In rural areas, income sources other than agriculture are rare. Local structures are simply too weak in many of the countries in which Welthungerhilfe is active. Long-term food and nutrition security is based on an economic cycle to which all demographics have access. The targeted promotion of the rural economy generates value creation chains that can incorporate services, infrastructure and the trades.
Education is Key to Success
To this end, people’s knowledge and skills must be promoted. This development is also taking place on a social level. A deciding issue is gender equality, which not only benefits the women themselves but also strengthens rural communities. An example of how young people are gaining new prospects for the future is demonstrated by the “Skill up!” educational programmes. They offer people who would otherwise not have an opportunity to achieve a professional education self-confidence and a chance at a personal income and independence.
Demanding Fair Agricultural Trade
However, local support is not sufficient. Trade agreements with industrial nations on equal footing must be made to promote the long-term growth of the rural economy in the countries of the global south. This is necessary because international agricultural conglomerates can easily sell their products at dumping prices, due in part to large subsidies from their home countries, high-tech factories and mass production. Smallholders with meagre fields, lacking technology and poor infrastructure cannot do much about it. On one hand, it is up to politicians to put an end to this; on the other hand, several Welthungerhilfe projects demonstrate how to successfully bypass these mechanisms.