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Minister Müller on world food situation: "A world without hunger is possible – we need a green agricultural revolution."


Grafting of cashew plants at the Cashew Research Station in Wenchi, Ghana

Press release of 12.10.2020 |

Berlin – At the start of World Food Week, German Development Minister Gerd Müller will be presenting studies from two of the world's leading research institutes on how to end the global hunger crisis.

Minister Müller: "We had been making good progress on reducing global hunger. But the coronavirus crisis has reversed a lot of that. Up to 130 million people have now been thrown back into hunger and poverty. Every day, 15,000 children continue to die of starvation. We can and must change that. Because hunger continues to be the world's greatest preventable scandal. Our planet has the resources to feed 10 billion people. The latest studies show that, with a green agricultural revolution and additional annual investment by the industrialised countries of 14 billion dollars, that goal could be achieved within the next 10 years. We must not fail for a lack of political will."

At a conference on Tuesday, 13 October, entitled A world without hunger is possible – What must be done, Development Minister Müller will be joined by a number of scientists to present the findings of two new studies undertaken by institutions including Cornell University, the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations, the International Food Policy Research Institute and the Center for Development Research. There will also be contributions from Nobel Laureate in Economics, Professor Banerjee, Bill Gates and leading agricultural scientist from across the world.

Minister Müller: "The latest studies show that the industrialised countries could fund the necessary investments if they provide an annual additional 14 billion dollars between now and 2030. The developing countries also need to make agriculture and nutrition a priority and make comparable investments. In this way, 500 million people could be lifted out of hunger by 2030, smallholders' incomes doubled and climate-proof forms of agriculture established. It is something that is absolutely achievable and it means adopting the right policies now! The awarding of the Nobel Peace Prize to the UN World Food Programme therefore sends the right signal at the right time."

The scientists propose concentrating funding on the following main areas:

  • sustainable agriculture, improved seeds, precise irrigation for greater productivity. To provide enough food for the world, agricultural production must be increased by 60 per cent by 2050;
  • full access for women to land, loans and training;
  • reforms to increase intra-African trade and improve smallholders' market access, such as a fair EU trade agreements and easier access to the EU market.

Minister Müller added: "Germany is taking the lead. We are investing some 2 billion euros each year in food security and rural development. That is twice as much as in 2013. This will enable us to secure nutrition for 20 million people and has already resulted in 8 million people being lifted out of hunger and malnutrition. If all donors up their commitment, then we can achieve a world without hunger by 2030."

For twenty years, the world had been making inroads into global hunger. Yet in recent years, rates have been rising again and last year the number of people living in hunger rose to 690 million. This is due to conflicts and civil wars in the arc of crisis round Syria and Yemen. The situation has been compounded by the plague of locusts in East Africa and made even worse by climate change and coronavirus.

The two studies can be accessed here:

www.bmz.de/zef-fao_publikation

www.bmz.de/Ceres2030-Studie

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