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Tropentag 2020, September 9 - 11, virtual conference, Germany

"Food and nutrition security and its resilience to global crises"

The BMZ Strategy for International Agricultural Research

Sebastian Lesch

Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ), Head, Division 121: Agricultural Policy, Agriculture, Innovation, Germany


For many years, BMZ has been supporting activities in international agricultural research with about 20 million euros annually and an additional 15 million euros for the year ’20 as well as by sending integrated experts to different international research institutions since 2013. Agricultural research remains irreplaceable to tackle our current but also future challenges. We need to provide healthy food while ensuring the sustainable use of natural resources and develop rural areas remain socially, economically, and ecologically vital. Especially within the CGIAR-framework we are supporting the reform to “One CGIAR” to reach less fragmentation and faster problem- and needs-based research solutions.
The COVID19-pandemic has shown us how vulnerable we are to global crises and we have seen that poorer countries are disproportionally hard hit. BMZ is therefore funding a COVID19 support programme of 1 billion euros through budget restructuring and an additional 3 billion euros for ongoing crisis support. Of these funds 200 million euro of the support programme and 600 million euro of the top-up fund will be invested to stabilise food supply and food systems in developing countries. An effort where also agricultural research can contribute significantly. For example, in a partnership with the AfricaRice Center, a CGIAR-centre, we are providing seeds for 300.000 producers in 6 West African countries. We also support farmers in micro-mechanising their operations by establishing service centres that provide trainings and capital for motorized brush cutters in order to cope with decreased labour availability due to the crisis and ensure effective harvesting with lower losses.
BMZ aims to become more agile and effective which is why we have initiated the BMZ-2030 process. During this process, we want to reshape the way we work by providing more close and targeted development aid to especially reform oriented and global partners. One of the key areas of BMZ engagement will be “One World No Hunger” and international agricultural research will remain a focus on which BMZ will be active within the “Agriculture” field of action.

Contact Address: Sebastian Lesch, Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ), Head, Division 121: Agricultural Policy, Agriculture, Innovation, Berlin, Germany, e-mail: sebastian.lesch@bmz.bund.de

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