Green Week 2018: A world without hunger is possible

Cotton, cocoa, mango: the German Development Ministry’s special exhibition shows how fair trade products are improving livelihoods all over the world.

With its special exhibition at International Green Week in Berlin from 19 to 28 January 2018, the German Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ) is showing that a world without hunger is possible – and how each and every one of us can help make it a reality. The Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ) GmbH is involved as well: this year, it is joining forces with KfW to showcase projects from around the globe.

With the spotlight on cocoa and cotton, visitors to Hall 5.2 can experience fair production and purchasing for themselves – by casting a glance over the shoulder of a garment worker or visiting BMZ’s show kitchen. German Development Minister Gerd Müller explains: ‘Our slogan is “fair trade and production – a world without hunger is possible”. Using cocoa as an example, our exhibition tracks the route from plantation to final product, in this case chocolate. Fair prices for goods mean that people don’t go hungry, children aren’t forced to work and forests don’t need to be cut down. By being conscious consumers, we can all make a difference.’

‘Promote diversity – safeguard food security – create income-earning opportunities’ is the theme at the KfW-GIZ stand. This year, KfW is showcasing its soil conservation, marine protection and seed preservation projects, while GIZ focuses on cassava, moringa and mango cultivation. In Mali, for example, mangos are an important livelihood resource for thousands of small-scale farmers, but because there are rarely any facilities to keep the mangos cool, only a very small percentage of the crop is harvested and sold – the rest is left to rot. So GIZ’s display shows how, working on behalf of the German Government, it has helped more than 4,000 mango farmers to improve their growing techniques and storage facilities, for example with modern chiller units that can also run on solar power. ‘Innovations like these, which are adapted to local conditions, can greatly improve the food supply in rural regions and achieve sustainable increases in small-scale farmers’ incomes,’ Christoph Beier, Vice-Chair of GIZ’s Management Board, explains. ‘And that has a positive impact on regional employment.’ Between 2010 and 2015, GIZ helped more than 11 million people overcome hunger and malnutrition.

Buying fair trade products pays off. In a bid to boost consumer confidence, GIZ is offering tasters at its stand for visitors to sample – and hopes that they will be tempted to take part in a quiz and win a selection of delicious foods: moringa smoothies, cassava fries, dried mango, sunflower seed crackers and seaweed snacks.

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