Building Public and Political Will for Agriculture ODA in Germany (POWA)
Fighting hunger with POWA
It's time to increase the support of smallholder agriculture in developing countries
The majority of starving people live in rural areas and live from agriculture. In order to overcome hunger, malnourishment and poverty, a sustainable, locally-suited rural agriculture as well as livestock breeding and fishing in developing countries must be promoted. Despite numerous political promises from governments of industrial nations, not enough is being done. In collaboration with its partners Welthungerhilfe is campaigning for a strong commitment to rural areas and has established the POWA project.
POWA – Advocacy and Lobbying Work
POWA stands for “Building Public and Political Will for Agriculture ODA in Germany”. ODA (Official Development Assistance) denotes the provision of funds from the public sector for development cooperation.
The aim of POWA is to lobby the G7 nations (USA, Japan, Germany, England, France, Italy and Canada) to eradicate hunger with all strength and means. The interests of small farmers in developing countries and agriculture for food security must play a decisive role at the G7 summit in Elmau, Germany, on 7 and 8 June 2015.
POWA conference: the outcome
How should agriculture, fishing and animal husbandry be politically and financially supported? The POWA advisory group discussed their recommendations to the G7 at the POWA conference in Berlin. The results can be found in the following document:
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Information about POWA:
Reports and blogs about POWA
2015 - a year of justice?
Ending hunger, reducing the consequences of climate change and financing sustainable development - how is that achievable?
G7 MUST NOW FOLLOW WORDS WITH ACTION
Statements on the fight against hunger fall short if they are not backed up with sufficient financial resources
(09/06/2015) In the next 15 years the G7 want to free 500 million people from hunger and malnutrition, but ‘with partners’. That is the outcome of the Elmau communiqué. “There is now a concrete goal in the room, one that the G7 have committed to long-term. However, the statement must then be followed by actions”, says Ulrich Post, Head of Policy and External Relations at Welthungerhilfe. “This includes strengthening the rights of smallfarmers, creating income opportunities in rural regions and giving more support to ecological farming methods.”
G7 to scale up commitment in the global fight against hunger
(04/02/2015, Berlin) On February 4, the ‘Berlin Memorandum’ was introduced and discussed at an international conference in Berlin. It forms the basis for demands to the German government from a broad alliance of civil society, private sector and scientific parties, within the context of the G7 presidency and the G7 summit meeting on 7th/8th June at Schloss Elmau. The ‘Berlin Memorandum’ is the result of a broad consultation process, including in the partner countries of Burkina Faso, India and Ethiopia. It comprises key action points and demands, which are fundamental for the global fight against hunger. There are still more than 800 million people suffering from hunger. Most of them live in the countryside and still obtain their food from small farmers.
Berlin Memorandum: Read the recommendations here
The position of small farmers must be strengthened!
In order to achieve results in the fight against hunger, the position of small farmers must, therefore, be strengthened politically and financially. A new pledging must be accompanied by a reorientation in the food policy of the G7 along the following guidelines:
- Competition for arable land and other natural resources is ever more fierce. Smallholders (this includes small-scale and marginal farmers, pastoralists, fisher folk, forest dwellers, gatherers, hunters, indigenous peoples and the rural landless), especially the women amongst them, are the least powerful bidders and thus easily outcompeted by commercial interests and the highly focused processes of industrial agriculture.
- To disregard those (smallholders) who still provide more than 70% of food in developing countries is clearly both, unacceptable and unwise.
In order to end hunger and malnutrition, G7 governments should scale up their engagement in the following areas:
- Respect, protect and implement smallholders rights and strengthen their development potential; for instance the right to land tenure, water, free exchange of seeds etc.
- Promote viable smallholder livelihoods and rural job opportunities: 80% of the extremely poor and hungry still live in rural areas. Value chains have to be established and expanded especially in these areas, as they are structurally neglected.
- Environmental pillar: The livelihoods of smallholders (“GDP of the poor”) depend largely on intact ecosystems and their services. Soil degradation and biodiversity loss have a particularly harsh impact on them. Traditional knowledge and the participation of local communities have to be key elements of natural resource management.
There is sufficient evidence that, if we don’t act now, this leads to exorbitant costs in the future (poverty, hunger, environmental degradation, social unrest, economic collapses, resource conflicts etc). A rights-based approach and incentives for sustainable development are a crucial barrier against these scourges.
Interactive tool: the ODA tracker
How much have the G7 nations spent on development assistance?
How much do the G7 countries spend on development assistance? Is it sufficient? Find out with the ODA Tracker, the new interactive tool for more transparency in the ODA expenditure of the G7 nations.
ODA stands for ‘Official Development Assistance’ and indicates the development cooperation financed through taxes. The ODA Tracker shows how much money the individual G7 nations have made available in the areas of rural development and food security.
The ODA Tracker shows you the following information:
- Who has spent how much? The G7 in direct country comparison.
- Which expenditure, according to the FAO (Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations), is necessary, in order to end hunger by 2025? And how much money has actually been made available to date? This discrepancy will be displayed by use of the G7 Total button in the ‘Country Comparison’ view.
- Agriculture, environmental protection, rural development or other categories? The country information details show the areas upon which the individual G7 countries place particular value.
- Where does the German ODA expenditure go? This is shown in the regional distribution area.
WHAT CAN BE DONE ABOUT HUNGER?
Background to the POWA project
According to estimates by the FAO (Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations), the number of people suffering from hunger and malnutrition is still very high, despite the progress of recent years. The number of undernourished people is estimated at 795 million – and more suffer from malnutrition.
Two billion people are malnourished
The so-called hidden hunger is triggered by a lack of micronutrients, such as vitamins and minerals. Globally, almost one in three people is malnourished and, as a result, severely restricted in terms of mental and physical development.
What can be done about hunger? Strengthen rural areas in developing countries!
Hunger and poverty have many causes, which are often connected. Therefore, there can be no simple solution for sustainable food security. However, a clear problem does exist, in that small farmers lack the right conditions to increase their crop and minimise loss. The development of infrastructure and markets in rural areas is also insufficient.
Too little ODA for the small-farm agricultural sector
The investments of the international community in agriculture are neither sufficient nor strongly enough aligned with food security and poverty reduction. The necessary strengthening of agriculture for food security has received less and less attention, particularly at recent G8 summits.
The aim of POWA: To place the promotion of agriculture and small farmers higher on the political agenda
The goal of POWA is to put these topics high on the political agenda. We want to generate attention and increase the political will to support agriculture, stock breeding and fishing with better resources. As such, the interests of small farmers and other small producers should achieve high importance at this year's G7 summit.
Through the German G7 presidency, the national government is presented with a great opportunity, alongside other political processes such as the SDG (Sustainable Development Goals) and climate negotiations in Paris, to bring to the table and shape important core issues for food security. POWA is committed to ensuring that this will also be a focus.
The actions of the POWA project
The POWA project is carrying out the following steps to reach its goals:
- A survey examines the actual ODA expenditure of the German government over the last seven years in relation to food security, in particular with regard to agriculture, stock breeding and fishing.
- In addition, examples of good practice from Welthungerhilfe partner countries Ethiopia, Burkina Faso and India have been presented. These illustrate which cultivation methods and marketing structures etc. have already been successfully deployed in the South and point the way for the future.
- For the G7 summit 2015, the POWA advisory group have developed concrete political demands for the German government.
- These were summed up in the "Berlin Memorandum" within the framework of an international conference in February 2015 and published as a final conference outcome document.
News relating to the G7's development policy and agricultural topics.
Who is involved?
The key players in POWA are recognised experts in civil society, science and private enterprise from Burkina Faso, Ethiopia, Germany and India. As a consultative group they have developed policy recommendations for the G7 Summit 2015. Introducing the consultative group...
Dr. Korodjouma Ouattara
Dr. Korodjouma Ouattara has been a researcher at the Institute of Environment and agricultural Research (INERA) in Burkina Faso since 1990 and has contributed to numerous research projects and case studies on agricultural topics. He holds a Master’s in agricultural sciences and a Ph.D in soil science. As national expert for the University Notre Dame (INDE) he works on the project “Impact evaluation of Soil Fertility Management Technologies to improve smallholder farmers' livelihood in Burkina Faso”. He is the Head of the Agricultural, Environmental Research and Training Center of Kamboinsé and FAO expert for the study “Water productivity in rainfed and irrigated agriculture in Burkina Faso”. Besides, he works as a lecturer at the University of Ouagadougou and the Polytechnic University of Bobo-Dioulasso.
German Institute for Human Rights
Michael Windfuhr is deputy director of the German Institute for Human Rights (Deutsches Institut für Menschenrechte e.V.). The political scientist has co-built and co-led the international human rights organisation FIAN (Food First Information and Action Network) for the last 20 years. From 2006 Michael Windfuhr led the human rights review of the outreach work of the EKD (German Protestant Church). Among his publications is the study "Climate change, food security and the right to food" for Brot für die Welt. In subject terms, he is predominantly engaged with the human right to food and land titles. He was a significant contributor in the drafting of the “Voluntary Guidelines on the Responsible Governance of Land Tenure, Fisheries and Forests“.
Christine von Weizsäcker
WECF Germany, Ecoropa
Christine von Weizsäcker is president of the organisations "Women in Europe for a Common Future" and "Ecoropa". Since the mid-1970s the biologist, researcher and activist has worked in technology assessment for civil society. She has been involved since 1994 in the negotiations for the Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD) and its Cartagena Protocol on Biosafety. Her numerous publications have contributed to scientific and public debates. In addition, she is a supporter of the Gen-ethische Stiftung. In 2006 she received Kant Weltbürger Prize.
Dr. Ursula Hudson-Wiedenmann
Slow Food Deutschland e.V.
Dr. Ursula Hudson-Wiedemann is a cultural scientist, author and president of Slow Food Deutschland e.V. The non-profit organisation originally founded in Italy has set itself the task of looking after eating culture and is committed to a fair and sustainable food system. Counted among its requirements are responsible agriculture and fishing, humane animal husbandry, preservation of traditional food production techniques and the conservation of regional specialities. Slow Food advocates the right to good, clean and fair food for all people everywhere in the world. Dr Hudson is also a member of the German Academy for Culinary Studies (Deutsche Akademie für Kulinaristik e.V.) and has taught at the universities of Oxford and Cambridge.
Institute of Advanced Sustainability Studies (IASS)
Alexander Müller has been a Senior Research Fellow at the Institute for Advanced Sustainability Studies in Potsdam (IASS) since July 2013. His work supports the Global Soil Forum – a platform for the exchange of knowledge on the subjects of soil research and sustainable soil management. From 2008 to 2011 he was chair of the United Nations System Standing Committee on Nutrition (SCN). Prior to that, between 2006 and 2013, he was the Assistant-Director General of the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO) with responsibility for the Department for Natural Resources and Environment. From 2001 to 2005 he was State Secretary at the Ministry for Consumer Protection, Food and Agriculture in Berlin.
Yoseph Negassa Feysa
Action for Development
Yoseph Negassa Feysa is executive director of the Ethiopian partner organisation Action for Development. Feysa has a masters in development studies and solid experience in the overall development programme sector. Action for Development focuses on: promotion of livelihoods, participatory management of natural resources and competency development. The programmes are aimed primarily at pastoral tribes and other rural communities.
Yolande Alexise Zoundi
Yolande Alexise Zoundi is a controller and tax advisor at SODEPAL, a food processing company that turns plants such as millet and corn into baby food and works with local producers in doing so.
Dr. Rajeswari Raina
National Institute of Science, Technology and Development Studies (NISTADS)
Dr. Rajeswari Raina is an academic and has specialised in agricultural and rural innovation. She researches at the Indian National Institute of Science, Technology and Development Studies (NISTADS) and works with diverse cooperation partners on rural innovation systems, as well as on policy research and consultancy. She is the author of various publications and carries out surveys for international organisations and non-profit organisations. For example, she is co-author of the Global Agriculture report (IAASTD). Through different inter-disciplinary workshops and national and international reports she combines research in social and natural sciences.
Dr. Claude Alvares
Dr. Claude Alvares is a renowned environmentalist in Goa and director of the environmental intitiative, Goa Foundation. In 1976 he received a doctorate from the Technische Hogeschool in Eindhoven and has dedicated himself since then to the conservation of Goa’s rich natural resources. He is involved with organic agriculture in India and is director of the Central Secretariat of the Organic Farming Association of India (OFAI). In addition, he has written and edited numerous articles and publications on environmental, scientific and cultural subjects.
Karsog Valley Farmers Group and Organic Farming Association of India
Ashish Gupta is a member of the board of the Karsog Valley Farmers Group (KVFG) and a supporter of organic agriculture. He has an organic shop in north Delhi and is engaged with farmers groups in Himachal Pradesh, working for a sustainable model, bringing the farmer into contact with the end-user. He educates farmers in a variety of sustainable agricultural techniques. Ashish Gupta is a member of the national steering group of the Organic Farming Association of India and secretary of the PGS Organic Council.
Action for Social Advancement
Ashis Mondal is the founding director of Action for Social Advancement (ASA), a non-profit development organisation in India. As a member of the National Advisory Council he advised the Indian prime minister. The development studies graduate has specialised in the fields of resources and livelihoods and is the author of a number of publications.
Dr. Getnet Assefa Tadeg
Ethiopian Institute of Agricultural Research (EIAR)
As Livestock Research Director at the Ethiopian Institute of Agricultural Research (EIAR) Getnet Assefa Tadeg coordinates the programme for research into milk products, cattle, poultry, fish farming, animal feed, grassland, sericulture and bio-technology. Prior to this, he was a senior researcher at EIAR for more than 15 years and worked predominantly in the fields of animal food and feed management. He has studied in Ethiopia, Sweden and Germany and received his doctorate, as well as taught at various universities in Ethiopia.
Elias Geneti Simma
Addis Ababa Chamber of Commerce, Agro Prom
Elias Geneti Simma is president of the Addis Ababa chamber of commerce as well as director of Agro Prom International PLC, an exporter of legumes, oilseed and spices. He is a member of various management boards, at the import-export company Gutu Oromia Business S.Co. as well as at TBO Printing and Publishing Company. In addition, he sits on the advisory committee of the non-profit organisation Synergos. Synergos campaigns for a reduction in poverty and injustice, in which collaboration between business, goverment, civil society and communities is more strongly promoted and supported.
Jean Augustin Somda
Jean Augustin SOMDA is a trained legal expert on the environment. He holds a Master’s in Public Administration, minor in International and Comparative Law of the Environment and is currently doing a doctorate. He belongs to the international network "Africa International on Environment and Development in the 21st Century" AIDE21, he also is a founding member of the Action Program of the Environmental Law experts in Burkina Faso (CAJE-BF). He gives courses in Public International Law, expertise for public institutions and environmental law in universities and colleges in Burkina. He is currently in charge as a legal expert for the Environment with the implementation of programs at Bureau d’Etude et de Recherche pour le Développement (BERD), a consultancy company.
Dr. Franz-Georg von Busse
Dr Franz-Georg von Busse holds a doctorate in law und can look back on many years of experience in agricultural engineering. For more than twenty years he was director of Lemken, a producer of agricultural instruments for soil cultivation, sowing and plant protection. Since September 2013 he has been working as a consultant for Pöttinger Landtechnik and represents the company on various boards. For his work in German agricultural engineering he was awarded the Max Eyth silver memorial coin from the German Agricultural Society (Deutsche Landwirtschafts-Gesellschaft). He has also held honorary positions, for example, as spokesperson for the board of the German Export Association for Food and Agri Products (GEFA).
Dr. Klaus-Dieter Schumacher
Dr Klaus-Dieter Schumacher is General Manager Agricultural Markets and Strategy at BayWa AG. The focus of his role lies on market analysis and assessment as well as the development and coordination of BayWa AG's Agrar Coordination Center (ACC). The ACC aims at creating a framework for the coordination of global trade strategies between the BayWa AG's business units, Cefetra B.V. and Bohnhorst Agrarhandel GmbH. Previously, Schumacher managed the Economics, Public Affairs und Corporate Communications division at Nordzucker AG in Braunschweig.
Rosemonde Touré is founder and managing director of the food processing company Rose Eclat. Into her area of responsibility fall the monitoring of raw material, the processing and marketing. She graduated in international law from the University of Montpellier II in France. She is a member of a number of organisations, for example, the association of the food processing industry in Burkina Faso.
Obi Julienne Ouattara
Confédération Paysanne du Faso
Obi Julienne Ouattara is communications manager at CPF (Conféderation Paysanne du Faso), the national association of farmers, which primarily represents the interests of family businesses. She has a masters in development management, as well as a degree in information management. In the POWA advisory group from Burkina Faso she represents civil society.
Ending Hunger by 2030 – How?
An international panel evaluated the results of this year’s G7 summit
(05/11/2015) As 2015 draws to a close, it brings with it the end of Germany’s presidency of the G7. An international panel of experts from governmental and non-governmental organisations met in Berlin to evaluate the results of this year’s G7 summit in Elmau, Germany and the UN summit in New York and to discuss with those in attendance the goal of ending global hunger by 2030.
Hans Jessen, political journalist and chairperson for the evening, opened the discussion by asking the panelists for their assessment of the results from the G7 conference and the newly agreed Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). The panel agreed that the goals could be praised for their ambition but they had reservations about the lack of a strategy for implementation. However, Carin Smaller, advisor on agriculture and investment at the International Institute for Sustainable Development, noted the historic importance that for the first time the goal is to end global hunger by 2030 and not simply reduce it. In her opinion, this goal can be achieved by 2030 as there is already enough food available to feed everyone on the planet; it is access and stability that will play a decisive role. The Global Hunger Index 2015 shows hunger has reduced by 27 percent over the past 15 years, which a positive signal for the way ahead, but efforts would need to be greatly increased to reach zero hunger by 2030.
Alexander Müller, research fellow at the Institute for Advanced Sustainability Studies, made clear that documents alone do not help. To achieve the ambitious aims that have been set out will require the work of international donors, financial backing from private enterprise and supportive national governments. An active and free civil society is also important to hold governments to account and ensure policies are in the interest of the greater population, as highlighted by Ewnetu Mekonnen, Program Officer with Welthungerhilfe in Ethiopia. Brazil and Ghana were given as examples of countries that have already successfully implemented ambitious hunger reduction policies.
Through the discussion with the panelists it became clear that tackling hunger involves many factors. The importance of gender equality and women’s empowerment in achieving zero hunger in Africa was raised as well as education, protecting land rights, tackling climate change, developing adaptation strategies and reducing corruption. Conflict and political instability within countries was also named as a key driver of hunger.
Securing land rights and protecting small-scale farmers from land-grabbing by international corporations was repeatedly identified as a fundamental factor for strengthening local food production networks and food security. Another key theme of the discussion was reforming global trade regimes to ensuring small-scale farmers can benefit from them and have sufficient access to markets and processing facilities to better support their livelihoods.
The evening ended by taking a look forward at the next steps needed to ensure the goals were reached. Dr. Heike Henn from the Federal Ministry of Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ) stressed that there is no master plan for ending hunger and it can only be achieved by developing locally adapted national strategies. Regarding the G7, the accountability process will be vital to ensure that the appropriate action follows this summer’s conference.
Japan will release the next comprehensive accountability report on the G7 commitments next year. The monitoring process for the SDGs should also start from 2016 onwards to ensure all countries are on track and that there is sufficient commitment from all stakeholders. Further steps mentioned included: setting an example by working on the SDGs in Germany, developing partnerships, making sure safety nets such as cash transfers or food stamps are in place if needed and concentrating on the most vulnerable regions, such as those affected by war. The panel agreed it is only then that all countries can reach the ambitious, yet attainable goal of ending hunger by 2030.Report on Rural21
Small farmers, big impact
Impressions from the POWA conference in Berlin
(18/02/2015) “Setting the Course for a World without Hunger – North-South Dialogue on the Role of the G7”: Under this title, Welthungerhilfe organised the international POWA conference in Berlin on 4th February. The aim: to discuss the responsibilities of the G7 nations and to introduce the recommendations for action from the Berlin Memorandum.
“When I recently asked children in an Indian village what they wanted to be when they grew up, many said ‘doctor’, ‘police officer’ or ‘teacher’. Not one child said ‘farmer’. Despite the fact that they are growing up in a village that lives from agriculture. We need to make the vocation and the life of farmers more attractive. The pleasure in the work and, with it, its reputation in society has been lost.” This story from Ashish Gupta shows how the cultural aspect has often been forgotten in the debates on agriculture and the fight against hunger. Ashish summarised it succinctly with the words: "We need to put the culture back into agriculture."
Ashish is a board member of the Karsog Valley Farmers Group in India, vice president of IFOAM Asia and has an organic shop in Delhi. As a member of the international POWA advisory group, he participated in developing the Berlin Memorandum over the last few months. The two-page document contains demands to the G7 states. What must be done in order to end global hunger by 2030?
Put the interests of smallholders on the G7 agenda
The so-called ‘smallholders’ play a very particular role – that includes small farmers, pastoralists, fishermen, hunters and gatherers, indigenous peoples and the landless. They produce 70 per cent of the food in developing countries. Despite this enormous contribution, they do not receive sufficient support from their governments or from industrial nations. The POWA conference in Berlin wanted to draw attention to this – and lay the foundations for changing it.
The conference was high-ranking and attended by a diverse range of participants: Alongside Federal Minister for Economic Cooperation and Development Gerd Müller, the chair of the UN Committee on World Food Security, Gerda Verburg, the managing director of the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, Joe Cerrell, and the leader of the G7 sherpa staff in the Federal Chancellery, Dr. Gesa Miehe-Nordmeyer, a great number of representatives from Welthungerhilfe partner countries also took part. Various views and input from different countries were presented. As Gerd Müller said in his opening speech: "We don’t want to talk about one another, but with one another."
G7 presidency: Germany has a special role this year
In the morning, Germany’s special role this year was discussed, holding the G7 presidency in 2015. “Mrs Merkel has the opportunity to write history this year – or at least to provide an important impetus,” said Wolfgang Jamann, Secretary General of Welthungerhilfe. To place the topic of small farmer agriculture high on the G7 agenda would be a good start. Federal Minister Gerd Müller also sees it this way. “Creating a world without hunger by 2030 is possible. And we, the G7, should commit to this,” he said.
In the afternoon, two members of the POWA advisory group introduced the Berlin Memorandum. This image summarises the core messages.
In the three ‘World Cafés’ things got interactive. Here, the subject areas of the memorandum were discussed in depth and improvements to the paper developed together with participants – as it was less about being set in stone and more about being a basis for discussion for the conference.
The audience had the opportunity to participate – whether politician, student, farmer or journalist, requests to speak and enquiries were welcomed. Is there anything missing from the Berlin Memorandum? What can be improved, expanded upon or refined? In the group with Michael Windfuhr, deputy director of the German Institute for Human Rights, the matter under discussion was rights for small farmers. Ashish Gupta led the World Café about smallholder livelihoods. Dr. Ursula Hudson, president of Slow Food Germany, asked her group for input on the subjects of environment and sustainable development. The results will flow into a revised version of the memorandum.
Watch: What the G7 need to do to end hunger
Several members of the POWA advisory group gave their views on the responsibilities of the G7 in short video statements. Watch their messages here:
Presentation of studies in the German Bundestag
Welthungerhilfe presented study on transparency of G7 ODA spendings as well as best practices and launched the new online tool "ODA tracker"
(25/11/2014) On November 25th, discussions at the German Bundestag's Paul-Löbe-Haus focused on the fight against global hunger. With regard to the stagnant developing budget and Germany's upcoming G7 presidency, it was discussed whether Germany lives up to its development responsibilities.
In front of about 30 participants from the Bundestag, ministries and civil society, Welthungerhilfe presented its new study titled "Enhancing Transparency in G7 ODA spending on Food Security and Agriculture". It provides information about the G7's and Germany's financial commitment to global food security, with a particular focus on agriculture. The new online tool for more transparency in ODA expenditure by the G7, the ODA Tracker, was also launched.
Best practice from Ethiopia
At least as important as increasing public investment is an effective use of the funds. Experts from Burkina Faso, Ethiopia, Germany and India have gathered best practices, demonstrating which measures are particularly efficient in terms of food security.
Two speakers from Ethiopia joined via video. Kassa Getu Dereje, from Kgd & Family General Trading, reported about improved seeds for better potato crops, for example. Dr Ursula Hudson, president of Slow Food Germany, presented the "Slow Food Presidia" project.
The event was organised by Welthungerhilfe in cooperation with Frank Heinrich, member of the German Bundestag. Many thanks to his and his team for the help!
2nd regional conference in Ethiopia
Discussion: agriculture for food security
(10-14 Nov 2014) In mid-November 2014, the 2nd POWA regional conference took place in Addis Ababa in Ethiopia. Besides further discussions and exchanges of knowledge, the aim was to condense all of the information and input gathered so far into a short policy paper – a draft of the Berlin Memorandum. In February 2015, these political demands directed at the German federal government will be discussed with a wide expert audience at an international conference in Berlin.
Lives of smallholder farmers – local insights
The participants of the conference gained a deeper understanding of the current state of small-scale agriculture in Ethiopia. This was partly achieved through expert talks, with field visits also playing an important role. On the first two days, they gained insights into the livelihoods of smallholder farmers, visited cereal banks and a community forest. They had the opportunity to talk to farmers associations and unions, the staff of livestock research centres and self-help groups for women.
Talks and discussions on agriculture, pastoralism and natural resources
On the remaining three days the conference itself took place, with a total of 26 participants from Burkina Faso, Bolivia, India, Germany and Ethiopia in attendance. The POWA team was joined by important expert panelists who shared their knowledge.
Speakers from various organisations, including Climate Change Forum Ethiopia, Ethiopia Agricultural Research Institute and Pastoralist Forum Ethiopia, presented their expert knowledge on smallholder farming in Ethiopia. The knowledge gained from this was incorporated in the Berlin Memorandum.
Quo Vadis G8?
Panel discussion: Agriculture for food security
(24.06.2014) As one summit ends, another summit begins. So, two weeks after this year’s G7 summit in Brussels, Welthungerhilfe presented the opportunity to look ahead: to Germany’s presidency of the G7/8. How can Germany use this crucial year to pave the way for global food security? Which are the promising approaches from the South? Numerous guests from the fields of politics, economics, science and civil society came together in Berlin to discuss this.
International experts on the subject of food security
In the panel discussion four international speakers provided some very different perspectives: As a ministry official from the G8/G20 Sherpa staff Dr. Ralf Retter spoke about Germany’s past and future engagement in the area of agriculture and food security. Dr. Alexander Müller from the Institute for Advanced Sustainability Studies (IASS) in Potsdam brought his expertise as co-author of the FAO Voluntary Guidelines on the Responsible Governance of Tenure and also on the Human Right to Food,
while the Indian agricultural and economic scientist Dr. Rajeswari Raina from the National Institute of Science Technology and Development Studies (NISTAD) enriched the discussion with ideas and best practice examples for food security. Finally, the Ethopian agronomist Elias Geneti Simma, in his capacity as president of the Addis Ababa Chamber of Commerce, gave a voice to the private sector perspective.
The right to food is a human right
Currently, the subjects of hunger and food security have been pushed into the shadows of public perception by the numerous political crises across the world, explained Bärbel Dieckmann, the president of Welthungerhilfe, in her speech. This, however, is erroneous, as the correlation between hunger and crises must motivate us to place these subjects in the spotlight again: "The right to food is a human right and the basis for all other rights." The panel discussion was followed by an animated audience discussion that included topics such as the roles of technology and education.
1st regional conference in India
The international consultative group exchanged, discussed and planned
From 5th to 9th May 2014, the first POWA regional conference took place in New Delhi. The POWA expert group came together for workshops and discussion panels in order to move the project forward. The first meeting had the goals of strategy planning, the formulation of key messages for advocacy work, as well as the exchange of ideas and experiences within the consultative group and with other project participants.
To start with, Joachim Schwarz, Welthungerhilfe regional director for South Asia, introduced the work of Welthungerhilfe in the region. Niklas Schäfer, POWA project coordinator for Welthungerhilfe, explained the political situation in Germany, particularly with regard to the G8 summit in 2015.
On the programme were lectures and workshops from members of the consultative group, for example, on the engagement of the G8 in the field of agriculture and food security, or presentations about the status quo in agriculture in the participating countries. You can download a detailed report on the first conference here.
Conference participants visited different projects involved with sustainable agriculture and communal water management in Bundelkhand, Madhya Pradesh.
Second regional conference in Ethiopia
The second regional conference will take place in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia from 10th to 14th November 2014. At this meeting a first recommendation for the POWA demands on the German G7/G8 presidency will be discussed (“Berlin Consensus“).