akzente 1/2021 The GIZ Magazine Growing together Successful mentoring in South-East Asia A prickly solution Biomass production in Namibia Through the eyes of a child Safe school routes in Ukraine Food and nutrition The basis for a healthy future
Faces and stories MORE FUN IN THE CLASSROOM FARID EL-HOUZIA After living in Germany for 20 years, Farid El-Houzia returned to his native Morocco. With assistance from the Centre for International Migration and Development (CIM), he founded a start-up where he uses robots and digital tools to get children excited about learning through play. You can ﬁnd this and other ‘Faces and Stories’ online at www.giz.de/stories Scan the code with your smartphone to watch the video.
Editorial SMALL DIFFERENCES Why we all have a role to play in the fight against hunger. AN UNFAMILIAR SENSE OF DEPRIVATION is being felt across Germany at present as we make our way through the coronavirus pan- demic: a lack of social contact or human warmth, and of opportunities and free- doms. Add to that a fear of loss – perhaps of one’s job or livelihood. When the pandemic first started, concerns flared up that even the bare necessities could be put at risk, that there could be shortages of electricity, water or food. This led to some people stockpiling toilet paper, others flour or pasta – and some even red wine. community has set itself. How can this be achieved? That is what this issue of akzente will examine. The African scientist Jemimah Njuki describes our current food system as fundamentally wrong, and in her essay ex- plains why a lack of gender equality plays a major part in this. We also interviewed UN Special Envoy Agnes Kalibata from Rwan- da, who tells us why she thinks that individ- ual measures alone are not enough. We need to look at food systems as a whole and make them more sustainable, while also keeping a close eye on the impacts of climate change. FOR THE FIRST TIME since the Second World War, the West has seen a collapse in its consumer society. However, in many cas- es these are what could be classed as luxury problems. The effect is much more dramatic in other parts of the world, where shortages are part of everyday life because there is nev- er enough – enough of something quite fun- damental: food. Statistically, one in every nine people goes to bed hungry. Even in the 21st century, hundreds of millions of people literally have to struggle for their daily bread. The pandemic has exacerbated the situation, but the problem existed beforehand. To a degree, there is hunger in abundance. THIS NEED NOT BE THE CASE. There is enough food on the planet to feed everyone, and to do so long into the future, too, de- spite the global population growing to nine or ten billion people. Scientists are unable to agree at what point the balance will tip, but one thing is clear: we have not reached it yet. Nevertheless, the international community has still not managed to provide every hu- man being with sufficient, healthy food. THE AIM IS to have eradicated hunger by 2030. This is the target that the international . ) 3 P ( L E G O V A I R A M / N E F A R G O T O F F O H E I . D , ) 2 P ( Y R T S O V N A T S I R T : S O T O H P WHAT IS STRIKING is that women are signif- icantly underrepresented in this field, even though it is they, above all, who play a cru- cial role in producing and preparing food. We wanted to break this mould, at least in our sphere of influence, so the majority of voices on this focal topic will be those of women. Apart from the gender aspect, their contributions mainly show one thing: we are part of a greater whole. We all help shape the food system through the decisions we make every day. Each and every one of us can make a small, yet vital, difference. WHAT NEEDS TO CHANGE has long been clear: eat less meat and more vegetables; do not let food go to waste or throw it away; buy regionally; and consume everything in moderation – these are the guiding princi- ples. Without wishing to put too positive a gloss on it, sometimes shortages can have a beneficial impact. In our part of the world, at least. Elsewhere, though, they are simply an unacceptable failure. akzente 1/21 3 SABINE TONSCHEIDT, Director of Corporate Communications firstname.lastname@example.org
RE P OR T Women’s harvest A visit to northern Mali p. 18 OVE R VIE W Smart solutions Rethinking agriculture p. 22 GUE S T A R T ICL E Food waste vs. hunger By Jessica von Blazekovic p. 23 E S S AY Fix the system! By Jemimah Njuki p. 24 INF OGR A P HIC Hunger – no end in sight Food and nutrition in ﬁgures p. 30 IN T E R VIE W ‘Not enough food and not healthy enough’ With Agnes Kalibata p. 32 B ACKGROUND The bigger picture By Albert Engel p. 34 E X A MP L E S OF GIZ ’ S WORK Many paths, one goal A selection of GIZ’s projects p. 35 IN FOCUS: FOOD AND NU T RITION Served up A world without hunger. Is it a distant dream? In spite of all efforts, millions of people still do not have enough to eat. How can we change this? L A I R O T I D E 01 02 03 04 05 06 07 08 09 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 22 23 24 25 26 . ) T H G I R , 4 P ( R E U A N U R B M NE WS What’s happening in the world News, projects, facts and ﬁgures from around the globe p. 6 REP OR T A prickly solution How Namibia is controlling bush encroachment and creating jobs. p. 10 . I T , ) T F E L , 4 P ( H C S Z T N E R N A I L U J : N O I T A R T S U L L I , ) P O T , 4 P ( F I A L / R E G E A J E T L A M : . 4 akzente 1/21 S O T O H P
Contents SNAP SHOT Greener and greener Where basil and other fresh greens thrive without soil. p. 36 PER SPEC TIVES Growing together How successful mentoring in South-East Asia works. p. 42 O F N I E T N E Z K A , Y T I L I B A N I A T S U S 27 28 29 30 31 32 33 34 35 36 37 38 39 40 41 42 43 44 45 46 47 48 49 50 51 52 ) T F E L M O T T O B , 5 P ( A V O K I . N E R A V A I R A M , ) T H G I R P O T , 5 P ( O O G N . I A N G N U A , ) T F E L P O T , 5 P ( F I A L / I . N O C S A N R E B O T R E B L A : S O T O H P IN T RODUCING Salam from Islamabad! From Peer Gatter, Manager of the FATA Development Programme in Pakistan p. 50 REP OR T Through the eyes of a child Ways to make school routes in Ukraine safer in future p. 38 DIGITAL AKZENTE Our magazine is also available online in an optimised form for mobile devices. akzente.giz.de/en akzente 1/2021 The GIZ Magazine Growing together Successful mentoring in South-East Asia A prickly solution Biomass production in Namibia Through the eyes of a child Safe school routes in Ukraine Food and nutrition The basis for a healthy future akzente 1/21 5
News IN FIGURES > 91 hours This is how long the EU summit in Brus- sels lasted, from 17 to 21 July 2020 – making it the second-longest in history after the 2000 summit in Nice. The issues were complex, ranging from a recovery fund to deal with the consequences of the pandemic to an agreement on the new Multiannual Financial Framework (MFF). 40 million The number of words that the EU Coun- cil Presidency Translator, a machine translation tool, has already translated into 24 languages. It translates to and from all EU languages, and is publicly available to anyone interested in using it. The translation system was specially developed for the German EU Council Presidency and is based on artificial intelligence. 1.8 trillion The volume, in euros, of the historic fi- nancial package assembled during the German EU Council Presidency: agree- ment was reached on the EU’s financial framework for the next seven years and a recovery fund to tackle the impacts of the coronavirus pandemic. Furthermore, the EU funds are protected by a new rule-of-law mechanism. Using knowledge REPORT GIZ presented its evaluation report in Berlin. The report assesses 215 project evaluations, and the outcome is positive: evaluations are now of a better quality and are more comparable. Systematic auditing of effectiveness is an important part of GIZ’s work. Managing Director Ingrid-Gabriela Hoven put it like this: ‘Our aim is always to be transparent, develop our instru- ments and improve our services in the long term. We want to know what works and to learn as an institution.’ Source for all figures: bundesregierung.de https://www.giz.de/en/aboutgiz/516.html 6 akzente 1/21
News THREE QUESTIONS FOR ‘We must change our diet. The planet can’t support billions of meat-eaters.’ SIR DAVID ATTENBOROUGH in his documentary ‘A Life on Our Planet’ TOUTY SY The fashion designer has a clear vision: fashion ‘made in Senegal’. She is aiming to promote the country’s textile sector by training and employing young people and women. She set up a community of interest, supported by the bilateral GIZ project Successful in Senegal. How did you launch your career in the fashion indus- try? I had already done evening courses in fashion de- sign in Paris and had a flourishing business import- ing clothing and accessories. That’s when I realised I would rather invest in my own country. I got together with a dressmaking school in Dakar and created 25 jobs in my atelier TOUTY. We have been manufac- turing made-to-measure and prêt-à-porter garments for the African market since 2015. How did the Successful in Senegal project support you? I joined forces with other Senegalese fashion and jewellery designers. We share the cost of premises, purchases and training courses. In 2019, GIZ advised us when we were setting up our community of inter- est, called Atelier 221, and organising pop-up stores. The coronavirus pandemic has hit the textile industry particularly hard. Has it been the same for you? All boutiques had to close during the 2020 lock- down, so Atelier 221 joined the nationwide campaign ‘1 Sénégalais, 1 Masque’. We were able to arrange for the production of 300,000 face coverings, secur- ing work for 600 people in the process. GIZ bought masks worth a total of EUR 15,000 from us. Shine On AUDIO Solar-powered water pumps are doubling farmers’ incomes in Tan- zania – just one example of many high- lighted in the Shine On podcast, which features successful projects and business ideas involving solar energy in Africa. It also covers topics such as relevant legislation, tariffs and barriers to enter- ing the market. Success stories speak for themselves. Arnoud de Vroomen, for example, CEO of SolarWorks! in Mozambique, talks about how one of his employees rose through the ranks from being a cleaner to become head of the call centre. Another interviewee is GIZ staff member Michael Franz, Team Leader at GET.invest, which produces the podcast together with So- larPower Europe. GET.invest is a Eu- ropean instrument that mobilises in- vestment in decentralised renewable energy projects. It targets private sector businesses and project developers, helping them to devise finance-ready proposals in order to build sustainable energy markets in partner countries. GET.invest is supported by the Euro- pean Union, Austria, Germany, the Netherlands and Sweden, and is imple- mented by GIZ. https://shineon.buzzsprout.com akzente 1/21 7 . ) 7 P ( H C S Z T N E R N A I L U J : N O I T A R T S U L L I , ) 7 P ( E P O R U E R E W O P R A L O S I , ) 6 P ( T E N K E H T O T O H P / O M . . . I S A M O H T : S O T O H P
News Sustainable fishing AGREEMENT Good news for the Ohrid trout: in future, fisheries in Lakes Ohrid and Prespa will have to comply with sustainable principles. In early December 2020, the governments of Albania and North Macedo- nia signed an agreement ensuring sustain- able management of fish resources in these bodies of water, which straddle national boundaries. The two lakes are among the oldest in the world, and are of enormous ecological value. Biodiversity there is greater than almost anywhere else in Europe, and includes endemic species, such as the Ohrid trout and the Prespa barbel. Fishing is im- portant in providing a livelihood for local residents around the lakes. Fish stocks have recently declined, reducing the fishers’ in- comes. Working with the Institute of Inland Fisheries in Potsdam-Sacrow, GIZ support- ed the partners during the negotiations on the agreement. GIZ is implementing a re- gional project on the conservation and sus- tainable use of biodiversity there, on behalf of BMZ. The negotiating partners agreed to coordinate their sustainable management measures in both lakes in future, and to co- operate with each other more closely in the context of the efforts both countries are making to join the EU. To work towards this they set up a new joint body, the Joint Fish- ery Commission for Lakes Ohrid and Prespa. What causes hunger IN COMPARISON In 2019, 135 million people around the world were affected by acute food and nutrition insecurity – the most extreme form of hunger. The main causes were conﬂict, extreme weather events and economic crises, in that order. 24 million Economic crises 77 million 34 million Conﬂict Extreme weather events Snacks ‘made in Nigeria’ INNOVATION Paciﬁc Ring West Africa (PRWA), a company in Nigeria, had an idea for a new tasty treat: Cassanovas, chips made from cassava, which they hope will conquer the world market. The cassava for the chips is grown in the local region. Since the end of 2019, GIZ has been supporting the involvement of local farmers in the product’s value chain as part of a development part- nership between the Nigerian company and develoPPP.de. The chips are now being exported to Europe, and are part of the product range of the Edeka re- tail chain, among others. The smallhold- ers participating in the scheme receive training in good agricultural practice and entrepreneurial skills at a Green Inno- vation Centre ﬁnanced by BMZ. Setting up cassava chip production has created 300 jobs, mainly for women. Further- more, 1,500 smallholders are generat- ing higher yields and earning a stable income. To date the company has come through the coronavirus crisis well and has been able to make up for short- falls caused by temporary disruption to its supply chains. ’ s e s i r C d o o F n o t r o p e R l a b o l G 0 2 0 2 ‘ , k r o w t e N n o i t a m r o f n I y t i r u c e S d o o F : e c r u o S 8 akzente 1/21
News Digital ID for trees PERU A software tool is helping to ensure that trees from Peru’s Amazon region can be clearly identiﬁed. Each trunk is given a bar code – its ID card, so to speak. This is a vital means of clamping down on illegal logging. The DataBOSQUE software can be used to verify a trunk’s legal origin. First, the locations of all trees that are due to be felled legally are registered in the software, and the felled trees are assigned a bar code. In that way sawmills can be certain that they are not processing illegally harvested timber. Now forestry enterprises and Peru’s National Forestry and Wildlife Service are both able to efﬁciently trace the origin of a tree, whenever they need to. Managing the Amazon forest sustainably places the incomes of forestry businesses and local indigenous communities on a secure footing. Certain tree species are used on a selective basis, while the Amazon forest as a whole is preserved. Sustainable management helps to reduce deforestation and plays an important part in species conservation. The area of legally and sustainably managed forest has doubled over the past two years, extending to almost four million hectares in 2019. NEW PROJECTS PERU WIKI Official languages: Quechua, Aymara, Spanish (1) / Capital: Lima (2) / Form of government: Republic (1) / Size: 1,285,220 km2 (2) / Population: 33 million (2) / Population density: 25.8 inhabitants per km2 (2) PERU Sources: (1) German Federal Statistical Ofﬁce (Destatis), (2) UNdata Decarbonisation Green cooperatives Green Recovery LATIN AMERICA The IDOM consortium and GIZ, represented by its Interna- tional Services ofﬁce in Latin America, are helping companies from Argentina, Brazil, Chile and Colombia to develop new business relationships with Eu- rope. The project focuses on renewable energy, waste management, energy ef- ﬁciency, agriculture and forestry, with the aim of creating a circular econ- omy with low carbon emissions. It is ﬁnanced by the EU. POLAND On behalf of the German Environ- ment Ministry (BMU), GIZ is promoting co- operatives in two regions of Poland to ex- pand the use of renewable energy in ru- ral areas. The cooperatives generate green electricity for their own needs, and feed surplus power into the grid. The project is coﬁnanced by the European Commission’s Structural Reform Support Programme (SRSP) and is implemented by GIZ. This means that GIZ is active in Poland again for the ﬁrst time in 20 years. GIZ Interna- tional Services is managing the ﬁnances.. CENTRAL AMERICA Together with the General Secretariat of the Central Ameri- can Integration System (SG-SICA), GIZ is inviting companies in the region to par- ticipate in two ideas competitions focus- ing on green recovery. Once the entries are in, 40 projects will be selected that will help to boost the economy while beneﬁting the environment in order to mitigate the impacts of the coronavirus pandemic. The aim of this project on be- half of BMZ is to create jobs and encour- age green innovation. akzente 1/21 9 . ) T H G I R , 9 P ( S E G A M I Y T T E G / 1 0 N E H C A R T R A , ) E R T N E C , 9 P ( S E G A M . I Y T T E G / H T R A B S A I B O T , ) T F E L , 9 P ( S E G A M . I Y T T E G / I E W S B , ) 8 P ( S E G A M . I Y T T E G / H T A N I L A R U M : S O T O H P
A PRICKLY SOLUTION The bush is spreading in the expanses of Namibia. Farmers are facing up to the challenge and are harvesting the biomass. This creates jobs and secures the survival of small-scale farms. A visit to the north east of the country reveals how thorny twigs are turned into animal feed. TEXT LEONIE MARCH PHOTOS TIM BRUNAUER
VISIONARY During the recent drought, Chief Ruben Uazukuani ensured the survival of his herd by feeding the animals bush feed.
Report W ‘When I was your age there were none of these bushes around here,’ Chief Ruben Uazukuani says to his twelve- year-old son Rusuvero as he opens the gate to the pen. His cows are already waiting. They walk off into the bush landscape and are soon out of sight. ‘You used to be able to look out over the savanna from here and you would see grass growing everywhere,’ explains the small- holder. Now his cattle struggle to search for food, as the bushes, some of which grow to the size of trees, have re- placed the grass. In quite a few places the growth is actu- ally so dense and thorny that the cows cannot get through at all, or not without injuring themselves. Ruben Uazukuani chops off the bush wood just above the rootstock. It is then crushed in a hammer mill. Harvesting and processing is labour-intensive work, so he employs people to help. The project contributes to the following United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs): Experts call this bush encroachment, a problem that affects many regions of Namibia. The bush has now expanded to cover as much as 45 million hectares of land. That is roughly the area of Ger- many and Austria combined. And the problem is growing: by around three per cent a year. The main reason is decades of overgrazing, ex- plains GIZ staff member Johannes Laufs: ‘The whole process is ac- celerated by climate change, because with high levels of CO2 in the atmosphere the bush grows better than grass.’ The consequences for agriculture are devastating. With support from the Bush Control and Biomass Utilisation project, which is managed by Laufs, Na- mibia is responding to changes to its climate and is trying to boost its resilience. This is a matter of urgency, as bush encroachment has been accompanied by serious droughts in recent years. ‘Many small- holders from our region lost their livestock and were forced to move to the cities,’ Uazukuani recounts. He himself has been working in the capital Windhoek for a number of years now. It is only at week- ends that he makes the approximately four-hour journey to Okamat- apati, where his family farms several thousand hectares of land that he has rented from the state. 12 akzente 1/21
A prickly solution Together with his son and two workers, he drags his hammer mill out of a shed. The mill has rotating hammers, which can grind vari- ous bush materials to different degrees of fineness. He heaves it onto his pickup, and after driving a short distance the men get out, grab their machetes and start chopping off the bushes growing along the edge of the unpaved road, just above the rootstock. The bushes are showing signs of fresh growth after long-awaited rain. Uazukuani us- es the mill to grind and shred the branches, and gradually the load- ing area of his pickup starts to fill up. ‘A good crop,’ he says. That’s because while the bush used to be viewed as nothing but a problem and in some cases was destroyed using chemicals, today it is also con- sidered to be a valuable resource. The 47-year-old is one of over a thousand farmers who have attended workshops to learn how to pro- duce animal feed from bush biomass. The De-bushing Advisory Ser- vice was set up by GIZ and organises the practical training courses. Several of them are held on the farm belonging to Anton Dressel- haus, who is considered a pioneer in this field in Namibia. No one is laughing about bush feed any more He began experimenting with formulations 10 years ago, first out of necessity and later out of conviction. ‘Many people laughed at me at the time and told me “Cows are grazing animals and don’t eat bush- es,”’ he recalls. But the innovative agriculturalist proved the oppo- site. ‘If the bush material is fine enough and looks like grass or wool, they actually very much like eating it.’ The mix is then enriched with NEW WAYS OUT OF THE BUSH Under the inﬂuence of climate change, savannas around the world are being transformed into thickets of bush. Namibia is attempting to curb bush encroachment while simultaneously creating opportunities for agriculture and new jobs. Bush control and promoting biomass value chains are important elements of development cooperation between Namibia and Germany. GIZ’s Bush Control and Biomass Utilisation (BCBU) project, implemented on behalf of the German Development Ministry, works closely with the Namibian Ministry of Agriculture, Water and Forestry. As part of the collaboration, frameworks have been developed and put in place to utilise the bush on a sustainable basis. Along with the production of animal feed, the project supports value creation in the form of renewable energy, biochar, charcoal and building materials. A knowledge centre for farmers and entrepreneurs has been set up too – the De-bushing Advisory Service. So far an additional 5,300 jobs have been created, and during the last drought 860 farmers produced animal feed from bush biomass. Bush control measures are carried out on 300,000 hectares of land every year. Contact: Johannes Laufs, email@example.com; Asellah David, firstname.lastname@example.org Top: Anton Dresselhaus is a pioneer in the production of bush feed and shares his expertise. Links: Ruben Uazukuani shows his son how bush encroachment has accelerated as a result of climate change. Find out how a brewery in Namibia is making use of bush biomass by watching a video on the akzente website: akzente.giz.de/en
‘Our aim is to restore the balance of the ecosystem.’ PROGRESS KASHANDULA, General Manager of the De-bushing Advisory Service (DAS) in Namibia Read the full interview at akzente.giz.de/en ingredients such as molasses, salt, urea or phosphate to provide the livestock with proteins and minerals at the same time. As well as the basic formulation, there are other special mixtures, for pregnant fe- males, for example. Dresselhaus has documented everything in pre- cise detail. He is pleased that his livestock put on weight faster, so can then be sold all the sooner. That saves costs. Moreover, he was able to create additional jobs for people harvesting and processing the bushes. During the drought he was nearly overwhelmed by enquiries, with demand for surplus bush feed from his production extremely high at the time. The various farmers involved now swap tales of their experienc- es, and have also persuaded those who were initially sceptical, such as Ruben Uazukuani. To begin with he could not believe that his cat- tle would ‘eat twigs’. But he was soon convinced. ‘This scheme kept my herd alive. Without the bush feed they would not have survived the last drought,’ stresses Uazukuani, as he returns to his small farm after harvesting the bush. Between the small buildings, opposite the cooking stove where the women are preparing the midday meal, lies the mixed feed which he had already spread out in the sun on plastic sheeting the previous day. What’s good for the bull is good for the farmer The pure shredded bush can be stored for some time, he explains, but the finished mixture has to be fed to the animals quite quickly. He fills a bucket and carries it to a trough. A young bull comes trot- ting up straight away and tucks into the feed. It is clear that it tastes 14 akzente 1/21
A prickly solution at least as good to him as conventional feed does. Yet it is around a third cheaper, according to Uazukuani. ‘I’m saving a lot of money.’ After the recent rain, though, his herd have been feeding mainly on grass again. Only certain animals, such as those that are particularly valuable – like this bull – get the organic bush feed as an added extra, because producing it is labour-intensive and requires a degree of ex- pertise. Uazukuani produces it himself, taking the greatest care, be- cause getting the formulation wrong can harm the animals, and in extreme cases even kill them. ‘If I were here all the time, I would pro- duce the feed constantly,’ he explains, ‘because it is truly excellent, more than just an emergency feedstuff.’ The same opinion is expressed by Salomo Kauari, another small- holder on communal land. After his father died, he gave up his job at an agricultural company to devote himself fully to farming. ‘The bush feed was a real revelation,’ he explains. ‘I can use lots of things that are already here on the farm to make it, or crops that I can grow myself.’ And indeed, plants such as lupin and moringa, which he adds to the feed, are growing next to his house. Bales and sacks of dried ingredients, including protein-rich seed pods from certain bush species, are stacked in a shed. Kauari has resolved not to buy in any feed at all this year, but to make it himself. Not only because he has to drive to a bigger town about 150 kilometres away to get to the nearest business selling agri- cultural products or because money is short, but also because he is convinced of the quality of the feed. ‘Thanks to the bush feed none of my livestock perished during the drought, while my neighbours lost many animals in that time,’ he explains. He is now experiment- ing with different formulations for various uses, and doing so suc- cessfully. His plans to continue thinning the bush are just as ambi- tious: in the course of the year, the 45-year-old farmer is aiming to clear as much as four hectares of species that spread particularly quickly and displace the grass in the savanna. The cost of hiring two workers to do this is worth it, he declares, pointing out that ‘I’ve seen how the pasture land recovers where we’ve previously thinned the bush.’ He now uses this land to keep goats, which eat the shoots as they regrow and keep the new growth in check. There is something else that Kauari has observed, too: his two wells now have more water in them again since he removed the bush- es, some of which have deep tap roots. ‘Before, we were only able to draw water from them for a couple of hours a day, but now the levels are much higher.’ In light of this success, he has no doubt that bush- based feed is the way forward. His biggest dream is having a pellet press to produce pelleted feed, which can be stored for longer. ‘I’m already saving up to buy one. I could supply animal feed to farmers in the neighbourhood and would have another source of income.’ At the same time, his land would continue to regenerate. And perhaps, some day, the landscape will once again look like it did back when Ruben Uazukuani was a boy. — LEONIE MARCH has been living in South Africa since 2009, working as a freelance correspondent. TIM BRUNAUER is a Namibian photographer who is passionate about meaningful stories. Smallholder Salomo Kauari keeps his livestock on communal land. The goats prevent the bush from growing back quickly. Top left: Kauari mixes the finely-chopped bush feed with protein-rich plants that add even more value to the feed. akzente 1/21 15
IN FOCUS FOOD AND NUTRITION A world without hunger. Is it a distant dream? In spite of all efforts, millions of people still do not have enough to eat. How can we change this?
REPORT Women’s harvest Women smallholders in northern Mali are using new and rediscovered methods to provide good, healthy food. p. 18 OVERVIEW Smart solutions How information and communications technology is improving agriculture. p. 22 GUEST ARTICLE Food waste vs. hunger A commentary by the FAZ business and economics editor Jessica von Blazekovic p. 23 ESSAY Fix the system! The African scientist Jemimah Njuki explains what is needed to feed the world. p. 24 INFOGRAPHIC Hunger – no end in sight The impact of the pandemic on food and nutrition p. 30 INTERVIEW ‘Not enough food and not healthy enough’ UN Special Envoy Agnes Kalibata on the future of food systems p. 32 BACKGROUND The bigger picture An analysis by Albert Engel, Director of GIZ’s Evaluation Unit p. 34 EXAMPLES OF GIZ’S WORK Many paths, one goal How GIZ is contributing to food and nutrition security. p. 35
In focus: Food and nutrition Aissata Mahamane (top) with her grandchildren in a vegetable field, Zainabou Cissé harvesting rice (centre, in the red and black dress) and Fadimata Moulaye surrounded by her animals 18 akzente 1/21
Report Women’s harvest In northern Mali, women smallholders are providing good and healthy food. Thanks to new vegetable varieties, goat farming and improved methods of growing rice, they are enhancing not only their income, but also their standing in the community. Text KATRIN GÄNSLER Photos D.T. ROMAIN GEORGES ARNAUD AKÉMINOU Nine tonnes. This one figure is enormously important for Zainabou Cissé. The 63-year-old’s last rice har- vest was nine tonnes per hectare. It is a result she is proud of. The mother of six, and grandmother of three, lives in the northern Malian municipality of Alafia, which is home to some 4,000 people. It is situated about an hour from the city of Timbuktu, whose clay mosques and mauso- leums are a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Alafia has its own school, mosques and a health centre, but few opportunities to earn a living. While most men in the region raise an- imals or farm, the women generate an in- come from what is termed ‘petit commerce’. They sell everyday consumer goods such as tomatoes and onions, soap, washing pow- der, salt and sugar at small, wooden stalls. And they grow vegetables and rice on a small scale. Farming in the Sahel may initially sound like a contradiction in terms. Many people will visualise an arid desertscape, but in fact the Sahel is a complex, fragile zone with a very wide variety of vegetation. There are barren regions with leached, hard soils, but in parts of the Sahel trees and shrubs flourish. The banks of the River Niger offer excellent, fertile conditions. This is where Zainabou Cissé and 42 other women farm a total of 16 hectares of land. Together, this group of smallholders is called the ‘Coopéra- tive agropastorale Nafagoumo’. In an effort to achieve good yields, they used to rely on lots of fertiliser and seed which they sowed on the paddies, but their harvests stagnated, Cissé recalls. ‘Per hectare we harvested about five tonnes.’ Although that was by no means a bad harvest, the turning point came when they were intro- duced to a modified method for growing rice – the System of Rice Intensification (SRI). The members of the cooperative found out how this system works at a training session organised by the Food and Nutrition Security, Enhanced Resilience programme (ProSAR) in Mali. GIZ is im- plementing the programme with partners on behalf of the German Development Ministry (BMZ). SRI aims to use less fertiliser and seed, while increasing yields. Nursery beds are set MALI Capital: Bamako / Population: 19.66 million / Annual population growth: 3 per cent / Human Development Index ranking: 184 (out of 189) MALI Timbuktu Bamako Sources: World Bank, UN, WFP The Food and Nutrition Security, Enhanced Resilience programme is currently operating in other African and Asian states in addition to Mali. These are Benin, Burkina Faso, Cambodia, Ethiopia, India, Madagascar, Malawi, Togo and Zambia. Contact: email@example.com akzente 1/21 19
In focus: Food and nutrition up and the seedlings are transplanted after only eight days. They are planted in well- dug soil, individually, widely spaced and in a grid pattern. Although this involves more work, it means that the plants then no longer compete for nutrients as they did when several were planted together. SRI also uses less water than conventional rice-grow- ing methods because the plants are irrigated in a much more targeted manner. Thanks to the introduction of this method to Mali, Zainabou Cissé has seen her harvests almost double, she reports jubilantly. Local crops mean greater security This not only boosts the household budget – it also enhances safety and security. When enough rice can be grown locally, there is less need to undertake the hazardous shop- ping trip to neighbouring towns or even Timbuktu. The risk of being attacked by bandits is high, particularly on long-dis- tance roads. They set up roadblocks, threat- en travellers and force them to hand over their money. ‘Every trip is terrifying,’ admits Cissé. But she is not going to let that get the better of her, even if insecurity has been the dominant issue in the region for years now. ‘We can’t give up. We must find a way to live with it,’ she says. In northern Mali, sections of the Tua- reg population rebelled against the state at the start of 2012. A military coup followed, and the north of the country was occupied by two terrorist groups. In spite of interna- tional military missions and the 2015 peace agreement, the region remains unstable. An- other coup followed in August 2020. Aissata Mahamane, who also lives in Alafia, does not care to look back either. ‘They were hard times,’ she says brusquely when asked about the 2012/2013 crisis. ‘Women were often raped and we were afraid to work in the fields.’ That has now changed for the better, says the 60-year-old. The re- gion is no longer controlled by terrorists who resort to violence to impose ‘their rules’. In retrospect, Aissata Mahamane can only shake her head – also about the way they used to farm. ‘Back then, we only grew onions and tobacco.’ Like the other women in her cooperative, she gave little thought to a balanced diet. That changed in 2019, when a training session about growing a variety of nutritious vegetables gave them new ideas. Mahamane, who has five grown-up children and also looks after her seven grandchildren, has since completely overhauled her own kitchen garden. ‘Now I grow potatoes, cab- bage, pumpkins, tomatoes, aubergines, on- ions and lettuce,’ she explains. Some of the vegetables were new to her. The training course also gave her the opportunity to try out new recipes. She likes cooking potatoes and pumpkins best. ‘Pumpkins are very nu- tritious, so they are good for malnourished children,’ she explains. The vegetables are not only for her own family though. Her harvests are now so good that she can sell some of her produce. Customers come to her kitchen garden di- rectly. She also supplies two markets. The extra income is welcome as she funds her grandchildren’s education. She pays the equivalent of almost EUR 23 per child Left: Aissata Mahamane with other women from her cooperative. Since attending training, they have been growing particularly nutritious vegetables. Top: Fadimata Moulaye gives her grandchildren milk from her goats every day. 20 akzente 1/21
Report The programme contributes to the following United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs): ‘The women report that their children are now sick less often.’ FATIMATA KONÉ, doctor and nutrition expert for Welthungerhilfe, the project partner in Mali Read interviews on food and nutrition security and enhanced resilience in Mali at akzente.giz.de/en MULTISECTORAL APPROACH GIZ is working in a number of areas to improve nutrition for people in Mali. The approach combines extensive activities in nutrition-sensitive irrigated agriculture and livestock farming, communication on healthy, diversiﬁed diets and water, sanitation and hygiene (WASH). Best practices at local level are shared with the relevant bodies and institutions and mainstreamed within the appropriate structures. Contact: Raymond Mehou, firstname.lastname@example.org THE PROJECT IN MALI IN FIGURES 6,000 people – half of them women – have been trained in sustainable agriculture and in the cultivation of nutritious vegetables. 10,000 women now enjoy a more varied diet. They used to face the threat of malnutrition. every year for school fees, books, pencils, clothing and a rucksack – that is a lot of money in Mali, where almost 43 per cent of the country’s approximately 20 million in- habitants live below the poverty line, and have to survive on less than USD 1.90 a day. Mahamane is proud that she can support her grandchildren with the profits she makes from selling vegetables. ‘It is my dream that they all get a good education.’ That will prepare them for the future and make them adaptable. Of that their grand- mother is quite certain. Fadimata Moulaye also looks after her grandchildren. She lives with them and her son in Goundam, 85 kilometres south-west of Timbuktu. To feed the family, the 48-year-old rears goats and sheep. She be- gan doing so in 2016, when she was given four goats and one buck as part of the Pro- SAR project. The white goats with the flop- py ears were the basis of her success. She has since sold some of the animals she has bred and has reinvested the money. ‘14 têtes,’ Moulaye reports proudly on her growing herd, which now numbers 14 animals. That is good for her grandchildren who can drink goat’s milk every day. The animals produce three or four litres per day. ‘I give some of the milk to friends and neighbours and sell what is left.’ That gives her an additional EUR 1.50 a day. But that is not the only source of in- come. Moulaye knew immediately what she wanted to do with her first profit. She made a dream come true. ‘I set up a small busi- ness. Today I sell tomatoes, dried onions, oil and salt.’ The higher income has improved the family’s diet too. Today they eat more frequently and at regular intervals. ‘I can al- ways make breakfast and an evening meal,’ she nods happily. She is not worried that things might change for the worse. For the times when the goats produce less milk, her small business represents a second source of income. Her herd has become her private bank. If anyone in the family falls sick, an animal can be sold in an emergency, to pay for medicine or hospital bills for example. Fadi- mata Moulaye reflects for a moment and then says, ‘But I hope it never comes to that.’ — akzente 1/21 21
In focus: Food and nutrition hire companies to work out how and when the machines can be used most efficiently and least expensively. During a pilot phase, the app saved farmers up to 10 per cent of their costs for the rice harvest. It also reduced post-harvest losses, which in Asia are estimated to be in the region of USD 3 billion per year, by two per cent. — Smart solutions Four examples of how information and communications technology is improving agriculture in de- veloping countries and emerging economies. Information in every drop MEXICO One of the main criticisms levelled at fish farms is that they damage water quality through the excessive use of fertiliser. Thanks to a smart new solution developed by a group of young entrepreneurs from Mexico, however, aquaculture busi- nesses can now maintain their farms in tip-top condition. Their system monitors water quality continuously and records the data in real time, including pH levels, temperature, oxygen content and up to 14 other indicators. If the readings point to any deterioration in water quality, farmers can then take prompt action and prevent the spread of bacteria. Aqua- culture operators have permanent access to their data through the app and an online platform. The system automatically generates a warning message if the maximum permitted values are exceeded. — Digital harvesting assistant ASIA Farmers usually club together to hire the expensive machines they need to harvest rice rather than purchasing their own. EasyHarvest is a new online app that can help them match up when they need a machine and when that machine is available to hire. The app, which can be used on a smartphone or computer, allows farmers and equipment Fair distribution NIGERIA In 2012, the Nigerian Govern- ment introduced an electronic voucher system for smallholders in response to frequent cases of attempted fraud. Digital vouchers are now sent to farmers by mobile phone and can be used to buy fertiliser and seed. The new system ensures that everyone receives the correct subsidised products. It is used by around 20 million people, roughly 90 per cent of the target group. According to one study, the e-vouchers have helped to boost the maize harvest, and consequent- ly farmers’ incomes, by over a quarter. — Sharing knowledge by radio ETHIOPIA Lysine and tryptophan deficiency is a common problem among people with maize as a staple ingredient in their diet, and one which affects women and children especially. Quality Protein Maize (QPM) is a hybrid that contains particularly high levels of these amino acids in order to prevent deficiency. In Ethiopia, a special radio series was created to inform people about the bene- fits of growing and eating QPM. Four local stations broadcast 320 episodes of an information programme in four of the country’s key maize-growing areas, delivering valuable knowledge straight into the homes of 66 per cent of smallholders. Interest in visits to test sites increased as a result. — 22 akzente 1/21
Guest article Food waste vs. hunger Millions of people are under nourished although tonnes of food are allowed to perish or are thrown away. That is an issue that concerns all of us. By JESSICA VON BLAZEKOVIC, Business and economics editor, FAZ.NET . ) 3 2 P ( S N I E T S A R D N A S / G N U R E I G E R S E D N U B , ) T H G I R , . 2 2 P ( S E G A M I Y T T E G / O K N E H C A Y D V A , ) E R T N E C , . 2 2 P ( S E G A M I Y T T E G / I L N A M R O I L E D , ) T F E L , . 2 2 P ( K C O T S I / K U S M A H K T E H C A R U S : S O T O H P Eat up! Think of the starving children in Africa!’ This is something we probably all heard as children. Today, thank- fully, many parents have come to realise that it is wrong to force children to eat. The fact that little Noah in Berlin has eaten all of his mashed potato will have no bearing whatsoever on whether or not a child in Ethiopia goes to bed with a full tummy. Anyway, it is adults who should take to heart the philosophy from child-rearing practices of the past. It is estimated that 1.3 billion tonnes of food end up in the bin every year worldwide – that is one third of total food production. The German Federal Ministry of Food and Agriculture (BMEL) reckons that in Germany alone, akzente 1/21 23 12 million tonnes of food are thrown out every year – more than half by private households. In view of the fact that about 700 million people in the world go hungry (a number that has been rising again since 2014), that is more than just an ethical problem. Although the causal link between the wasteful lifestyle in industrialised nations and hunger in develop ing countries has not yet been proven, organisations like Welthun gerhilfe do believe that our behaviour influences the ability of people in other parts of the world to access food reliably. ‘The fact that little Noah in Berlin has eaten all of his mashed potato will have no bearing whatsoever on whether or not a child in Ethiopia goes to bed with a full tummy.’ According to the figures from the German Federal Statistical Of fice, some two thirds of the farmland needed to produce food for German consumers now lies outside Germany. So, the greater the demand is in Germany for food, the more farmland in other coun tries will be used to grow export crops, meaning that it is not avail able to feed the local population. When farmland becomes scarcer, food prices also rise, making it even more difficult for people in de veloping countries to access food. ‘Land grabbing’ is a term we of ten hear in this context, when international investors buy farmland to grow cash crops. These are lucrative crops such as soybeans or maize that are grown purely for export and not to feed the farmers themselves. Climate change is making global hunger worse. From Asia to Africa, it is destroying the livelihoods of millions of people as soils become eroded and droughts and other extreme weather events make it more difficult to grow food. And here too, food waste plays a part. It is estimated that the carbon footprint of food waste totals 3.6 gigatonnes of carbon dioxide every year, meaning that its contri bution to global warming is almost comparable to that of global road traffic. No, people in Germany cannot end hunger in the world just by throwing away less food. The issue is a lot more complex; fragile states, crises and conflicts, difficulties in storing and distributing food – all of these elements play a part. But much points to the fact that the way we deal with food is a large part of the problem. That is why all of us, and not just Noah in Berlin, should become part of the solution, and eat in moderation. —
In focus: Food and nutrition 24 akzente 1/21
Essay Fix the system! Millions of people go to bed hungry every night. With enough food on our planet to feed everyone, this need not be the case. The African scientist Jemimah Njuki explains how this could be changed and why women have an important role to play. Illustrations FLORIAN BAYER In September this year, the world will meet for the first UN Food Systems Summit. And one of the things this gathering will show is that our food system is broken and needs to be fixed! Unequal, unsustainable, and unable to feed the world – that sums up the current state of our food systems pretty well. The Summit is expected to come up with solutions and commit- ments to ensure that we can deliver healthy diets and adequate livelihoods for all. At the moment this is not the case. As a matter of fact, we are living in a parallel world where too many remain hungry while a growing number of people are suffering from obesity. Two billion people, or close to 26 per cent of the global population, experi- enced hunger or did not have nutritious and sufficient food regularly in 2019; 690 mil- lion people are undernourished. And while in absolute numbers most of these were in Asia, Africa is projected to have the largest IN THIS ARTICLE 1. STATUS QUO Unequal and unsustainable – what is wrong with the global food system. 2. WHAT ARE THE PROBLEMS? Climate damage, the pandemic and unequal distribution are all fuelling global hunger. 3. WHAT CAN HELP? Promotion, education, investment – how we can put an end to the greatest avoidable scandal of our times. proportion of undernourished people in 2030. At the same time, the world contin- ues to lose or waste about a third of all food between the farm and the plate. Give power to women There are many reasons for this broken sys- tem. Gender inequality is one of them. Women have a 13 per cent higher chance of suffering from moderate or severe food insecurity than men. Another key chal- lenge is access to a healthy diet that pro- vides adequate calories and nutrients and includes diverse foods from several differ- ent food groups. Such diets cost, on aver- age, five times more than food that simply provides enough calories. Also, nutri- ent-rich diets are generally less available and affordable. In Africa, 965 million out of 1.35 billion people cannot afford to eat healthily. akzente 1/21 25
‘Ironically, those who produce our food are among the hungriest.’ Ironically, those who produce our food are among the hungriest. There are 500 million smallholder farms worldwide. They produce about 80 per cent of the food consumed in Asia and sub-Saharan Africa; women com- prise 43 per cent of the agricultural labour force on these farms. Despite their impor- tant contributions, smallholders and farm workers often suffer from malnutrition and have no access to healthy diets. They literally go hungry next to the field. There are also concerns about the grow- ing inequities within the global food system. Smallholder cocoa farmers in Côte d’Ivoire, for instance, are poorer now than they were in the 1970s or 1980s despite the fact that the chocolate industry is worth more than USD 40 billion a year. Smallholder farmers only capture about six per cent of the turn- over of the industry, even though they pro- duce a large proportion of the yields. Harmful to the climate The current food system also adversely af- fects the environment and the climate. As a matter of fact, agriculture generates between 10 and 14 per cent of global anthropogenic greenhouse gas emissions. The Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Na- tions (FAO) estimates that the social costs of emissions associated with current dietary patterns will exceed a staggering USD 1.7 trillion per year by 2030. But that’s not all: this shattered system has had to cope with the additional burden of the COVID-19 pandemic, which has caused shocks to both the supply and the demand side throughout the world. On the supply side, disruption to food and input supplies between and within countries, the closure of markets and shortages of labour are reducing access to food. On the demand side, the loss of jobs and increased domestic care work (like home schooling), particular- ly for women, are reducing peoples’ pur- chasing power. So, we are facing a severe crisis that has been worsened but not caused by the COVID-19 pandemic. This makes it all the more urgent to remedy the situation. But what will help? What really needs to be done to end hunger and other forms of malnutri- tion in the world, while transforming the sys- tem to provide all people with affordable and healthy diets in a sustainable way? Ensure a minimum A report entitled ‘Ceres2030’ shows that changes in agriculture will only work if some basic minimums are ensured: produc- ers need to have at least a minimum level of income and education; they need access to networks and resources such as extension services and robust infrastructure including improved markets and roads. Against this background, it makes more sense to engage in multiple actions rather than single interventions aimed at individu- al objectives. That means, for example, im- proving farmers’ livelihoods by promoting crops that are both in demand and climate- and pest-resistant, while facilitating their ac- cess to markets. In Kenya, for instance, there is increasing demand for sorghum, not least on the part of the brewing industry. Sorghum is higher in nutrients than maize and also climate-resistant. Nonetheless, it is not widely grown in the country. Evidence also shows that membership in farmers’ organisations leads to higher in- come. A comparison of data from 24 coun- tries, mostly in Africa, indicates that mem- 26 akzente 1/21
Essay ‘Technological improvements must go hand in hand with the development of local food systems.’ shorten the distance between producers and consumers by, for instance, building mar- kets and processing factories close to where food is produced. Social transfers to the rural poor Social protection policies are also central be- cause they help to increase the purchasing power of vulnerable populations. This way they can better afford to buy healthy foods instead of consuming nutrition-poor diets. Social safety nets in the form of cash trans- fers, food stamps, or vouchers for people af- fected by hunger are examples that go in that direction. bership of such organisations was associated with positive effects on income in 57 per cent of the cases reviewed. These interven- tions must, however, be accompanied by im- portant services such as extension services that meet the needs and priorities of differ- ent types of farmers, including women. They should also include market analyses such as price information, and weather forecasts – activities that help to manage production risks. Very importantly, these services must be economically viable for farmers. The changes and investments we need to make in the food system have to go be- yond the farm and across multiple value chains. According to an FAO-commis- sioned study, around one third or 1.3 bil- lion tonnes of food produced for human consumption are lost or wasted globally each year. There is evidence that better stor- age, such as the use of airtight bags and con- tainers, can effectively reduce post-harvest losses for cereals and pulses. Other technol- ogies are effective at reducing losses of fruits and vegetables including local processing, better handling practices, improved packag- ing, more careful timing of the harvest, and cold storage. Using plastic crates, liners for contain- ers, and smaller containers for the packaging and transportation of tomatoes, guavas and cabbages can reduce damage by 30 to 60 per cent as studies have shown. Technological improvements must go hand in hand with the development of local food systems that
In focus: Food and nutrition In the Global South, small and medi umsized enterprises are very common and play a critical role in the food system. Al though they have mistakenly been referred to as the ‘missing middle’ in developing countries, they are in fact very much pres ent, active and dynamic in the foodproduc ing industry. And they have an even greater potential: millions of them are needed in transportation or processing, and they can promote inclusion of the rural poor. In Africa and South Asia, midstream activities already represent a substantial por tion of the agrifood sector, ranging from 25 per cent of the GDP in countries like Rwan da to 60 per cent in middleincome coun tries like Egypt and Indonesia. In Africa, up to 64 per cent of domestic food supplies are handled primarily by small and medi umsized enterprises. Additionally, gender and equity matter for the way we feed the world – first as a hu- man rights issue because women deserve the same access to nutrition as men. And sec- ondly, because the system can only be fixed if women’s role in agriculture is strength- ened. If women have equal rights, they can boost production significantly. The future must be just and equitable. Communities, households and individ- ual men and women must be enabled to produce enough food for their own popula- tions using environmentally sound process- es, while also being able to participate in lo- cal, regional and global food trading sys- tems. Trade agreements such as the new Af- rican Continental Free Trade Area agree- ment include a gender objective that recog- nises the full, equal and meaningful partici- pation of women in an integrated continen- tal market. That is very encouraging for the fight against hunger. Equal pay and access to ﬁnancial services It is critical to guarantee land rights to wom- en and transform finance systems (beyond microcredit) so that that they serve female smallholder farmers, owners of small busi- nesses and other women actors in the food system. For women workers in the food in- dustry, it will require gender standards that include workplace dignity and equal pay (with monitoring and accountability mech- anisms) – whether it be large farms, food factories or the service industry. In the Unit- ed States for instance, women working in food processing made 74 cents to the dollar compared to men in 2019. And the situa- 28 akzente 1/21
Essay ‘The good news is that change is possible. We have the means and the know-how to alter the dysfunctional food system we have now.’ means and the know-how to alter the dys- functional food system we have now. Let’s tackle it! Let’s seize the moment! The first half of the 21st century should be the one that ends hunger and malnutrition once and for all, because it is the greatest avoida- ble scandal of our times. The Food Summit in September offers the perfect opportunity to really get going. — JEMIMAH NJUKI is Director for Africa at the International Food Policy Research Institute and Custodian for Gender and Women’s Empowerment at the UN Food Systems Summit 2021. tion is similar in most countries. That is not only unfair but also counterproductive. There are inherent power dynamics in the food system, especially between global players and local producers, that must be addressed so that more of the added value goes to the producers who are doing the most work in keeping the world fed. This should be done by ensuring fair prices for smallholder farmers and open and transpar- ent trade regimes between countries and ac- tors in the market system. Consumers also have a big role to play in ensuring healthy populations. It is impor- tant to recognise that national food systems in low- and middle-income countries are transforming rapidly from traditional to modern. That holds true for most African countries for instance. In this transition, nu- trition education and campaigns on healthy diets are a critical part of ensuring that pop- ulations stay healthy. A good example is the ‘we are what we eat’ campaign in Tanzania that reaches out to the population through different communication channels. Equally important is the role of dietary guidelines. With the support of CGIAR’s Agriculture for Nutrition and Health programme, Ethi- opia has now developed its first-ever food- based dietary guidelines. They provide con- crete recommendations on types of foods and food groups to be eaten regularly to pro- mote health and prevent chronic diseases. Investing more money And last but not least, the fight against hun- ger needs more investment. The ‘Ceres2030’ report recommends an additional USD 14 billion per year on average to end hunger by 2030 and double incomes of small-scale producers in low- and middle-income coun- tries. That seems a reasonable sum com- pared to the trillions of dollars profit the in- dustry makes year by year. It is more than obvious that the present way of producing and consuming food serves neither the global population nor the environment. It must change. The good news is that change is possible. We have the akzente 1/21 29
In focus: Food and nutrition Hunger – no end in sight With the goal of zero hunger at risk, could the pandemic also mark a turning point in our approach to global food security and nutrition? Terminology 101 Hunger describes the subjective feeling that people experience after a certain time without food. It is mostly equated with the terms food shortage or chronic calorie deficit (undernourishment). Malnutrition encompasses undernutrition, overnutrition and hidden hunger (a lack of vitamins and minerals). Undernutrition is the result of a lack of food and/or poor health and hygiene conditions that prevent the body from properly absorbing and using the nutrients in food. Overnutrition occurs when the intake of food energy continuously exceeds requirements. Source: GIZ The double burden of malnutrition Overnutrition and undernutrition are both found at every level of society in a third of the world’s poorer countries. Developing countries and emerging economies now account for roughly two thirds of all those who are overweight. Sources: FAO Statistics, BDI Happy without meat The number of vegetarians is growing worldwide. In 2020, India was the global leader in this respect, with vegetarians making up 38 per cent of its total population. Source: Statista A heavy price to pay According to estimates, if we do not take action to change our global food systems, the health costs linked to unhealthy diets could reach USD 1.3 trillion per year worldwide by 2030. Source: SOFI 2020
Lockdown effects At the height of the school closures in late May 2020, 368 million children worldwide had to manage without the daily school meals they rely on. Source: World Food Programme A healthy diet? Priceless! It has been estimated that over three billion people around the world cannot afford to eat a healthy diet. The cost of doing so is well above the internationally agreed poverty level of USD 1.90 per day. A healthy diet contains a balanced, diverse and appropriate selection of foods and that meets the body’s requirements for macronutrients (proteins, fats and carbohydrates) and micronutrients (vitamins and minerals). Sources: SOFI 2020, WHO Hidden hunger Nearly two billion people – a quarter of the global population – experience hidden hunger because their food does not provide them with enough vitamins and minerals. This condition particularly affects pregnant and breastfeeding women and young children under the age of five. Source: Welthungerhilfe Supply chains 40 per cent of all food in the world’s poorest countries is lost or wasted on its way to the consumer, mainly due to inadequate storage, refrigeration, packaging, infrastructure and transport systems. Source: BMEL
In focus: Food and nutrition ‘Not enough food and not healthy enough’ Agnes Kalibata is a food and nutrition security specialist and a former Minister of Agriculture in her home country, Rwanda. She currently leads the Alliance for a Green Revolution in Africa and is the United Nations Secretary-General’s Special Envoy to the Food Systems Summit that will be held in September. In this interview, she explains why it is essential to look at these systems as a whole. Interview: Friederike Bauer Due to the coronavirus pandemic more people are starving again. What do you foresee for the near future? The UN estimates that an additional 130 million people are going hungry because of the pandemic. That is a nightmare because it adds to a situation that was already grim before the outbreak. COVID19 happened on top of a preexisting crisis. It used to be said that the Earth could feed all people if the system was working prop- erly. Does this paradigm still hold true? There is no doubt that the world can pro duce enough food for the roughly 7.7 billion people living today. It is a matter of access to, and the quality of, nutrition. Right now our food systems are not delivering, not provid ing enough food for everyone. And the food people do get is not healthy enough. Plus, we are stressing the environment. Therefore, we need to transform the whole system and make it more sustainable in various ways. The first UN Food Systems Summit will take place in September. What tangible re- sults are you hoping for? We have set ourselves five objectives: en- sure access to safe and nutritious food for all; shift to sustainable consumption pat- terns; boost nature-positive production; advance equitable livelihoods and build re- silience to vulnerabilities, shocks and stress. But it is just as important for me to get the message out that our food system in its present form is broken. Get the message out to whom exactly? To everyone: those involved in food produc- tion, marketing, distribution and sales just as much as end consumers. Each of us makes a decision three times a day if we are lucky. Shall we eat meat? Shall we eat wa- ter-intensive vegetables from other parts of the world? These are little decisions by themselves but taken together they influ- ence the system. You did not mention waste. How big a problem is that? It is an enormous problem. The food we are wasting is equivalent to one trillion dollars a year. Food waste also contributes eight per cent to harmful greenhouse gas emissions. Just imagine! If we could solve the waste problem, we could feed many more people without creating additional emissions. Talking about emissions, climate change is already under way. What impact will that have on the availability of food? We talk a lot about the pandemic, but deal- ing with climate change is also critical. There will be more droughts and cyclones, which will influence the availability of wa- ter. Agriculture depends heavily on a steady supply of water. The challenges are not the same everywhere, but they have to be tack- led everywhere. Otherwise the food crisis will get worse. 32 akzente 1/21
Interview AGNES KALIBATA Rwanda’s former Minister of Agriculture has served as President of the Alliance for a Green Revolution in Africa (AGRA) since 2014. ‘The food we are wasting is equivalent to one trillion dollars a year.’ The international community has been fighting hunger for many decades. What is different now from earlier approaches? It’s true. The first summit talking about zero hunger was in 1973, and not enough has changed since. Part of that is due to conflicts that almost always go hand in hand with star- vation and hunger. We need governments and the international community to prioritise this double scourge. The other impact has been climate change, which impedes small farmers even more from producing enough food. Productivity in Africa is quite low. How could it be increased? The majority of African farmers are small- holders, who need to be supported because ) P O T , . 3 3 P ( N A G E N E W O : O T O H P akzente 1/21 33 ricultural activity – if it is accompanied by the right policy frameworks. A number of reports suggest that fixing the food system is not that expensive. It would cost an estimated EUR 28 billion a year to end hunger. The costs of managing the impacts of hun- ger are definitely higher than the costs of dealing with hunger itself. But just design- ing food security programmes won’t be enough. It’s about building sustainable economies that give people decent wages so that they do not fall back into hunger. they can make a real difference. Admittedly, it is not an easy task to get a farmer with 1.3 hectares to be more productive, but it’s not impossible. Each country needs to look at its food system, see what is broken and then fix it. What is needed, above all, is a change in the way decision-makers think. Is it correct that Africa has the highest po- tential worldwide to increase food produc- tion? Yes, but productivity can be increased in other places as well. In Africa, however, we do see a number of favourable factors. It has a lot of uncultivated land, in many parts plenty of water and an abundance of work- ers. That opens up great perspectives for ag- What can institutions like GIZ do to help achieve worldwide food security as quickly as possible? Keep the programmes to strengthen food se- curity that GIZ is already engaged in, but dou- ble down on supporting governments. Fight- ing the structural deficiencies behind food shortages is as important as solving the glaring problem of hunger and undernutrition. —
In focus: Food and nutrition The bigger picture Investing in good nutrition is one way to leverage sustainable development. GIZ’s work in this area is based on establishing networks and finding digital solutions, with a focus on women and young children. By ALBERT ENGEL Food and nutrition security is a human right – and one with farreaching im plications. Ensuring that all children, women and men have a nutritious diet is a crucial step towards sustainable development. By contrast, the consequences of malnutri tion are devastating and can lead to those af fected falling ill and becoming weak. A coun try in which many people cannot work be cause of their poor nutritional status cannot realise its full economic and social potential. Food and nutrition security plays a key role in development cooperation and is therefore an important aspect of GIZ’s work. The links between famine relief, tran sitional aid and longterm development were clear to us even back in the late 1980s. To initiate the fundamental changes re quired, we need to take a broader view and ask the right questions. Who has access to land and water? Under what conditions are smallholders able to produce their crops and access markets? How much do people know about nutrition and hygiene? What invest ments will make the most impact? We learned a great deal from those early and predominantly local development projects. We know that longterm success depends on working at every level – local, regional and national – in our partner countries. Between 1990 and 2014, we made tre mendous progress. Worldwide, the number of people suffering from hunger declined. Since then, however, the figures have gone back up. Today, one in every nine people goes to bed hungry. The situation has been exacer- bated over recent years by wars, conflicts and the resulting movements of refugees, by cli- mate change and population growth, and now by the coronavirus pandemic. In 2014, Germany launched a special initiative entitled ONE WORLD – No Hunger in order to strengthen its existing Digital solutions have proven to be invalu- able during the COVID-19 pandemic, al- lowing national and international experts to collaborate on data evaluation projects de- spite restrictions on travel. Digital tools gen- erally make it much easier for us to compile and record information. When it comes to measuring the results of our food security projects, we use internationally recognised indicators. However, we also aim to break new ground, for example with the develop- ment of the Minimum Dietary Diversity for Women indicator, which involves asking women what they ate the previous day. If the food they consumed included at least five out of ten defined food groups (e.g. veg- etables, nuts and products of animal origin), it can be assumed that they have a good diet. GIZ was one of the first organisations to use this indicator in collaboration with the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO). Another important new indicator, large- ly developed by the German humanitarian aid organisation Welthungerhilfe, is the Child Growth Monitor. A mobile app can be used to identify signs of malnutrition. Instead of using scales to weigh a child or a special tape to measure the upper arm circumference, the Child Growth Monitor relies on photographs taken using an everyday smartphone. Al- though the app was developed before the coronavirus pandemic, it is currently proving extremely useful as it allows health care teams to continue monitoring the development of boys and girls while maintaining the required distance to prevent the spread of infection. We continuously adapt our work to the new challenges we face, review our approaches with a critical eye and explore different paths where appropriate, with the ultimate goal of helping more children, women and men to eat healthily as a prerequisite for sustainable development. That is what drives us. — . ) 4 3 P ( H C S Z T N E R N A I L U J : N O I T A R T S U L L I ALBERT ENGEL is Director of GIZ’s Evaluation Unit. He has previously held various positions at GIZ, including Director of the Rural Development and Agriculture Division. email@example.com activities around the world. BMZ invests around EUR 1.5 billion in the priority areas of food security and rural development each year. These are areas in which GIZ and its predecessor organisations have spent decades forging a network together with its partners. More recently, our work has focused on pregnant, breastfeeding and young women. Studies show that the first thousand days of a child’s life are crucial to its future develop- ment. Good nutrition in early infancy (and indeed before birth) prevents severe devel- opmental disorders that can lead to a vicious circle of poverty and undernutrition, with consequences that can even affect subse- quent generations. Well-nourished and healthy infants and young children are im- portant to the future prosperity of their so- ciety. In Tajikistan, for example, where one in every five young children is undernour- ished, we are working with the country’s Ministry of Health to ensure that young women learn more about nutrition. This project has involved training health advisors and developing an e-learning tool. 34 akzente 1/21
Examples of GIZ’s work Many paths, one goal GIZ takes a broadbased approach to global food and nutrition security. Political will A huge international effort is needed if we are to meet the United Nations Sustainable Development Goal 2, namely ending hunger, ensuring access to nutritious food and pro- moting sustainable agricul- ture. All this can be achieved only if political will is matched by effective im- plementation. GIZ works at every level, from local to national, measuring data and establishing the facts we need to show us the way forward. — 3.7 million GLOBAL The Food and Nutrition Security, Enhanced Resilience programme commis- sioned by BMZ works on various fronts to bring about long-term improvements in the nutritional situation of people across Africa and Asia. Its activities are designed to meet specific local needs, for example by supporting smallholder farming and strengthening health care provision and hygiene practices. Those most at risk – such as the poor, women and children – are given help to ensure they have access to nutritious food. The programme aims to improve the nutritional situation of 3.7 million people in 12 countries by 2025. — ECOSYSTEM Forests play an important role in terms of food and nutrition, with a fifth of the world’s population dependent on them for their livelihood. They also help to regulate the temperature, provide water and preserve biodiversity. As part of BMZ’s ONE WORLD – No Hunger initiative, the Forests4Future project promotes sustainable forestry and the creation of new forest areas in Ethiopia, Madagascar and Togo. — More protein, fast EMERGENCY COVID-19 SUPPORT PROGRAMME As part of BMZ’s response to the COVID-19 pandemic, GIZ has distributed mung bean seeds to over 3,000 households in Benin. Agricultural extension officers were given training in how to cultivate this protein-rich legume. Since it only takes around 50 days before they can be harvested, mung beans therefore help to provide food security in times of crisis. — 150 schools Building up know-how CHILDREN Many boys and girls in Malawi go to school on an empty stomach. Healthy school meals not only help them to concentrate better in lessons, but also act as an incentive to attend. GIZ supports the efforts of 150 schools to grow and prepare their own food, while also advising on good nutrition and hygiene. The project was commissioned by BMZ and is cofinanced by the EU. It also invests in sanitary infrastructure to prevent the spread of disease. — KNOWLEDGE To achieve the goal of improving nutrition for everyone, we need more and better information about appropriate solutions. That is where the Knowledge for Nutrition (K4N) programme comes in. GIZ’s role here is to evaluate scientific data and pass our findings on to BMZ as the commissioning party and the project’s other funding provider, the EU. Equipped with this increased knowledge, they can then decide on the most effective approach to eradicating hunger and malnutrition. — akzente 1/21 35 ) M O T T O B , . 5 3 P ( R I M E D M I R E K , ) P O T , . 5 3 P ( K C O T S I / 8 0 1 E S U O M G I B : C I H P A R G O F N I
Greener and greener INNOVATION Lettuces, lettuces, as far as the eye can see. Basil, tomatoes and other vitamin-rich foods are also sprouting up here, at the largest hydroponic farm in southern Europe. The one thing you won’t find in these giant halls in Tuscany is soil. The roots of the plants dangle directly in a mixture of water and dissolved nutrients. The advantage of the hydroponic system is that the plants need as much as 90 per cent less water than they would when grown by conventional means, and only about a fifth of the space. This method of cultivation is therefore particularly well suited to regions where water is scarce. Photo: Alberto Bernasconi/laif
Report THROUGH THE EYES OF A CHILD Stray dogs, muddy paths and dangerous crossings are just some of the challenges Ukrainian children face on their way to school. Now those living in the city of Zhytomyr have a safer journey – and the entire community is thinking about mobility. TEXT EUGENIA KUZNETSOVA PHOTOS MARIA VARENIKOVA The sun has just come up, but the day remains grey and gloomy. Fields of wheat rustle in the wind beside the unpaved road, which is overgrown with weeds. Valeria, a 16-year-old schoolgirl, is walking along hand-in- hand with her younger brother Nikita. They take this route to school every day – roughly three kilometres there and three kilometres back. But next year, once Valeria has left school, Nikita will have to make his own way across fields, narrow bridges and busy roads. ‘In winter, it’s already getting dark by the time we set off for home,’ says Valeria. ‘It’s cold, and a bit scary sometimes.’ There are no school buses in this part of Ukraine. Valeria and Nikita live in Veresy, a village in central Ukraine that has now been absorbed into the municipality of Zhytomyr as part of the municipal reform process. Their secondary school is on a busy road on the outskirts of the city. It is one of four local schools taking part in Get to School Sustainably, a project being implement- ed by GIZ as part of the Transformative Urban Mobility Initiative (TUMI). The German Development Ministry is one of the partners supporting TUMI to boost sustainable urban mobility and mitigate climate change. TUMI ran competitions for a pilot project, and Zhytomyr is one of 20 cities in total around the world that were selected to take part. Once it received the funding, the Ukrainian municipality immedi ately set to work on a mobility plan for the selected schools. School principal Olena Kulinitsch says, ‘I think it is important to involve everyone in dialogue. This was the first time we had been invited to a discussion of this kind as partners.’ Schoolchildren and their teach- ers discussed the problems and worked with engineers and local au- thorities to plan improvements. It was a radical change in the usual pattern of communications in Zhytomyr. Those involved worked together to set up local mobility com- mittees and walked to the four pilot schools, which are spread across the city. They were keen to assess for themselves the difficulties chil- dren faced and to use them as the basis for setting the project’s prior- ities. One mobility committee, for example, immediately got the lo- cal animal protection organisation involved to tackle the stray dogs that barked at children on their way to school. It was the first time this issue had ever been highlighted. The project emphasises the importance of seeing safety issues through the eyes of a child. Experts followed the children to find out what worried them most as they made their way to school. And there 38 akzente 1/21
Through the eyes of a child TRANSPORT EXPERTS Valeria and her brother Nikita on their way to school: they and many other children and young people in Zhytomyr have shown planners where changes were needed on the roads.
The city’s mobility committees listened to school pupils to identify particularly dangerous spots. Above right: Vitja and his mother on their way to school; cycling alone would be too dangerous. Below: The city now has interactive speed displays. Find out more about the mobility programme in a video on the akzente website: akzente.giz.de/en The project contributes to the following United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs): were some quite surprising findings: the adults were sometimes un- able to see a problem, but the children showed them how unpleasant or even dangerous it felt to walk or cycle. Guided by the children’s insights, the mobility committees identified dangerous junctions, lo- cated sites where speed bumps could be installed to reduce traffic speed, and categorised the most problematic spots on the school routes. ‘TUMI is encouraging us to develop an overall mobility strategy,’ says Deputy Mayor Svitlana Olshanska. ‘We want a com- prehensive strategy, not just solutions to specific problems.’ Some minor changes were made immediately, such as making crossings safer and removing obstructive trees. Other measures will take longer, though – and will require investment. ‘Cycle paths would be cool.’ The children also helped the planners identify the best places for speed restrictions, speed bumps and digital speed displays. These ‘smiley face’ signs, which display drivers’ speed accompanied by an appropriate facial expression, are something entirely new for Zhyto- myr. Two have so far been installed near schools. And by the time the project is completed in 2021, there will be new pavements, further improvement to crossings, and more speed control measures. 40 akzente 1/21
Through the eyes of a child The majority of children used to walk to school. Despite having bi cycles at home, most of the children are unable to use them because cycling is too dangerous. Some do take to two wheels, though: Vitja is a pupil from Veresy and says, ‘It takes me 40 minutes to walk to school but just 20 minutes by bike. Cycle paths would be cool.’ Vit ja is lucky – his mother works at the school he attends, and they usu ally cycle there together. Otherwise, things would be very difficult for him. There are still a number of stray dogs along the route, and the road is unpaved and freezes over in winter. In any case, it’s better to cycle with someone else. Cycling infrastructure is one of the project’s main priorities, be- cause cycling is a good option in such a relatively small city as Zhy- tomyr – and it’s sustainable. Previously, children who cycled to school had nowhere to park their bikes and so had to leave them out- side nearby shops or simply on the street. The pilot schools have since had bike racks installed on their premises, and this has in- creased the number of children who cycle to school. In fact, twice as many students now do so – and they have already requested yet more covered cycle racks. The children are also learning how to be more visible and cycle safely in traffic and at junctions. Dozens of voluntary helpers have been involved in running training at all of the project’s pilot schools. Irina Shuravska, a teacher at School No. 36, says, ‘I found it so inspiring, I rode to school myself. That’s nine kilometres!’ Fur- ther investment in cycling infrastructure is needed, but the city’s road improvement plan now also includes new cycle paths and safe pavements. Citizens are actively involved ‘What’s great is that the children pass on what they learn to their par- ents,’ says police officer Tetyana Kryvenko, who helped train boys and girls at one of the pilot schools. ‘Many of them have asked their parents for high-vis jackets, for example.’ But the project is not just about improving infrastructure. An- other focus is on attitudes – and that includes everyone involved. It is important that the children learn and understand how to be- have more safely, which is why it is also crucial that they are in- volved in mobility planning. At the same time, infrastructure needs to be adapted so that responsibility for their safety does not rest en- tirely on the children’s shoulders. Meanwhile, parents and school staff realise that they have a right to be involved in local infrastruc- ture planning. And local authorities have seen citizens become more actively involved and be keen to help redesign public space: since information about the project was posted on social media, the mobility committees have submitted more than 50 enquiries and requests. The crossing near the school that Valeria and Nikita attend has already been rebuilt, and improved speed restrictions are now in place. In a year’s time, when Nikita will be going to school on his own, there will be speed bumps and more traffic signs, too. ‘Our route to school is becoming safer. After all, the roads shouldn’t just be for cars,’ says Valeria. — akzente 1/21 41 MOBILISING FOR CLIMATE CHANGE Sustainable urban development is crucial to meeting the Paris climate targets. Following the UN Habitat III conference in 2016, BMZ therefore launched an initiative in the area of sustainable urban mobility and climate change mitigation – the Transformative Urban Mobility Initiative (TUMI). Working with eight international partner institutions (development banks, think tanks, NGOs and urban networks such as C40 Cities), GIZ and KfW support towns and cities in developing countries and emerging economies in designing sustainable transport systems. TUMI also involves other experts from universities (including Harvard, University College London and the London School of Economics), development banks (including the World Bank and the Islamic Development Bank), private companies and foundations. Almost 3,000 experts and managers have already received training in the areas of mobility and urban planning, and support has been provided to 20 innovative projects in 17 countries. And more than EUR 2 billion has been invested in building sustainable transport infrastructure and mobility services. Contact: Daniel Ernesto Moser, firstname.lastname@example.org ‘Uncontrolled growth of towns and cities means municipalities need a lot of expert input to make transport planning sustainable.’ Management Head of the Transformative Urban Mobility Initiative DANIEL ERNESTO MOSER, (TUMI). Read an interview with him at akzente.giz.de/en
GROWING TOGETHER They build bridges between development cooperation and the promotion of foreign trade and advise local, German and European companies in 30 countries. A successful mentoring programme in South-East Asia illustrates what Business Scouts for Development do. TEXT MATHIAS PEER PHOTOS AUNG NAING OO AND TIM WEGNER 42 akzente 1/21
This article was written shortly before the military coup in Myanmar and the violent attacks on peaceful demonstrators. As akzente went to press, all those we interviewed were safe and well. Growing together ‘Exchange on equal terms’ SOPHIE LWIN-WALDSCHMIDT (33) was the Business Scouts for Development expert responsible for the mentoring programme in Myanmar. I’ve been helping German companies in Myanmar to become in volved in sustainable local projects since 2017. As part of the Business Scouts for Development programme, I worked as an integrated expert for the Delegation of German Industry and Commerce until the end of February 2021. Together with my colleagues in the Delegation office, I gave a lot of thought to how we could deepen personal exchange between Myanmar and German entrepreneurs. We came up with the idea of launching a mentoring programme to enable representatives of German and oth- er international companies to support and advise young local entre- preneurs. That’s a relatively unfamiliar approach in Myanmar, so I was surprised how much interest there was. We had initially planned to take on just five young entrepreneurs as mentees, but we had so many good applications that we ended up with 12. We focused on industry 4.0 because Germany is a major global partner in that area. Our priority was also to target women, and we succeeded: more than half of all our mentees are female. The scheme spans a wide range of sectors, from food production and tourism to medicine, ship-build- ing and communications. Right from the outset, we were clear that we wanted this to be an exchange on equal terms. We obviously wanted the mentees from Myanmar to benefit from the experience of their respective mentor, but we were also keen for the benefits to be two-way, with the men- tors learning more about local market conditions. To this end, we held a joint networking event at least once a quarter, but the partic- ipants organised most of the mentoring sessions themselves. Some mentors and mentees were in almost weekly contact, and usually met face to face. I’m thrilled that the idea is being taken up more widely and similar formats are now being trialled in other countries. Laos, for example, has had a mentoring programme for female entre- preneurs for almost a year.’ — akzente 1/21 43
Perspectives ‘We made valuable contacts.’ PWINT PWINT SAN (29), mentee and co-founder of the Hydro Plant start-up in Yangon ‘Most people in Myanmar earn their living from agriculture, but it’s far from easy. The soil is often too dry, for example, and many farm- ing methods are now simply out of date. I saw first-hand how diffi- cult many families find it to produce enough food when I was in- volved in a UN food security programme in Thailand after complet- ing my MBA. The programme took me to a lot of villages in my home country. Since then, my ambition has been to find technological solu- tions to help farmers improve their financial situation. I joined forc- es with two other young entrepreneurs as part of a start-up support programme. In just a few months, we developed a device to make farming smarter: it’s a controller fitted with a number of sensors that can measure temperature and humidity, for instance, or gauge how dry the soil is. We use this data to calculate the level of automatic ir- rigation or whether to turn on a fan if it’s getting too hot in a green- house. The settings can be adjusted using a smartphone app. The sys- tem not only saves a lot of the manual work involved in irrigation but also helps to optimise yields, for example by precisely regulating greenhouse temperatures. Mushroom growers are just one example of businesses using our device: it means they can continue producing at times of year when it is usually too hot to grow mushrooms. And the technology can also be used outdoors to monitor soil moisture and control how much water is needed for the crop being grown. Our mentor, Manfred Gand, helped us enormously with devel- oping the product. Initially, we planned to manage the device solely by smartphone. But Manfred encouraged us to fit it with its own dis- play – and he was right. That makes it much easier to use. For a while, we met Manfred several times a month. He also put us in touch with many valuable contacts, such as electronics suppliers with a good reputation for quality. And I think he learned something from us, too: he was often surprised how quickly we were able to get our ideas up and running with limited resources.’ — 44 akzente 1/21 The project contributes to the following United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs):
Growing together The Hydro Plant smartphone app allows farmers in Myanmar to reduce the amount of water they use for irrigation and boost their yields. ‘I was very impressed by what the team had achieved.’ MANFRED GAND (58), mentor and electrical engineer ‘I’ve been living in Myanmar for the past seven years, working on developing telecoms infrastructure. I’ve got more than 30 years’ ex perience as an engineer, and I’m really keen to pass on what I know to others. When I was asked if I would be interested in the mentor ing programme for young entrepreneurs in Myanmar, I said yes im mediately. Even at our first meeting, I was very impressed by what Pwint Pwint San and her team had already achieved. The Hydro Plant smart controller, which is fitted with sensors, would undoubtedly cost a few hundred euros in Europe, but the entrepreneurs involved in the start-up managed to develop their system for a fraction of that, using open-source software and low-cost hardware modules. It was exciting to be involved. At the beginning, the most important thing for me was to lis- ten: there is still a lot I can learn in a country like Myanmar – and not just because agriculture was a whole new field for me. The proj- ect also involved me adopting a different perspective: as a German engineer, my priority is always to ensure the highest possible quality. But in Myanmar, even the very best technology is of no benefit if those working in agriculture can’t afford it. So optimising the cost of the individual components was a key issue in my discussions with Pwint Pwint San. Sadly, our regular coffee shop meetings have come to an end, as I’m moving to the Philippines for professional reasons. But the coronavirus pandemic has shown us all that we can communicate just as well by video call, so we’ve agreed that we’ll keep in touch that way.’ — akzente 1/21 45
INTERVIEW ‘I have been particularly im- pressed by progress in the area of vocational training.’ programme, Experts are working in around 30 devel- oping countries and emerging econo- mies as part of the Business Scouts for Development building bridges between the private sector and development cooperation. Why is this role so important? Our aim is to make full use of the pos- itive inﬂuence that private sector en- gagement abroad can have. To achieve that, our experts help in gaining ac- cess to often difﬁcult markets, thereby creating new jobs locally and promot- ing value chains – and contributing to better living conditions across the country. But they also advise on im- proving environmental and social standards and make entrepreneurs aware of relevant funding programmes. And they support companies with making their plans for expansion as sustainable as possible. What have been the programme’s big- gest successes to date? I have been particularly impressed by progress in the area of vocational training. In cooperation with compa- nies and local vocational training fa- cilities, our experts have achieved a lot, especially in Latin America and Elke Peiler works for GIZ’s Business Scouts for Development programme. Until recently, she was responsible for ExperTS, the programme that organised the mentoring initiative in Myanmar. She also completed an assignment abroad for the programme herself. Asia, and have helped launch some new apprenticeships, for example in mechatronics. In a number of coun- tries, the experts on our programme have also organised energy-saving workshops where employees of local businesses have formulated speciﬁc ideas for reducing emissions that they were able to implement directly in their own companies. Participants rep- resented a wide range of different sectors, so the programme has had a direct, positive and measurable impact on the climate. You used to work on the programme yourself, as an expert in the food indus- try. What was your experience? I worked for the programme in Tunisia and found the work I did there really rewarding. For example, I was able to support Tunisian companies with ex- porting products such as dates and ol- ive oil to Germany. That created jobs, but I was also able to help main- stream organic food production stand- ards more sustainably across the country. It’s something special to see your work having such a direct impact. ExperTS has been running for a decade already, but the programme is changing in 2021. How exactly? We are combining ExperTS with other programmes doing similar work, such as one that has been supporting en- trepreneurs in Germany in their deal- ings with developing countries and emerging economies. We’re now called Business Scouts for Development and we create synergies to enable our ex- perts to respond even more quickly and ﬂexibly to enquiries. But of course their work in the individual countries of assignment will continue under the new structure. — Contact: Elke Peiler, email@example.com 46 akzente 1/21
Growing together Smallholder Ko Lay has switched to hydroponic farming. Salad leaves grow in water in a system of pipes. ‘I will soon be able to almost double my income.’ KO LAY (40), farmer in northern Yangon akzente 1/21 47 ‘I have always been very interested in plants, but it was only re cently that I started working as a farmer. Before that, I made my living running a small shop. Eighteen months ago, I started grow ing vegetables in the north of Yangon, mostly cabbages and salad leaves, but have since added basil and peppers, too. I really en joyed it from the outset, but I soon realised how hard it is to make a living from agriculture. Market prices fluctuate sharply, and tools and fertilisers cost a lot. I looked around locally to see how I could improve things and saw the Hydro Plant system in operation on a friend’s farm. I was immediately taken with the idea and installed the technology in my own two greenhouses. It cost almost USD 500, equivalent to about two months’ income. I raised the money with a business partner. Irrigation is now completely automatic – unless we have a power cut, when I have to water the crops myself. I can also regu- late growing temperatures very precisely, and the controlled envi- ronment has enabled me to switch to hydroponics, where the plants grow in water mixed with nutrients as opposed to soil. I’ve only recently come across this technique. You have to be very pre- cise in the amount of water and fertiliser you use, but it requires a lot less work, and yields are considerably higher than before. I think I will soon be able to almost double my income. And per- haps we’ll be able to afford another greenhouse, too. Other farmers now often visit and want to learn from my ex- perience. That really pleases me. Farmers in Myanmar are very open to new ideas if they can see that something works.’ —
Info EDITOR’S Digital Picks Thank you, Earth! ACTION Campaigning for environmental protection is what Earth Day is all about. Every year, on 22 April (and beyond), individuals around the world take part in Earth Day activities. For further informa- tion and inspiration, visit the Earth Day website. Get involved! — www.earthday.org EARTH DAY 2021 Zero hunger Don’t panic?! TALKS How can we end global hunger? What impact does climate change have on our food? And what is the connection between nutrition and learning? This collection of TED talks provides answers and inspiration. — www.ted.com/search?q=feed+the+future PODCAST Talk less, act more? The ‘How to Save a Planet’ podcast does both. Each week, Alex Blumberg and Ayana Elizabeth Johnson introduce experts and initiatives in the area of climate change and ask, ‘How bad is it?’ The declared aim of the podcast is to keep airing until we have saved the planet. — www.gimletmedia.com/shows/howtosaveaplanet Economic zeitgeist Just give me some peace BLOG Developing Economics tackles current phenomena in development economics, ranging from post-growth and ‘angrynomics’ to the economic impact of the pandemic on developing countries. Longer analysis pieces are intended to stimulate further debate within the academic community. — FORUM Germany’s peace and security policy needs rethinking, and the PeaceLab discus- sion forum invites participants to do just that. PeaceLab seeks to identify specific and practical suggestions for the future direction of Germany’s peace and security policy to enable it to tackle global challenges. — www.developingeconomics.org www.peacelab.blog 48 akzente 1/21
Info GOOD READS from around the world THE BITCH Damaris lives a pared-to-the- bone life somewhere between the Pacific and the jungle. Her greatest sadness is that she has no children. A puppy that she suckles at her own breast grows into an adult dog that prowls the streets – and becomes a mother. For Damaris, it is the ultimate betrayal. This is a primeval trag- edy, marvellously recounted with detailed precision. — Anita Djafari Pilar Quintana, Colombia. Translated from Spanish by Lisa Dillman. World Editions, 120 pages. LITTLE EYES An inventive small device called a ‘kentuki’ is controlled remotely by an unknown individual and tracks users’ every move. Witty and poignant by turn, Schweb- lin’s novel turns this account of voyeurism into a caricature of a globally controlled world that is careering out of control. Cleverly interwoven episodes set in different parts of the world make this a global novel. — Ruthard Stäblein Samanta Schweblin, Argentina. Translated from Spanish by Megan McDowell. Penguin Random House USA, 256 pages. LITPROM RECOMMENDS Litprom – the Society for the Promotion of African, Asian and Latin American Literature – provided these reviews for akzente. The titles were selected from Litprom’s list of the best new releases. www.litprom.de/en ) M O T T O B , . 8 4 P ( Y F I T O P S , ) E R T N E C , . 8 4 P ( N U , ) P O T , . 8 4 P ( S E G A M I Y T T E G / H T E I M O D I U G : S O T O H P AMNESTY Sri Lankan Dhananjaya – known as Danny – is an undocumented immigrant in Sydney, where he scrapes a living as a cleaner. One day, there is a murder – and only Danny knows who the murderer is. But should he reveal what he knows when telling the truth means betraying himself? A fast-paced novel about morality as an existential dilemma. — Claudia Kramatschek Aravind Adiga, India. Published in English. Picador, 352 pages. akzente 1/21 49 THE DIVINITIES What do Islamists and British right-wing extremists have to do with a murder on a London building site? And is there a connection with Iraq? DS Calil Drake investigates, but a white colleague is out to bully him. Forensic psychologist Rayhana Crane offers support. A page-turning thriller, as multi- layered as it is complex. — Andreas Fanizadeh Parker Bilal, Sudan. Published in English. The Indigo Press, 376 pages.
Education work and women’s empowerment in a tribal society From: Peer Gatter › To: all akzente readers Today, 9:21 am Salam from Islamabad! in schools. As manager of the FATA Development Programme in Pakistan, I’m responsible for a region that I last travelled through 25 years ago as a journalist – the tribal districts along the border with Afghanistan that used to be called the Federally Administered Tribal Areas (FATA). It was only in 2018 that this territory, now referred to as merged areas, was integrated into neighbouring Khyber Pakhtunkhwa province and incorpo- rated into regional development plans. We are supporting this process. As the province is not a residential location, for security reasons, I use armoured vehicles to travel back and forth between Islamabad and Peshawar, where our team meets representatives of health authorities and education agencies. One of our programme’s priority areas is improving the services provided at health centres and Dialogue forums are held between the state and civil society, where I meet tribal elders and employees of the gender desks that we have set up. Again, unfortunately for security reasons, I do this in Peshawar and not in the tribal areas. We focus specifically on promoting the participation of women, who traditionally have little say I’m very grateful to my Pakistani colleagues for their openness and warmth. Thanks to their great commitment and expertise, the cooperation between us is extremely effective. I specialised in Islamic studies and political science at university, and am fascinated by the culture of the Indus region. As well as relics from the Bud- dhist period and the Mughal era, there are also modern functional buildings from Pakistan’s founding years to admire. At weekends I go walking in the nearby Islamabad National Forest. The wooded Margalla Hills rise up just behind my house – from up there you have a tremendous view over the city, and there is a range of wildlife to marvel at, too. As an enthusiastic ornithologist I’m attracted by the Himalayan bulbul and the collared dove, but also the troupes of monkeys and herds of wild boar. There are even said to be leopards in Pashtun tribal society. here. Best regards, Peer Gatter akzente 1/21 GIZ is always looking for experts for its projects. Why not visit our ‘Jobs and careers’ page: www.giz.de/careers.
SUSTAINABILITY A look back at a project and its results AKZENTE Publisher: Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ) GmbH Registered offices Bonn and Eschborn, Germany Friedrich-Ebert-Allee 32 + 36, 53113 Bonn, Germany T +49 228 44 60-0, F +49 228 44 60-17 66 Dag-Hammarskjöld-Weg 1-5, 65760 Eschborn, Germany T +49 61 96 79-0, F +49 61 96 79-11 15 E: firstname.lastname@example.org I: akzente.giz.de/en Sabine Tonscheidt, Director of Corporate Communications (GIZ) Responsible: Ute Schaeffer, Head of Media and Public Relations and Press Spokesperson (GIZ) Content concept and editing: GIZ: Nicole Annette Mueller (editor) FAZIT Communication GmbH: Sabrina Pfost (project management), Friederike Bauer, Brigitte Spitz, Charlotte Schmitz, Oliver Hick-Schulz (artistic direction, photo editing) English translation: Lynne Brauer, Janet Fraser, Richard Holland, David Tonge, Leighton Twigger; Gillian Lester (GIZ) Proofreading: textschrittmacher Graphic design/lithography: FAZIT Communication GmbH URL links: Where links are included to external sites, responsibility for the content of these sites lies solely with the provider. GIZ explicitly dissociates itself from all such content. Maps: GIZ/Ira Olaleye The maps are for information purposes only and do not constitute recognition under international law of boundaries and territories. GIZ provides no assurance that these maps are up-to-date, correct or complete and accepts no responsibility for loss or damage arising directly or indirectly from their use. GIZ is responsible for the content of this publication. Articles by individual authors do not necessarily reflect the opinions of the publisher. Cover photo and page 16: Malte Jaeger/laif All images: GIZ unless otherwise stated Copy deadline: February 2021 Published: three times a year Current issue: March 2021 Printed by: Kern GmbH, Bexbach, Germany Printed on: BalancePure, certified to FSC standards ISSN: 0945-4497 You can subscribe to akzente free of charge as a printed magazine or as a pdf by sending your email or postal address to: email@example.com. You can unsubscribe using the same address. akzente has received several awards for its high-quality journalism and design. In 2018, it won the Best of Content Marketing Award in silver in the crossmedia and website categories. BOLIVIA Project: Renewable Energies Programme (PEERR-1) / Country: Bolivia / Commissioned by: German Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ) / Term: April 2016 to March 2019 THEN NOW For years, Bolivia’s economy was de- pendent on exports of energy, particu- larly natural gas. Now, though, its re- serves of natural gas are shrinking. And around 10 per cent of the population has no access to electricity. The Bolivian Government has therefore had to rethink its approach and is focusing increasing- ly on renewable energy and energy efﬁ- ciency. The maximum demand of the Bo- livian electricity market is 1.5 giga- watts, and the country has a maximum capacity of 3.2 gigawatts. The Govern- ment’s objective is to produce a surplus of at least 3.0 gigawatts for export. The GIZ project supported the Government by improving the technological, economic, statutory and institutional framework for expanding renewables. It also worked to integrate alternative renewables into the electricity system and to promote energy efﬁciency. The project was geared to governmental institutions and agencies, universities, and other education and training bodies. Through technical advisory services, knowl- edge exchange and research, the project has helped to create a sound basis for decision-making. For example, the Gov- ernment has invested in solar thermal power stations. These have produced as much as 50 per cent more than the 200-megawatt target. The project also ini- tiated studies into hybrid photovolta- ic-diesel systems. A further component was the organisation of training courses in the area of renewable energy and energy efﬁciency; energy auditors were one target group and carried out energy audits in se- lected buildings to apply their newly ac- quired expertise. To ensure this knowledge is passed on and mainstreamed, the proj- ect also recruited universities and techni- cal colleges willing to design new courses or adapt the curriculum for existing cours- es. Finally, the project ensured the suc- cessful integration of renewable energy sources into the national energy system. https://mia.giz.de/qlink/ID=246757000 . ) 0 5 P ( Z I G D N A S E G A M I Y T T E G : S O T O H P akzente 1/21 51
Food and nutrition security [fˈuːd ənd njuːˈtrɪʃən sɪkjˈʊəɹɪti] is a human right. It is achieved when all people, at all times, have physical, social and economic access to sufficient, safe and nutritious food to meet their dietary needs and food preferences for an active and healthy life. Source: European Parliament As a service provider with worldwide operations in the fields of inter- national cooperation for sustainable development and international education, GIZ works with its partners to develop effective solutions that offer people better prospects and sustainably improve their living conditions. GIZ is a public-benefit federal enterprise and supports the German Government and a host of public and private sector clients in a wide variety of areas, including economic development and employment promotion, energy and the environment, and peace and security.