Why successful transformation needs strong governance?

The special initiative One World no Hunger (SEWOH) is one donor nation's attempt to decisively push forward the achievement of SDG 2. Observations and conclusions from the accompanying discourse.

The right to food is a human right and is therefore also enshrined as such in many human rights conventions. Nevertheless, it has not yet been achieved to create a world free of hunger.

By Alexander Müller

Alexander Müller

Alexander Müller, a graduate sociologist, is the head of a global study of the UN Environment Program on "The Economics of Ecosystems and Biodiversity for Agriculture and Food" and CEO of "TMG - Töpfer, Müller, Gaßner GmbH, ThinkTankforSustainabilty".

All contributions

By Heino von Meyer

Heino von Meyer moderates the Strategic Support Group of SEWOH, in which representatives from civil society, science, the business world and associations advise the BMZ. Since 2019, he has been Head of Global Relations and Networking at the creative founding team of the international PtX Hub Berlin. Their mission is to catalyze green hydrogen solutions on a global scale, with a special focus on sustainability along the entire value chain.

All contributions

By Michael Windfuhr

(c) Dennis Williamson

Michael Windfuhr is a political scientist, educated at the University of Heidelberg. Since 2011, he has been the Deputy Director of the German Institute for Human Rights, the national human rights institution of Germany. For the five years prior to this, he served as Human Rights Director of Bread for the World, the development organisation of the Protestant church of Germany.

All contributions

In the summer of 2019, António Guterres, Secretary-General of the United Nations (UN), raised the alarm on the growing number of people going hungry. A “World Food Systems Summit” (UNFSS) in the autumn of 2021 intends to draw the necessary public attention to the issue of combatting hunger and increasing sustainability and provide fresh impetus for transforming the entire food system.


In 2014, Germany’s Federal Minister of Economic Cooperation and Development, Gerd Müller, launched a remarkable experiment: SEWOH, the Special Initiative ONEWORLD No Hunger. The idea was to drastically advance UN Sustainable Development Goal 2 (SDG 2) with a sector approach initially driven by a single donor nation. Germany has invested around 1.5 billion euros annually towards achieving the UN goal, becoming the world’s second-largest donor in the fields of food security, rural development and agriculture. The initiative has explored new possibilities, yet it also had to face its limits. Vastly exacerbated by the Covid-19 pandemic, it had to realise the vulnerabilities of global food security.


With its public funding, development cooperation can only be one factor in transforming global food systems. It can and must help bridge the gap between ensuring food security – particularly for disadvantaged groups – and transforming food systems with a view to sustainability. Development cooperation can create the stimuli markets and many national government programmes fail to provide and can also contribute a wide variety of substantial results and learning experiences. For SEWOH, a broad-based approach has proven especially successful: food security, protecting natural resources, strengthening and organising farmers, making cooperatives effective, innovating value chains, securing land rights, supporting start-ups and small businesses, incomes, employment and advancing and applying women’s rights are each only individual parts in the spectrum of equations. There are no simple solutions. Narrowing the issue down to a single subject, such as agricultural production efficiency, proves inadequate to the complexity of the problem.


Statement by Development Minister Dr. Gerd Müller at the World Food Convention 2021: "The existence of hunger in the world is a scandal because we can end it." (c) Janine Schmitz/photothek.net

Why is governance the key concept?

A major success factor for SEWOH has been the establishment of a Strategic Advisory Board that convenes regularly. From the start, it has involved and engaged many significant stakeholders from, civil society, business, associations, academia, politics and implementing agencies. The Advisory Board managed to find formats for discussing also controversial issues. Agreeing on the same opinion is not a condition for membership. Debates focus on the issues in a respectful and constructive manner, even when opinions differ clearly. This allows for reaching new common ground on crucial topics, including a dialogue on the requirements and challenges of global governance for food security.


However, an initiative like SEWOH only has limited options. On the one hand, the political will of the partner governments is ultimately a decisive factor. On the other hand, because the influence of the global donor community has waned, and is still weakened, due to the loss of key actors such as the United States, and due to  Brexit related changes in the EU. SEWOH could not compensate for these losses. The absence of certain partners in the debate on enhancing global food system governance has been noticeable. An unanticipated, yet key result of SEWOH, was to realise that realigning governance in food systems is crucial. Doing so will require new answers and approaches locally, nationally and throughout Europe, but most importantly on a global level. António Guterres’s appeal comes at the right time.


There has been no lack of summits and resolutions on hunger and sustainability. So why are people still starving? Without robust analysis of insufficient progress to date, the results of the upcoming summit could run the risk of losing more time – and confidence in the UN system along with it – or, depending on your point of view, buying more time to plough on with the old system.


What opportunities does the UN summit hold?

The UNFSS could initiate structural changes needed for every human being to have access to healthy and adequate nutrition and for food to be produced sustainably in 2030. Which resolutions would Heads of states have to adopt? What changes in governance are essential?


To be a success, the summit will have to

  • Highlight beforehand why the fight against hunger has had so little success so far
  • Incorporate climate crisis and destruction of natural resources in a new effective strategy for fighting hunger
  • Determine the type of governance needed to launch a necessary transformation in the food system

Many states lack the political will to eradicate hunger definitively. In 1948, the Universal Declaration of Human Rights recognised the right to food as a human right, and in 1976 the UN International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights enshrined it in international law. The covenant states that humans must either have the resources to produce enough food or enough money to purchase it.


Why is everything based on the right to food?

The human rights context is crucial, as it draws attention to government obligations and responsibilities for all other actors. Most people who go hungry live in rural areas. For over 500 million smallholder families – and, in turn, over 2.5 billion people – access to food depends on whether farming can generate enough income to feed their families themselves. Without social security in many parts of the world, the issue of secure access to productive resources, such as land or seed, determines whether families can produce enough food themselves or make a living income through farming. Similar circumstances apply to a further one hundred million pastoralist and fishing families. The living and working conditions for these groups are crucial to explaining why hunger is so persistent. Access to land use is often unsecured, and support services for smallholder families are largely non-existent – from weather forecasts to help with warehousing, access to agricultural advisory services or banking. Minority groups, women and female-led households are especially affected.


In 2003, the states of the African Union agreed to spend at least ten percent of their national budgets on rural development. To date, only ten countries have met this commitment. Neglect of rural areas in national policymaking is a decisive factor why agricultural family businesses as a group account for 70 percent of those going hungry around the world. State and institutions rarely function effectively in rural areas. It would be apt to describe the affected populations as marginalised. Functioning and responsible governance is central to the concept of resilience, which in terms of human rights needs to be understood as overcoming discrimination and exclusion.


Issues of governance take on additional meaning when climate change hits rural areas hard in given countries. Groups already far from the centre of national policymaking attention are now particularly exposed to global warming. The quality of national adaptation policies is a major factor in how to address and mitigate these effects. Preparedness and the quality of government assistance are particularly vital in regions increasingly subject to natural disasters resulting from climate change. Resilient food systems need to serve marginalised groups and individuals particularly and need to be designed to protect and support them specifically.


The goal of sustainable food systems, in addition to addressing acute hunger, is to ensure a balanced and nutritious diet for all people worldwide. (c) GIZ, Conor Wall

Why are states accountable?

Hunger and malnutrition are not exclusive to families and individuals in rural areas or to groups of the population who produce food for themselves. Hunger and starvation correlate with income poverty and insufficient opportunities for people to produce their own food or make enough money to survive. A further key factor in food system resilience is to consider transfer incomes and employment. This especially applies where income poverty may be the cause of malnutrition and hunger, i.e. particularly in the growing number of impoverished areas in urban contexts.


Accountability of government action is at the heart of human rights considerations, which also include other actors’ activities. States have a duty to protect their populations by regulating the private sector, so it does not further contravene the right to adequate nutrition. As the Human Rights Council affirmed in 2011 when it unanimously endorsed the UN Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights, the private sector itself also bear a responsibility. Its actors are responsible for ensuring their actions do not contribute to violations of basic rights (“do no harm”). Public and private accountability must be a fundamental feature of food system resilience. Many of the necessary changes are already widely accepted. The inadequacy is in their implementation, or rather in the choice of many governments to decline assistance specifically to those clearly suffering from hunger and malnutrition. This circumstance demonstrates why the right to adequate nutrition is so central to reforming and making food systems resilient. It also explains why implementing SDG2 has endured such serious deficits and setbacks.


Why is poverty the main problem and cheap food not the solution?


Globally, food production has kept up with population growth. No one should have to go hungry today. There is enough food for everyone. But not only does the quantity and quality of available food matter, distribution and nutritional practices do too. Poverty – not scarcity of food – is the main cause of hunger. Covid-19 tragically confirmed this. Conflict, economic shocks and inefficient social policies can create new poverty very quickly, making access to food more difficult.


The current strategy is ‘let’s produce more food, and – more importantly – cheaper food’.


This however has far-reaching consequences for individuals and society. ‘Cheap’ food is often produced at very high external cost. It leads to malnutrition through ‘empty calories’, i.e. lack of sufficient nutrients, and ends with the destruction of social structures in rural areas. Non-sustainable agriculture depletes soils and destroys diversity. Farmers only generate minimal revenue from their products on the markets. Even though they produce the bulk of food on the market, many of them live in poverty. Farm workers – especially migrant workers in agricultural production – are subject to significant health risks for abysmal pay. Externalising the high cost to environment and health makes cheap food expensive for society, while farmers and other workers live in poverty. Attempting to fight poverty by dumping food prices while taking environmental destruction and horrendous working conditions into account has long failed. The answers to poverty are decent jobs and social policies! Yes, we need living incomes, fairness in supply chains and in the global trade system. Redistribution is not a dirty word. Where is the benefit to society if the profit in the food chain increasingly accumulates with online suppliers and international corporations, while agricultural businesses and natural capital come under ever greater pressure?


Why must the climate crisis shape the solutions?

A sustainable global food system must also deal with the challenges of a worsening climate crisis and unfettered destruction of natural resources.

  • The climate crisis should inform our strategies for finding solutions. Future food systems will have to be largely climate-neutral and adapted to a hotter planet with extreme weather events. This will require guidelines.
  • Intensive agriculture is one of the main drivers behind degrading natural resources, soils, water and forests. It also contributes to loss of grain and vegetable varieties (agrobiodiversity) that are better adapted to specific topographies and suited to the cultural habits of the local populations. While legal regulations protect the highly profitable market for hybrid seed, valuable agri-genetic resources are disappearing every day.
  • The global economic crisis caused by the worldwide Covid-19 pandemic will further exacerbate poverty and hunger. Around the world, massive funding programmes have been launched to counter the crisis – so money would have been available. Studies presented last year by CERES 2030, the Center for Development Research in Bonn and the FAO show that meeting the G-7 goal of lifting 500 million people out of hunger and malnutrition by 2030 would require around 14 billion US dollars annually. Around 40 billion US dollars would be needed annually to eradicate hunger entirely by 2030.


Increasing droughts and lack of precipitation are causing large-scale harvest losses, especially in the Global South. (c) GIZ

How to create prosperous rural areas?

The global population is growing, most rapidly in Africa. By 2050, African continent will be home to over two billion people, almost twice as many as today. Two thirds of Africa’s population live in the countryside. This proportion will shrink, but the absolute number of inhabitants in rural areas will continue to rise significantly. Providing millions of young people with prospects for a living income and employment is a major challenge. The fact that many people – young people in particular – will in coming years seek their fortune in rapidly growing megacities will not solve the problems rural areas face. Certainly, some will manage to find a better life in the city. But many will wash up in the slums orbiting the continent’s metropolises.


Strengthening small and medium-sized towns in rural areas is therefore important. Doing so could prevent that leaving the farming sector becomes synonymous with migration away from the rural areas. Towns could become centres of production, processing and marketing – each individual node in a decentralized network of local and regional value chains. They could provide opportunities for making a living by combining traditional agricultural activities with closely linked, non-agricultural employment in the food industry or service sector.


One of the SEWOH core visions is to make rural areas liveable. For this to work means broadening the focus on the agriculture sector to a spatial rural, regional perspective. Such a territorial approach to policymaking and funding would not pit cities against rural areas. Instead, it would regard small and medium-sized towns as powerhouses specifically representing the interests of rural regions and economies.


Rural areas will only have a future if well educated, creative and highly motivated young people stay put.


Are innovation and digitalisation the solution?

Producing more food using more resources is not an option. Innovation – both unlimited as a resource and climate-neutral in its availability – is a key concept of the SEWOH logic. Innovations can increase yields, reduce resource consumption and at the same time create prospects and jobs. To ensure they truly improve living conditions for smallholders and agricultural workers, technological and scientific advances need to take access and existing power structures into account. A naive belief in technological progress is just as unhelpful as blanket rejection of innovations that could potentially enable leaps in development.


Certainly, current applications of the extensive possibilities of digitalisation in the food economy have created a range of benefits, for example, accelerating various processes such as payments, insurance and information or improving efficiency in handling and controlling complex procedures. Nonetheless, the question worth asking is, which problems does digitalisation solve? Where research and implementation explore how to increase efficiency in the current system, failed systems might become more efficient. However, that does not necessarily initiate transformation in existing, non-sustainable systems.


In order to fight poverty and hunger, living wages are needed. This requires, among other things, fair supply chains. However, countering poverty with dumping prices is a fallacy. (c) GIZ

Why must government action create fair framework conditions?

Social security and the fight against poverty must also play their part in this transformation. That requires government action. Today, markets alone are not responsible for regulating nutrition and agriculture. Subsidies, world trade rules, international treaties (for example on seed), European agricultural policy, sanitary and phytosanitary standards and the like define the economic system. All too often these instruments benefit large agricultural and food corporations, rather than the vast majority of small producers and farmers. At least Germany’s recently adopted due diligence law and the European Union’s plans to promote deforestation-free supply chains are initial steps in the right direction.


Flawed incentives massively misdirect the food system economy. Over 600 billion US dollars a year are spent on disputable agricultural subsidies – especially in the affluent north. Agricultural markets are a complex mixture of

  • Market and pricing regulations and structural policy interventions,
  • Weak market position for farmers while the market power of large (multinational) corporations grows,
  • Import/export duties and strict World Trade Organisation regulations,
  • Speculation in agricultural raw materials futures,
  • A booming bio- economy with rising demand for renewable raw materials for non-food use, and
  • Profitable investments in scarce land.


Why do prices lie?

A full cost calculation shows cheap food is expensive. Pricing fails to take natural, human or social capital into account. Destruction does not cost anything. In the end, the high externalised costs are “socialised”; the taxpayers are the ones who foot the bill. Yet it is the destruction of natural capital, for instance, which hampers the very poorest most in their ability to develop.


The true cost of food production therefore needs to factor into the transformation debate. Findings from a growing number of academic studies on true cost accounting (TCA) show that the current pricing system is misguided. The consequence cannot simply be to make food more expensive and, in turn, unaffordable for the poor. Access to healthy food needs to improve. This will help generate new business models, incomes, employment, and jobs that combine economic activity in transformed markets and sustainability.


Sustainable transformation needs new governance!

The key to transforming the current food system is governance – local, regional, national and global. Involving various stakeholders, putting decisions into action and monitoring implementation are all just as important as political decision-making. The UNFSS will explore a wide range of topics and will surely offer an impressive compilation of best practices in its Action Tracks. Work in the field of governance – the foundation for any transformation – is however not invested with the effort needed to match the urgency of the problem.


What impulses should come from the UN Food Systems Summit?

  • The summit must adopt resolutions on fighting poverty and on social security. Otherwise, there will be no end to hunger. In crisis-hit regions, humanitarian aid and conflict resolution must be the answer.
  • The human right to food and internationally agreed guidelines for safeguarding this right must act as guiding principles to the summit’s resolutions.
  • The summit must address the key issue of regulation of our complex and globalised food system. Pricing and valuation need to change to reflect the true cost of the food system – and make use of new possibilities for leading it towards sustainability. The point is, “It’s the economy, stupid!”
  • The summit must present ideas on integrating global management of food system transformation with multilateral coordination in the fight for climate change, an end to destruction of natural resources and wildlife as a foundation for the planet’s survival, and fighting poverty effectively. One of the UN’s main responsibilities is to negotiate agreements on matters of global governance. A coinciding exhibition of civil society and private sector projects may illustrate positive examples, but that alone will not be enough to spark structural transformation. An explanation of what exactly the summit plans to decide is yet to come.
  • The summit will have to deal with the coordinated fight against the pandemic and its effects. Transformation and crisis management should complement each other and should not be mutually exclusive. Key debates on the crisis and the solutions we need cannot come at the expense of the agenda that was originally planned. It would not be the first time the urgency of the moment overshadows the need for a better future.

Back to overview

Ähnliche Beiträge

The right to nutrition: how we can realise it

Stefan Schmitz is head of the Crop Trust and has been SEWOH Commissioner until 2019. We asked him which aspects of the SEWOH could be groundbreaking in order to achieve global goals such as SDG 2 at a national and a global level.

Read more

A masterplan for nutrition governance

Ending worldwide hunger by 2030 requires effective governance. This masterplan is based on the experience of the GIZ global programme for “Food and Nutrition Security, Enhanced Resilience,” which works on improving nutrition governance in ten countries around the world.

Read more

Creating a political momentum for global food governance

To feed the world's population in 2050, "the fine art of governance" is required, according to Jan Grossarth. With the help of the SEWOH partners, he has shed light on what this art includes and what challenges it encounters.

There has been some modest progress everywhere and in many thousands of local projects. But what if this won’t be enough in view of the global challenge? According to UN forecasts, Africa’s population is set to double by 2050, reaching over two billion people. Yet food imports on the continent are already exceeding exports, so it is not providing enough food for itself. Climate forecasts are predicting that in some African (and Asian) regions average temperatures will rise by 3 degrees or more. Moreover, deserts are spreading, with the prospect that development cooperation will be ineffective if it merely distributes resources under the watering can principle. 

Read more

In the land of conflicts 

Land is the foundation of life for most Ugandans. In central Uganda, an ancient land tenure system has caused an impasse for both landlords and tenants hence causing conflicts for decades. An innovative approach to conflict solving, and awareness-raising is about to create change.

Read more

The hope of development cooperation lays in innovation

Policy makers wish for innovation. But what is an innovation that truly takes Africa a step forward? With the support of the SEWOH partners, journalist Jan Grossarth took a critical look at the demand for innovation.

Is innovation a cure? A meaningless filler? Even problematic? And: In what way? Taking a critical post-colonial look at the past, the “innovation history” of Africa appears to be a double-edged sword, in any case. Historian Clapperton Chakanetsa Mavhunga, who teaches at MIT in the USA, deplores the failure and even largely destructive effect of “western” technology and knowledge exports to Africa. In his works about innovation in Africa, “capitalistic entrepreneurship” appears as “imperialism” in modified form and downright “parasitical” in its nature. A problematic definition of innovation, he says, has been transferred to Africa particularly from Europe. A definition that is limited to technical aspects, industrial scaling and commercial use.

Read more

From Space to Seed: Innovation for world nutrition

From crop forecasts out of space to resistant seeds: What ideas and technologies have been developed in recent years to revolutionize the world's nutrition? We present a selection of innovations that could be decisive in the fight against hunger.

Read more

The world needs empowered farmers!

The world needs empowered farmers! But what does that mean and how can it be organized? With the support of the SEWOH partners, journalist Jan Grossarth has gathered guiding thoughts on the topic in an article.

Organised agricultural lobbying is rare in industrialised nations. Is the political influence of certain interest groups that have excellent parliamentary connections and work quietly behind the scenes in aid of meat exports or biomass subsidies excessively large and insufficiently transparent? Such questions are a subject of discussion in Europe and the USA, but also in Brazil or Argentina. And for good reason. With regard to global food security another, to some extent countervailing question arises: how can “good lobbying” for the development interests of the world’s smallholders emerge? Would it not, after all, be widely beneficial, and also necessary in order to ensure a stable global food supply, if the hundreds of millions of local farmers in Africa and Asia were able to represent their income- and development-related interests more effectively in parliaments, the media and international organisations?

Read more

Agroecology: a global political guiding perspective?

Agroecology is a popular buzzword in food policy worldwide. It is based on a complex concept that journalist Jan Grossarth, with the support of the SEWOH partners, has examined and called into question.

Agroecology cannot be defined in one phrase. It would take some pages. As a political guiding perspective – perhaps because of its variety – it is suitable to pleasing everyone. The European Commission is relying on this approach as part of the Green Deal as its 10-year transformation plan, and the term is also mentioned in the Farm to Fork food strategy of the EU Commission. The Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) has commissioned its leading experts from the Committee on World Food Security (CFS) to shed light on the approach in a 163-page report (the HLPE Report, 2019). The summary alone uses eleven key points in its definition. An agroecological approach, it says, “favours the use of natural processes, limits the use of external inputs, promotes closed cycles with minimal negative externalities and stresses the importance of local knowledge and participatory processes” – while also being designed to reduce social inequalities and to help the sciences to gain in importance. 

Read more

Agroecology at UN level: The FAO's Scaling up Agroecology Initiative

Growing scientific evidence and local experiences demonstrate how agroecology has the potential to offer a holistic response to the multiple and interrelated challenges facing food systems.

Read more

The garden of agroecology: A few real-life examples

The challenges of population growth, dwindling biodiversity and climate change require to rethink our current food systems and call for solution approaches in terms of an agroecological transformation.

Read more

Why the transformation of our food systems is imperative

Current crises highlight the need to transform food systems. Dr Sinclair, team leader of the World Food Security Committee, presents 13 agro-ecological principles that might be effective for change.

Read more

Ms Neubert, what is a trilemma? And what can be done about it?

In order to alleviate the trilemma of land use, the climate crisis, the destruction of biodiversity and the food crisis must be addressed simultaneously. Susanne Neubert explains in an interview what such strategies might look like.

Read more

Beyond your own field

An exchange program between the German Farmers' Association and the Andreas Hermes Academy for young German and Ugandan farmers shows: North-South cooperation works best at eye level. Four graduates report on what is possible when farmers learn from each other.

Read more

A globally popular export

"One for all, all for one" - this motto became the basis for action of agricultural cooperatives that were founded in the 19th century. They became a success story that will continue to be written well into the 21st century.

Read more

Meet the people: Joseph Ngaah

Joseph Ngaah is chairman of the Kakamega County Farmers Association in Kenya. Through his commitment at national and local level, he gives farmers a voice - both in the media and with political decision-makers. Within the SEWOH, he cooperates with the Andreas Hermes Academy, the Green Innovation Centers and TMG - Sustainable Think Tank.

Read more

Labels, customs tariffs and supply chain legislation: Do they benefit or harm smallholders?

In the discussion about sustainability in supply chains, European states focus on labels, customs tariffs and government regulations. With the support of the SEWOH partners, Jan Grossarth questions these measures.

After the eight-storey Rana Plaza factory collapsed in Bangladesh in April 2013, killing over a thousand textile workers under the rubble, the issue of human rights in sewing factories dominated global news for a few days. The initial shock turned into shame. After all, wasn’t everyone who bought cheap T-shirts and jeans somehow responsible? This was followed by a political debate: Hadn’t the disaster happened in a domain where the state, i.e. Bangladesh, should have ensured compliance with its laws? Or, on the other hand, do we not have a say in the regulations determining how the products we consume are manufactured? Not only through consumption, but through our government and companies?

Read more

Farmers in revolt-their movement brings unity and hope

Since 2014, a law has guaranteed all Indians sufficient healthy food at affordable prices. Now one of the biggest waves of protest in history is rocking the subcontinent. Farmers are fighting back against laws that abolish guaranteed minimum prices and put nutrition programmes in jeopardy.  


Read more

Drones for Inclusive Growth in Agriculture

BASF’s project Drones for Smallholder Farmers aims to build an inclusive business model that will facilitate access of smallholders to drones for spraying crop protection products. A report by Dr. Diana Moran.

Read more

The path from the greenhouse into practice

Innovative ideas like apps are popular showcases. But for the successful implementation of an innovation, thinking beyond the boundaries of projects is necessary. Lennart Woltering explains in an interview how to move from the greenhouse into practice.

Read more

Deforestation and ecosystem conversion: a strict EU legal framework is imperative

Christine Scholl, Senior Advisor at WWF Germany, explains why a binding and comprehensive EU regulation is crucial in avoiding deforestation and conversion of valuable ecosystems and what such legislation must take into account.

Read more

Banking on innovation and sustainability in the cocoa value chain

Juliette Kouassi founded the cocoa cooperative ABOUd'CAO in Côte d'Ivoire, which dismantles traditional role definitions. The aim is to promote women producers and "throw anything away in the cocoa value chain, by rendering value to everything."

Read more

We begins with you: Three propositions for consumer communication

Generation Z (1995-2010) is forcing manufacturers of consumer goods to rethink their production values. The “Greta effect” not only compels companies to act. It also promises great potential for development cooperation to reach its goals.  

Read more

Supply chains: “The EU’s general principle is to support, not to punish”

Aside from the German Federal government, EU institutions are also encouraging the introduction of a supply chain law. What would be the consequences? Questions for Bettina Rudloff of the German Institute for International and Security Affairs (SWP).

Read more

Global Hunger Index: Political action is the key

The World Hunger Index 2020 indicates that the goal of "Zero Hunger by 2030" will not be met. Miriam Wiemers, leading expert for the World Hunger Index, traces the main challenges and describes how the path to Zero Hunger can be taken.

Read more

Genetic engineering, fertilisers and agricultural chemicals - conflicting perspectives

Is modern genetic engineering an innovative answer for ensuring global food supply? And what about fertilisers and agricultural chemicals? Felix Prinz zu Löwenstein believes all three are part of the problem. Matthias Berninger thinks rejecting these new technologies is a risky ideological proposition. A debate.

Read more

How the Green Innovation Centre in Mali backs women in the San lowlands

Proper nutrition. An adequate diet. Higher incomes and more employment in rural areas. These are the goals of the 15 Green Innovation Centres established in Africa and Asia on behalf of the BMZ. But how are these goals put into practice in Bamako, Mali?

Read more

Babban Gona's holistic financing approach

What are innovative financing mechanisms and how can financing help to scale innovations? Kola Masha, Managing Director of Babban Gona explains his holistic business model, which he built up in Nigeria with financial help and support from the German KfW.

Read more

Even innovations take their time

Some good ideas never become reality. It takes patience, long-term thinking and the courage to learn from mistakes. Based on a conversation with software developer Simon Riedel, journalist Jan Rübel focused on the challenges of innovation in an international development context.

Read more

Climate change affects everyone, but not equally

Claudia Ringler, Deputy Division Director of EPTD at IFPRI, describes the adverse impacts of climate change and its related risks on populations in poor countries. What can be done to reduce the impact of climate change on food and nutrition security?

Read more

Climate crises

Population growth, lawlessness and dwindling resources, accelerated by climate change, are leading to conflicts that leave thousands dead across the Sahel every year. "Many will leave their homelands or perish from hunger, disease or wars. Only rapid socioeconomic development [...] would be able to prevent this disaster."

Read more

Securing Land Rights

Unresolved land ownership and rights of utilisation contribute to hunger and poverty and lead to conflicts over land, especially in Africa. The SEWOH therefore promotes various approaches to eliminate conflicts over land and to ensure responsible and sustainable agricultural land use.

Read more

Resilient Structures for a World without Hunger

Covid-19 drastically exacerbated the nutritional situation of millions of people and demonstrated that SEWOH's claim to strengthen resilient food systems and its flexible structures are the right approach to cushion and mitigate acute emergencies in crisis situations.


Read more