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Monday, February 6, 2023

Green Week: Özdemir: More European presence in Africa’s food security

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Would you rather build grain silos than send grain sacks? Federal Agriculture Minister Cem Özdemir is clearly in favor of more European support for countries affected by hunger.

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Federal Agriculture Minister Cem Özdemir has spoken out in favor of greater German and European commitment to long-term food security in Africa. “Humanitarian aid must always be a matter of course, but it is always short-term,” said the Green politician on Saturday before an international conference of agriculture ministers in Berlin. More support is needed for self-sufficiency. “Perhaps the future goal must be: build grain silos instead of sending grain sacks.”

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Özdemir demanded that Germany and the European Union should finally be more present. “We must not leave the field to the authoritarian states that are active there and are trying to create new dependencies through their investments.” The federal government has now agreed a “partnership for the future” with the African Union to make food systems more crisis-proof.

Knowledge transfer is central. Crop protection expertise, for example, belongs in Africa and “not primarily in the corporate headquarters, which of course want to make money with it.” In order to avoid major losses after the harvest, functioning storage facilities, logistics and processing capacities are needed.

Özdemir highlighted the globally agreed goal of ending world hunger by 2030. If this is not just to be lip service, the international community must commit itself to doing what is necessary. There are still eight harvests left by 2030, and time is of the essence. Government representatives from more than 70 countries took part in the conference on the occasion of the Green Week agricultural trade fair in Berlin.

Source: Stern

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