Using innovative research cooperation to provide impetus for food security and nutrition worldwide

The Federal Government of Germany would like to increase the contribution of the German agricultural and nutritional research to improve food security and nutrition worldwide. At the same time, the Government aims at a better integration of German agricultural and nutritional research into international networks.

Against this background, the German Ministry of Food and Agriculture developed the concept of "Policy-supporting research, knowledge management and policy consultation for global food security and nutrition“ in 2012. Based on this concept, a funding system for International Research Cooperation on global food security and nutrition was launched in 2013. This scheme supports practical solution-oriented research which is carried out jointly by German research institutions and research institutions in partner countries with the following goals:

• Development of efficient and sustainable agri-food systems in the respective country in terms of cost-efficiency, environmental conservation, resources management, climate change, resilience, animal welfare, plant and animal health (including zoonoses) and food safety;

• Minimisation of quantitative and qualitative food losses along the value chain from production to consumers;

• Improvement of food safety and food quality (product quality and process quality) in the value chain;

• Establishment and optimisation of value chains in the respective country, including consideration of the role of producer cooperatives;

• Improvement of nutrition quality in the sense of a balanced and adequate diet and the reduction of hidden hunger;

• Making agriculture and food systems sensitive to nutrition;

• Improvement of educational and extension systems and use of new information and communication technologies in agriculture and food systems;

• Solving of complex economic, ecological and social challenges to sustainably improve food security and nutrition in the respective country by using cross-sectoral system-oriented approaches.Separate notices or calls to tender for specific research subjects are published to contribute to the achievement of the above goals. The current research projects address nutrition-sensitive, diversified food production in sub-Saharan Africa. The BMEL also supports exchange of foreign scientists.

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