Organic cocoa generates higher income for smallholders in Cameroon.
Photo: GIZ/Kaus Wohlmann


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Sufficient and healthy food for everyone that is produced by people who can earn a good living without looting the planet – we won’t achieve this goal without transforming agriculture, be it industrial or smallholder-based. Our author outlines Germany’s food policy approach in development co-operation.

The achievements of agriculture, especially over the last half-century, cannot be denied. Never before has it been capable of feeding so many people. Despite a rapidly growing world population, the share of undernourished people has never been as low as it is today. But these developments also have their flipsides. And these flipsides can no longer be ignored. Otherwise we will be heading straight for disaster.

Climate change and species loss, the loss of fertile soil, the destruction of forests and the over-exploitation of water resources are among the greatest threats to the survival of humankind. The current global agricultural and food system is making a considerable contribution to these threats. The way in which the world is feeding itself and agricultural goods are produced is anything but sustainable. Agriculture has a roughly 25 per cent share in climate change, half of which is due to the fact that agriculture is reaching out more and more into natural landscapes with its areas under cultivation, releasing enormous amounts of carbon that has so far been bound in the soil and in forests.

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