Welthungerhilfe believes strongly in the positive effects of an inclusive and sustainable market economy. The aim is to identify and establish new sources of income from and for people in structurally weak regions. With guidance from experts, the people involved in the project develop modern supply chains and value chains in the areas of agriculture, services or trade. Goods are ideally not just produced but also processed on-site, so more value is created there. For example, by drying, preserving, packaging or storing agricultural produce. People running new businesses gain an income, which boosts the regional economy and can help overcome poverty and malnutrition.
Local Supply Chains Energise the Economy
Boimazar Kurbanov had never dreamed of becoming a bee-keeper. As a farmer in the Zerafshan Valley in Tajikistan, he lived from the vegetables he grew and money from his sons in Russia. He is now proud to sell honey to big hotels in the capital Dushanbe via a bee-keepers’ association. He has invested his earnings in home insulation, solar panels and an energy-saving oven. This material comes from the region. Welthungerhilfe has been training manual workers. The economy has been energised and more and more young people are staying in the valley.
Three Models, One Goal: Promoting Entrepreneurship
The example of Tajikistan shows two models for market-oriented project work. The bee-keepers’ association is an example of developing social enterprises. In this case Welthungerhilfe shows people new ways to process and refine products, while providing basic and further training, and helping the local population to organise in associations, cooperatives or private companies. They can then position themselves in the regional, national or international market with support from Welthungerhilfe. The rose growers in Afghanistan are also a successful lighthouse project.
The manual workers in Tajikistan provide their community with basic services such as electricity and energy-efficient technology. Welthungerhilfe helps provide the necessary skills, infrastructure and market analysis. A waste project in Sierra Leone follows the same service principle. The third value-creation approach is to promote the existing private sector. In Sierra Leone Welthungerhilfe is connecting peasant cocoa producers with private companies that are concerned with quality standards, further training, fair wages, processing and marketing.
All three models have measurable results. They have been documented through qualitative interviews by trained expert evaluators for example. The resulting standardised questionnaires show that income has increased, the families are more satisfied, and they are planning further steps to advance their businesses.
Value Chains – a Known Quantity Carries More Weight
Welthungerhilfe projects have always involved on-site value creation and building up small companies. It is now clear that this approach must receive a greater focus, to achieve the goal of Zero Hunger by 2030 in a sustainable way. Cooperation with the private sector also plays a central role. Welthungerhilfe uses its many years of experience to build up inclusive and social entrepreneurship as a strategic pillar of its work.