May 19, 2011
Joining forces to combat hunger – K+S KALI GmbH, CIP und GIZ signed a letter of intent to cooperate closely in future in the field of agricultural research
‘The global food security challenge demands that we continue to increase the productivity of basic foods; improving soil fertility and plant nutrition is a key component in this challenge. Today marks an important step in this direction,’ declared Dr Pamela Anderson.
She is Director General of the International Potato Center (CIP) and thus one of the three parties signing on 16 May 2011 a letter of intent at the Crystal Grotto of the Erlebnisbergwerk Merkers (a former potash mine that now welcomes visitors), thus sealing their decision to cooperate closely in future in the field of agricultural research. The other two partners are K+S KALI GmbH and the Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ) GmbH, which is acting on behalf of the Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ).
Cooperation agreement involving public and private partners in the field of agricultural research
The aim is to undertake joint activities to promote food security and rural development, and to combat poverty in the partner countries of German development cooperation. Special importance is also attached to generating income by improving production. Finally, the new partnership is also to help secure genetic resources and preserve biological diversity in potato varieties. The large number of very different varieties that exist play a vital part around the world in ensuring nutritious diets. The future joint project will involve an exchange of information on ongoing research projects as well as identifying shared research interests and conducting the relevant activities, and of course translating research results into practice.
Staple food potatoes in focus
‘We aim to step up the knowledge transfer in terms of the importance of balanced fertiliser use with all plant nutrients, particularly for potato crops. Potash and magnesium are elementary components of sustainable agriculture,’ emphasised Dr Ernst Andres, Managing Director of K+S KALI GmbH. Unless we make more efficient use of cropland and pastureland, as well as water and nutrients, it will be impossible to combat hunger sustainably. With this cooperation arrangement, the partners CIP, K+S KALI GmbH and GIZ are turning the spotlight in development-oriented agricultural research on the nutrient supply in potatoes, which are the world’s third most important staple food.
Technology transfer is important in ensuring global food security
‘Agricultural research and technology transfer play an important part in ensuring global food security. We, at GIZ play the part of an honest broker, bringing together private and public agricultural research. We hope that this newly sealed partnership will soon be followed by others, said Albert Engel, Director of GIZ’s Agriculture, Fisheries and Food Division. On behalf of BMZ, GIZ supports development-oriented agricultural research to the tune of some 20 million euros every year. Some of this sum goes to the 15 international research centres that together make of the Consultative Group on International Agricultural Research (CGIAR). The International Potato Center is one of these.
The International Potato Center, known by its Spanish acronym CIP, was founded in 1971. CIP is truly global, with headquarters in Lima, Peru and offices in 30 developing countries across Asia, Africa, and Latin America. It is part of the Consultative Group on International Agricultural Research (CGIAR).
The Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ) GmbH is a federally owned enterprise with worldwide operations. It supports the German Government in the field of international cooperation for sustainable development and in international education work. GIZ helps individuals and societies to develop genuine prospects and to improve their own living conditions.
K+S KALI GmbH
Within the K+S Group, K+S KALI GmbH is responsible for the Potash and Magnesium Products business segment. K+S KALI GmbH extracts potash and magnesium crude salts at six mines in Germany. Globally, the company is the fourth-largest potash producer and the leading supplier in Europe. As a result of its specialities containing potash, magnesium and sulphur K+S KALI GmbH has a profile that is significantly different from that of its competitors, and is a leading global player with these fertilisers. The fertiliser specialities are used above all for crops which in addition to potash have a greater need for magnesium and sulphur, such as rape, oil palm and potatoes.