Indo-German Business Talk: Climate Resilient Food Systems

Navigating the climate crisis requires addressing various influencing factors; notably how climate variability remains a significant driver of food security in some countries and regions, as reported by the World Bank in their Food Security Update.

Addressing and tackling this issue remains a prominent topic on global agendas and policymaking decisions. How can we ensure that in a time of geopolitical volatility, population growth and rapid rates of urbanisation, we produce and consume food sustainability? How will these topics be confronted in policymaking when we investigate the necessity to tackle the global climate crisis, as well as its effects on global food availability, production and consumption.

These topics were discussed in our most recent Indo-German Business Talk on 28 June with expert panellists Nandini Agarwal from the Council on Energy, Environment and Water (CEEW); Francisco Maria Ajena from the International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD); Shilanjani Bhattacharyya from the Frobenius Institute at Goethe University Frankfurt and University of Groningen and Roberto Villalba Camacha from the Technical University of Munich (TUM).

How do we switch towards more sustainable ways of production and how do we build that kind of support also on the political level? I think that is key to solve the polarising debate between agroecologists, small scale farmers and industrial operations.

Francesco Maria Ajena, Technical and Agroecology Specialist, IFAD

Our panellists and questions from the audience prompted thought-provoking discussions on topics of reverse migration, food policy councils, urbanisation and its effect on rural populations and the Indo-German knowledge exchange.

Food systems or cereals that are traditionally grown in these rural areas are not just important for food security but also important in terms of cultural identity because life worlds of these people centre around these crops in a way and it is a practice for almost the entire village to return during times of rituals or festivals.

Shilanjani Bhattacharrya, Doctoral Researcher at Frobenius Institute, Goethe University Frankfurt and University of Groningen

What urbanisation as an opportunity can be linked to is the right kind of skill development to essentially come back to the fields and allow people to sustain themselves with the right technologies at hand.

Nandini Agarwal, Programme Associate, CEEW

The webinar highlighted the importance of ensuring that the establishment of holistic business models and decision makers should involve all levels of society to foster inclusivity when navigating climate resilient food systems. Holistic business models intend to consider the entire food value chain; and by addressing and integrating the needs of all actors these models can, in turn, promote sustainability, resilience and financial success.

The best way to really develop more sustainable and resilient financial systems, is to work with the whole ecosystem, in this case the ecosystem refers to farms but also to the processors in the area; and so only when you really can develop a financial model from within, only then these business models can be sustainable.

Roberto Villalba Camacho, Doctoral Researcher, Chair of Agricultural Production and Resources Economics, TUM

The entire Webinar can be watched via YouTube (see below) where you can also contribute to the discussion in the comments.

The Indo-German Business Talk is a monthly webinar, free to panellists and audience members. Subscribe to our Mailing List to be informed of future discussions.