Partnerships in public and private sector agricultural research

Demand for food will double in the next 30 years. Partnerships between private and public research institutions are vital in order to achieve worldwide food security. Both the private and the public sector are called upon to find common ways of enabling technologies from the private sector in the industrial countries - which generally holds the patents for these technologies - to reach even small farmers in developing countries.
Dr Manfred Kern
Aventis CropScience
Technology Strategy & Resources
Frankfurt/Main, Germany

Archive, Edition 2001/02

New concepts for food security

Status of rural development within German development cooperation

More than 800 million people the world over suffer from chronic hunger. At the 1996 World Food Summit in Rome, the assembled delegations of 186 countries set themselves the ambitious target of halving hunger by the year 2015. However, the most recent reports from the FAO show all too clearly that even though the proportion of undernourished people is declining in relation to overall population figures, and despite great progress in certain regions, this target will be extremely difficult to achieve. Hunger and under-nutrition continue to persist to an alarming extent.
Professor Dr Michael Bohnet
German Federal Ministry for Economic
Cooperation and Development (BMZ)
Bonn, Germany

Tackling hunger with human rights

People cannot live without food; that goes without saying. So why demand a "right to food" when no one denies that we must have food to eat? Is it not enough to claim this as a basic need that must be met? Is it not enough to work on the moral assumption that those who have more than enough will share it with those who have nothing? Evidently not.
Martin Wolpold-Bosien
FIAN - Food First Information and
Action Network
International Secretariat
Heidelberg, Germany

Poverty alleviation and food security ? can Organic Farming help?

The past twenty years are characterized by important milestones towards an ecologically-oriented agricultural development in the southern hemisphere. Today, Sustainable Agriculture and Organic Farming, both are propagated as the most promising strategies to alleviate poverty by increasing agricultural production and, at the same time, using natural resources in a regenerative way. Nevertheless, our natural resources are deteriorating in an alarming speed, and the gap between population growth and food production is widening. Can Sustainable Agriculture and Organic Farming contribute to solve this problem?
Dr. Johannes Kotschi
Marburg, Germany

New cooperation in agricultural research: Does it stand a chance?

If the slogan of the 1996 World Food Summit ? »Food for All« ? is to become a reality, then cycles of hunger and conflict must be broken, especially in Africa. Whether one accepts the view that environmental scarcities, including food insecurity, cause conflict, or believes that conflict is primarily caused by political factors, access to food is always disrupted by conflict. We review here what is known about the linkages between hunger and conflict, and suggest what can be done to break these connections.

Ellen Messer
Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars
Washington DC, U.S.A.
Marc J. Cohen
International Food Policy Research Institute ? IFPRI
Washington DC, U.S.A.
Thomas Marchione
U.S. Agency for International Development
Washington DC, U.S.A.

The thorny path from crisis to sustainable development

Disasters and armed conflicts have increased worldwide in recent years; developing countries are hardest hit. Whereas in the 1970s and 1980s major droughts were the cause of famine disasters and food insecurity, efforts to achieve worldwide food security at the end of the 20th century tended to be derailed by ethnic-social tensions and armed conflicts. Hunger and malnutrition are direct consequences of these conflicts and crises.
Dr Hans Schoeneberger
Deutsche Gesellschaft für Technische
Zusammenarbeit (GTZ) GmbH
-German Technical Cooperation
Food Security
Eschborn, Germany

Emerging food and agriculture concerns in the developing world

The international conference on »Sustainable Food Security for All by 2020«, organised by the International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI) in close collaboration with the German government and several other organisations from civil society and the private and public sectors will take place in Bonn on September 4-6, 2001. This conference will address the emerging developments that influence the prospects for sustainable food security in the next two decades. The conference will also discuss the main fields for action and the distribution of responsibilities among civil society, the private sector, and the public sector. More information on this Conference is available on the Conference website:
Professor Per Pinstrup-Andersen
Rajul Pandya-Lorch
International Food Policy Research Institute
2033 K street, N.W.
Washington, D.C. 20006-1002

Safeguarding the future of food security in the Semi-Arid Tropics: the role of ICRISAT's genetic resource collection

The past and the future of the most important staples of the Semi-Arid Tropics (SAT) are preserved in the genebank of the International Crops Research Institute for the Semi-Arid Tropics (ICRISAT). ICRISAT, which holds in trust the largest germplasm collection (over 120 000 accessions) within the 16 centers of the Consultative Group on International Agricultural Research (CGIAR), serves as a world repository for the genetic resources of sorghum, pearl millet, minor millets, chickpea, pigeonpea, and groundnut. These crops are crucial to food security in the SAT which cover 48 developing countries and are home to one-sixth of the world's population.
Savitri Mohapatra
International Crops Research Institute for the Semi-Arid Tropics
Rodomiro Ortiz ICRISAT
Andhra Pradesh, India

New partnerships

New partnerships in international cooperation
A growing world population, poverty and hunger, degradation of natural resources, wars and armed conflicts: at the start of the new millennium the international community continues to face great challenges that place huge demands on it. National governments are no longer able to deal with these alone. If appropriate solutions are to be found to meet these challenges new partnerships must be sought - between government and society, between public and private institutions.
Dr H.-Jochen de Haas
Claudia Kraemer
German Federal Ministry for Economic
Cooperation and Development (BMZ)
Bonn, Germany

Examples from Mali and Kosovo

New partnerships in the microfinance sector
With the objective of promoting sustainable financial sector development in developing countries and countries in transition, German development cooperation has paved new ways for improving business ties between local financial institutions and private commercial banks.
Ditlinde von Davidson
Dr Claudia Loy
Kreditanstalt für Wiederaufbau
(KfW - German Financial Cooperation)
Frankfurt, Germany

Cooperation between the GTZ and Mars on a project in Côte d'Ivoire

The chocolate manufacturer Mars and Deutsche Gesellschaft für Technische Zusammenarbeit (GTZ -German Technical Cooperation) are cooperating in a public-private partnership in the Republic of Côte d'Ivoire with the objective of promoting the sustainable and resource-conserving cultivation of high-quality cocoa. Cooperation in this project is concentrated on training small farmers in sustainable cocoa cultivation and on improving marketing services.
Wolfgang Koehler
freelance journalist
Düsseldorf, Germany

The Farmers Development Trust in Zimbabwe

In Africa state controlled rural development policies have failed. The withdrawal of government service agencies led to a vacuum that cannot be filled by the private sector, leaving many farmers in Africa cut off from any service structures. New partnerships have to be created involving the private sector, civil society and the governments. The Farmers Development Trust (FDT) may serve as a model.
Dr Albert Engel
Deutsche Gesellschaft für Technische
Zusammenarbeit (GTZ) GmbH
- German Technical Cooperation
Rural Development Division
Eschborn, Germany
Lovegot Tendengu
Executive Director
Farmers Development Trust - FDT
Harare, Zimbabwe

Regional partnership agreement between the EU and SADC - A model?

The trade agreement between the European Union (EU) and the countries of the Southern African Development Community (SADC) was signed in October 1999 following negotiations that lasted for several years. This agreement owes its existence primarily to the economic interests of both parties, focusing particularly on relations between the EU and South Africa. Can this serve as a model for a trade partnership between two regional groupings?
Eberhard Hauser
Deutsche Gesellschaft für Technische
Zusammenarbeit (GTZ) GmbH
- German Technical Cooperation
Rural Development Division
Eschborn, Germany

Towards effective participation in sector reform

Since 1997, a series of regional events have helped to establish a regular platform of exchange between implementers of sector reform programmes from a growing number of African countries. In the course of these events a number of concerns keep cropping up, relating among others to the facts that at every stage and at every level of the process there are winners and losers. Failure to take this into account prevents effective partnership in programme implementation and eventually leads to dead-ends and grinding halts.
Désirée Dietvorst
60322 Frankfurt

Urban-rural linkages

Key issues for an integrated policy on integrated development
The second half of the twentieth century has seen the continuous transformation of the world's population into urban dwellers. However, rural areas still accommodate the majority of the population of many developing countries, and will continue to do so well into this century. Africa and Asia are at present predominantly rural, and will remain so beyond the year 2010, while some countries in Latin America and Oceania have already exceeded the 70 percent urbanization level.
Dr Mathias Hundsalz
Senior Interregional Advisor
United Nations Centre for Human
Settlements (UNCHS/Habitat)
Nairobi, Kenya

Town: supplies everyday commodities - Countryside: provides food?

In contrast to the process of urbanisation in advanced countries, which was closely bound up with industrialisation in the nineteenth century, the cities in developing countries are growing primarily because of the lacking income opportunities in rural areas. People's social and cultural roots, however, remain firmly attached to the rural areas. At the same time, rural life styles and methods of construction are carried over into the cities. »Urban agriculture« is making a significant contribution to food consumption in the cities.
Dr Manfred Konukiewitz
German Federal Ministry for Economic
Cooperation and Development (BMZ)
Bonn, Germany

How can decentralisation improve urban-rural relations?

The impact of political decentralisation on urban-rural relations in developing countries has not received much attention so far. In the context of decentralisation processes, focus is frequently placed on »capacity-building« in local and district government. These are often located in the urban centres, and consequently priority attention and support ends up going to the towns, perhaps to the detriment of rural areas. Against this background the following question arises: how can decentralisation reach the rural population too, and what consequences does this have in terms of shaping urban-rural relations?
Dr Matthias Bartels
Deutsche Gesellschaft für Technische
Zusammenarbeit (GTZ) GmbH
- German Technical Cooperation
Rural Development Unit
Eschborn, Germany
Babette Wehrmann
TU München
Master's Program Land Management
and Land Tenure
München, Germany

Strategies for stemming the rural exodus in Latin America

It is first and foremost young people that migrate to cities. However, they do not leave their villages because they prefer urban lifestyle but because they often face considerable difficulties in integrating into the productive and social life in rural communities, and because employment opportunities in rural areas do not correspond to their level of education. What might be appropriate strategies to eliminate these constraints and thereby stem the population drift towards urban centres?
Martine Dirven
Environment and Human Settlements
United Nations Economic Commission for Latin America and the Caribbean (ECLAC)
Santiago, Chile