Writer: Dr. Thomas Jaekel
One of GIZ’s first public-private partnerships (PPP) projects, the development of a biological rodenticide, was implemented in 1995 with Bayer AG in Monheim and the University of Hohenheim in Stuttgart, Germany. Thanks to the close collaboration with Thailand’s Department of Agriculture which provided expertise in field testing and made the product ready for the market.
Today, after a successful technology transfer to a Thai company and registration in 2002, two patents for the product, and multilateral negotiations on the commercialisation in other countries of Southeast Asia, biological rodent control is available in Indonesia and the Lao People’s Democratic Republic, and will soon be on the market in other countries of this region.
During the 2008-2010 food crisis in the uplands of northern Lao PDR, the product helped in combatting an unprecedented scale of rodent outbreaks as well as the improvement of food security among local farmers.
This successful model of a North-South technology transfer was repeated with other “green” plant protection products. Chocolate lovers may be unaware of the fact that Indonesia’s cocoa production, one of the world’s biggest, was threatened by a tiny butterfly. With the help of a new insect-attracting technology that was introduced by GIZ in collaboration with Mars Inc. (producer of the famous “Mars” chocolate bar) in Indonesia in 2009, local cocoa farmers now have a tool to manage this pest and improve cocoa quality at the same time.
Increasing food security in Asia is still high on the GIZ agenda today. Within the framework of the ASEAN Sustainable Agrifood Systems project, for which GIZ was commissioned by the Federal Government of Germany in 2013, new avenues were opened for collaboration with the private sector. For example, a new satellite-based information and insurance system, termed ‘RIICE”, is being developed through PPP with the Allianz Group, the International Rice Research Institute and other partners (see www.riice.org).
The RIICE project’s objective is to provide access to new insurance solutions for governments, co-operatives or rural banks, and individual rural farmers in order to cushion the financial effects on farmers that stem from natural catastrophes such as flooding and drought, the major causes of crop destruction in Asia. RIICE is also expected to increase information on rice-growing areas and expected yields to help improve the management of domestic rice production.
Recently, GIZ has also been active in improving food safety and the quality of fruit juice in Thailand. In partnership with the international industry association, SGF (Sure-Global-Fair), which has 700 members in about 60 countries, the focus of the project is on the authenticity and safety of fruit juice sold on the European market. The Thai fruit juice industry and GIZ aim to improve the quality infrastructure of juice manufacturing in this country.
These are just a few small but effective examples to illustrate the value of PPP in improving the value chain in the agri-food sector for the benefit of producers, traders and consumers alike.
The article is featured in German-Thai Chamber of Commerce’s UPDATE magazine December 2014 Issue which can be downloaded here: http://issuu.com/germanthaichamber/docs/update_q4-2014/1?e=12855646/11068502.