Sustainable food systems: People drive change

In order to successfully combat hunger and malnutrition, we need a fundamental transformation of our conventional food systems. We asked experts and people on the ground who are actively involved in shaping sustainable, healthy and fair food systems.


“Hunger can be overcome, of course. However, this requires a special initiative. It must have staying power and resources until 2030 and focus on strengthening evidence-led policy, research-based locally appropriate innovations, and close cooperation with rural communities.”


Joachim von Braun has been Director of ZEF since 2009. He is the current Chair of the Scientific Group of the UN FSS. Previously, he was Director-General of IFPRI.


“For the international community, 2021 is key to progress on sustainable agrifood systems that deliver a healthier and more sustainable society. The EU Farm-to-Fork strategy will promote this systemic transformation by building upon economic, social and environmental pillars of our food systems.”


Leonard Mizzi is Acting Director for Planet and Prosperity in the European Commission’s department for International Cooperation and Development (DG DEVCO) and Head of Unit for Rural Development, Food Security, Nutrition.


“Sustainable food systems ensure affordable diets for all, a living wage for the most vulnerable, and the long term viability of food production. Everyone benefits: from producers to factory workers to waiters and consumers. And it minimizes the environmental burden imposed by food systems.”


Carin Smaller is Director, Agriculture, Trade & Investment, for the Economic Law and Policy program at IISD and Co-Director Ceres2030.



“Small-scale farmers are the key to creating sustainable food systems that give everyone access to healthy, affordable diets; generate more jobs in rural poor communities; and empower women. But to realize this promise, farmers need access to innovations that can help them build resilience and adapt to climate threats.”


Enock Chikava is Interim Director Agricultural Development at the Bill&Melinda Gates Foundation.


"I work in agricultural technology out of passion and love for agriculture. The vision of my company is to make technology accessible to breeders and modernize agriculture in Tunisia. The success of my start-up is based on the intelligence of the tool, its simplicity in use and its efficiency.”


Hayfa Khalfaoui is a Tunisian software developer and founder of Lait espoir – “smart farm” is the startup's first app aimed at milk production and aimed small farmers.



“I took a risk, quit my job in a country where the majority of people are poor, jobless and malnourished. I want to create a model and a future where the majority of people in Malawi can become mind independent, food secure, and have a positive self-esteem that would create possibilities for an effective life.”


Luwayo Biswick is the founder of Permaculture Paradise Institute, a social enterprise that demonstrates how local resources can be used to fight hunger, malnutrition and the effects of climate change.


“I'm building a resilient ecosystem that supports and creates opportunities for Female Agribusiness Founders to be at the table of decision making. I do this because I owe it to this and the next generation.”


Nana Adjoa Sifa Amponsah inspires women in Ghana and across Africa to build resilient Agribusinesses by cultivating an entrepreneurial mindset and providing them with relevant tools and resources.


“The fundamental vision of my business is to reduce post-harvest losses in Benin, more specifically in my community. But I also want to ensure a stable income for women in rural areas. For me, the hardest part is motivating myself to act, to have a plan and smart goals. Then the rest is just perseverance and determination.”


Euphrasie Dassoundo Assogba is a successful entrepreneur and Director of the farmer producer company "Agro Express" in Benin.



“I dream of a prosperous and productive Mali. Achieving this requires that economic decisions be made in a more informed and innovative way. This is what I am actively investing in by making the most of new technologies and data sources.”


Makhan Sacko is a specialist in strategic entrepreneurship and sustainable development in Mali.


“Our technology company drives the very human problem of “how to grow trust?” How can bank officers trust farmers in the fields? By creating a loan insight software that de-risks loans, we aim to help farmers build trust and enterprises.”


Tiffany Tong, Co-Founder of Aeloi Technologies, worked in data and innovation in Asia and African for 12 years. As a third-generation migrant, she believes financial inclusion is a human right.


„My passion for creating an impact in the agriculture sector drives me to understand key problems to eliminate food loss in supply chains. To do this, I travel to villages across India to understand market demand and adaptation cycles for cold storages.”


Akash Agarwal is Co-Founder of New Leaf Dynamic Technologies with a demonstrated history of working in the renewables and environmental industry.



“I believe that making women better persons is the best legacy you can leave to your community. Self-encouragement, patience, tolerance and small sacrifices without expecting any reward can help you achieve this.”


Janet Adade lives in Akpafu Odomi in the Oti Region of Ghana. She is a farmer, leader and founder of ELSJYNE Enterprise.


“The success of my start-up is based on human resources, first and foremost young people. I am convinced that if you trust them, they are capable of anything and can move mountains.”


Alfousseni Sidibe is the founder of the company “Live Your Dream”. He is a communications and marketing specialist and works at the Ministry of Communications and Digital Economy in Mali.


“I started my social enterprise due to my passion to address the challenges of unemployment and food insecurity in Sub-Saharan Africa. My NGO aims to raise a generation of men and women with the capacity to solve the world’s tough problems.”


Fakunle John Aremu is the Founder of the social enterprise Cedro Royal Multiventures and the youth-led NGO Green Future Builder Initiative based in Abuja, Nigeria.



“As a small poultry farmer, I used to travel long distances to buy feed for my chickens. Therefore I decided to open the first retail store for livestock feed in the rural area. By doing so, I save small livestock farmers a great deal of effort, as they are now able to get their feed nearby.”


Bishop Mbungela is a poultry farmer from South Africa's Limpopo Province who runs a retail store for animal feeds in the rural area.


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