hücking (WHH)

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. 

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Freed from trade? Towards a fairer EU Trade Agenda

A contribution by Dr. Jan Orbie (University Gent)

‘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’?

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Good health is impossible without healthy food

A contribution by Heino von Meyer

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.

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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

The 'Grey Gold'

A contribution by Maria Schmidt (GIZ)

The Cashew Council is the first international organisation for a raw material stemming from Africa. The industry promises to make progress in processing and refining cashew nuts - and answers to climate change

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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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No rainforest for our consumption

A contribution by Jenny Walther-Thoß (WWF)

In the tropics rainforests are still being felled for the production of palm oil, meat and furniture. It is high time to act. Proposals are on the table.

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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 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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(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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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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The Future of Development Politics: Voices from the Parliamentary Groups

A Contribution by Journalist Jan Rübel

Representatives of the six parliamentary groups offer their views on the future of German development cooperation.

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Côte d’Ivoire: The Future Starts With Food

A Contribution by GIZ

How nutrition trainer Edwige helps cocoa farmers in Côte d’Ivoire to prepare for a healthier future.

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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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The Case for Fair Fashion

A Contribution by Jan Rübel

On the podcast ‘From the Field to the Shelf’, Marie Nasemann calls for new attempts to promote fair fashion. An evening about burnt returns, filterless washing machines and a lot of room for improvement.

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Knowledge about spice production

A listicle regarding spice production

The global trade in spices currently has a volume of over 10 billion euros. But at what price do these spices refine our Christmas cuisine? On closer inspection, aspects of the value chain leave a bitter taste.

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New legal initiatives towards deforestation-free supply chains as a game changer

A Contribution by Gerhard Langenberger

Regarding deforestation free supply chains, there are challenges and opportunities for smallholder farmers as well as for international forest governance. Also, responsibilities for companies and potential incentives for manufacturers to use materials from fair trade and sustainable sources need to be explored. But what does “deforestation-free” actually mean?

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Achieving more together – New forms of cooperation for sustainability in the cotton sector

A Contribution by Saskia Widenhorn

Saskia Widenhorn, Head of the Cotton Component in Cameroon and the Sub-Saharan Cotton Initiative at GIZ, reports on the Bremer Cotton Week, which brought together international industry experts. The agenda included supply chain transparency, sustainability and new forms of cooperation between the private sector and partner countries.


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David versus Goliath: Consequences of mainstream agricultural export commodities and niche products

An Artikel by the Initiative for Sustainable Agricultural Supply Chains (INA)

A study published by the Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ) examines the differences between globally traded agricultural commodities and domestic niche products in terms of economic, environmental and social impact on the region of origin. The results provide new evidence to make supply chains more sustainable.  

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Côte d’Ivoire: Sweet Temptation without a Bitter Taste

A Story by GIZ

Until Easter 2022, GIZ publishes a new episode every fortnight introducing people who are committed to fair and sustainable cocoa in Côte d'Ivoire and Germany.

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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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The fight against illegal fishing

A Report

The oceans are important for our food supply, but they are overfished. To halt this trend the global community is now taking action against illegal fishing. Journalist Jan Rübel spoke with Francesco Marí, a specialist for world food, agricultural trade and maritime policy at "Brot für die Welt," and others.

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Controversy: Do supply chains need liability rules?

Discussion about the potential supply chain law

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.

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Do import restrictions really benefit the local poor in West Africa?

A contribution by Isabel Knößlsdorfer

Protectionist policies like tariffs supposedly protect domestic producers if they cannot compete with cheaper imported products. Some African countries have therefore opted to impose such import restrictions for a number of products. For the case of chicken imports in Ghana, this study analyses whether restrictions would lead to overall positive or negative welfare effects among households.

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Sang'alo Institute invests in farming of sunflower crop

A contribution by James Wanzala

Kenya is a large importer of vetable oils mainly from Indonesia and Malaysia - amongst them sunflower oil. Due to the Russian war of aggression against Ukraine, there were supply bottlenecks and food shortages, leading to less affordable vegetable oils in Kenya. As a response to the lack of supply, the Sanga'alo Institute of Science and Technology, took that impulse, teamed up with the GIZ and established regional cultivation and refinement of sunflowers.

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From field to fan shop: how to increase supply

A contribution by Jan Rübel

Organic cotton is extremely popular – but farmers still find it difficult to change their conventional cultivation methods. A new project addresses this dilemma: Bundesliga football teams in Germany are promoting the switch to organic cotton in India. And thereby setting an example.

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The Agri-Food Map: An interactive map to explore sustainable agri-food systems

A Contribution by GIZ

The complex interrelationships of the sustainable transformation of agricultural and food systems are not always easy to understand - the Agri-Food Map, an interactive online app, makes the comprehensive relations accessible by providing a wide range of comprehensibly prepared information.

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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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The Principle of Sharing

A contribution by gebana

gebana, a Swiss fair trade company, follows the principle of "sharing" with its corporate philosophy: farming families in the Global South participate directly in the sales of their online shop. Caroline Schaar, Marketing at gebana, explains the company's approach.

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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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The Idea of Coffee entirely made by Women

A Conversation with Allan Mubiru

Allan Mubiru was standing in front of a shelf in Kigali, Rwanda, and discovered a local type of coffee. He took it, tasted it and was thrilled. A story about a grocery shopping trip that became the beginning of a successful business idea.

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From the perennial to the catwalk – banana silk as an alternative

A Contribution by Paul Kadjo

The textile industry contributes significantly to environmental pollution as it produces over 100 billion garments every year, resulting in huge CO2 emissions and water consumption. Fashion designer Paul Kadjo uses banana silk as an environmentally friendly alternative to make textile production more environmentally conscious and socially just.

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Coconuts, Digitalization and the Future

An Interview with Ebun Feludu

Female founder Ebun Feludu wants to bring the coconut value chain to Nigeria with her start-up Kokari. In this interview, she explains why she envisions every coconut palm tree bearing its own name in the future and how digitalization can contribute to this.

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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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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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"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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More than just a seat at the table

A contribution by Welthungerhilfe

Africa is home to the world’s youngest and fastest growing population. For many young people, agriculture could offer a job perspective. But to improve the living conditions and job prospects of young people in rural areas, political reforms and investments are desperately needed, as these people will be at the centre of agriculture and agricultural development in the future.

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

A Contribution by Jan Grossarth

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

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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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Digitalization: The Driving Force in the Future of Agriculture?

A Contribution by GIZ

At the ICTforAg conference in March 2022, the digital agriculture community exchanged on the challenges and opportunities associated with the next green revolution.

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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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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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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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How a Nigerian fintech wants to secure 1 billion US dollars for farms

An Interview with Blessing Mene

Small farmers often have a hard time getting financing. An app in Nigeria wants to change that: Founder Blessing Mene about what his app offers - and about the opportunities and limitations of agricultural financing.

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Partners for change - Network meeting on transforming agricultural and food systems

A Contribution by the Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development

At the network meeting "Partners for change - Transformation to a food secure, resilient and sustainable future", almost 250 participants from over 20 countries came together to exchange experiences and ideas on the transformation of agricultural and food systems. The final product, joint recommendations to transform agricultural and food systems, can now be read online.

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The common thread is the importance of collaboration

A contribution by Scaling Up Nutrition Movement

It takes the joint efforts of diverse actors to achieve a transformative impact on the global food system. Barbara Rehbinder, Scaling Up Nutrition Movement (SUN), discusses four people-centred principles to get closer to this goal.

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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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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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Shu Wen Ng, the Clear-Sighted

An Interview with Shu Wen Ng

Shu Wen Ng is a health economist. She knows what is best suited to go on a plate. But how can this be achieved on a mass scale in countries with lower incomes? "The solutions to gett there already exist," she says, "but what is often missing is courageous leadership to implement them."

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African countries decide to tackle soil health challenges

A Contribution by GIZ

At the Africa Fertilizer and Soil Health Summit (AFSH), organized by the African Union (AU) and the Government of Kenya in May, the Nairobi Declaration was adopted. It aims to triple domestic production of organic and inorganic fertilizers by 2034 and to improve access and affordability for smallholder farmers. GIZ reviews the Summit.

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