The European Union (EU) has officially joined the Water and Energy for Food (WE4F) international initiative as a new donor. WE4F is a joint international initiative of the German Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ), the European Union (EU), the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Government of the Netherlands, Sweden through the Swedish International Development Cooperation Agency (Sida), and the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID). Its aim is to increase food production along the value chain through a more sustainable and efficient usage of water and/or energy.
In the spirit of the EU Green Deal and the ‘Farm to Fork (F2F)’ strategy, the European Commission’s Development Smart Innovation through Research in Agriculture (DeSIRA) initiative will co-finance the activities in the East African region in order to accelerate innovations and boost productive and sustainable agri-food systems, contribute to partnerships supporting the development of environment-friendly agricultural practices and promote local production. East Africa has high potential for the distribution for innovative technologies for a climate friendly, water and energy efficient agricultural and food economy to increase productivity and strengthen resilience with 80% of the population in the East African region living in rural areas and depending on agriculture for their livelihood. Agriculture in the region is dominated by smallholder and rain-fed farming, exposing farmers to climate and rain variability. With the limited or no access to innovations for irrigation, cooling and drying of fruits and vegetables and other processing of agricultural products, farmers struggle to grow more food using less energy and water.
WE4F and EU aim to bridge this gap together by:
- Supporting the distribution of innovations (solar technologies, apps, e-mobility, etc.)
- Strengthening entrepreneurial capacities
- Informing end users and multipliers about innovations
- Improving accessing to financing for innovators and end-users
- Improving political conditions for innovations
- Accelerating the exchange of experiences on the local, regional and global level
The cooperation between WE4F and EU will not only exploit synergies within the East African region but will join forces to promote themes along the nexus on a European and global level in order to create an enabling environment for sustainable agri-food systems.