Green week 2019: fair products for better prospects

How does GIZ support the work of small holder farmers in Africa? Visitors of GIZ’s trade fair stand can learn more about this.

Moringa, mangoes and rice are three products that the Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ) GmbH is using to showcase its work during International Green Week from 18 to 27 January. GIZ works to promote fair production of these foods and is also committed to improving food security and nutrition.

GIZ is giving away some of the products and organising an interactive quiz and an exhibition on its work at a stand shared with KfW in Hall 5.2, in the section allocated to the German Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ). ‘A world without hunger is possible – with fair procurement and production’ is the hall’s slogan, and there is a special focus on Africa. ‘All too often, our prosperity still comes at the expense of people living in developing countries,’ says Dr Gerd Müller, German Federal Minister for Economic Cooperation and Development. ‘Coffee, cocoa, the cotton in our shirts or metals in our electronic devices – many everyday products are made in intolerable conditions or using exploitative child labour. It’s also a wake-up call for consumers: buy carefully. When you take your first bite of chocolate, you should be aware whether children have had to graft in West African cocoa plantations to make it.’

Visitors to the GIZ stand can gain an insight into the work being carried out by the Green Innovation Centres. With them, GIZ is helping improve the food situation for local people in 15 countries on behalf of BMZ. By using drought-resistant seed, machinery, safe storage for crops and modern marketing techniques, smallholders are producing higher yields. In this way, they make more profit – and have better prospects. At the centres, government bodies, civil society, the academic and scientific community, and the private sector join forces to make innovations available in rural regions. They focus on staples such as rice and maize, but also on exports such as cocoa and mangoes.

‘The work of the Green Innovation Centres shows that more can be achieved if several actors cooperate and innovative methods are adapted to the local conditions,’ says Tanja Gönner, Chair of GIZ’s Management Board. ‘Together with our partners and commissioning parties, we at GIZ have already achieved a great deal with this project and many others: working together, we succeeded in alleviating hunger and malnutrition for around 11.8 million people in Africa between 2015 and 2017 alone. In addition, some 14.5 million people in rural areas now have higher income thanks to our support.’

This year, International Green Week is taking place for the 84th time. From 18 to 27 January, over 1,700 German and international exhibitors will be showcasing more than 100,000 products from the food, agricultural and horticultural sectors. There will also be around 300 industry events providing information on the hottest topics in agricultural policy. Finland is the partner country for International Green Week 2019.