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K+S host World Food Forum 2018 in Berlin, Germany

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World Fertilizer,

K+S invited international experts and forward thinkers, political and scientific stakeholders, NGOs, as well as experts in development cooperation and representatives of startup companies to the third Future Food Forum in Berlin.

There are approximately 821 million people still starving worldwide. However, the majority of experts are confident that the goal of adequate nutrition can be achieved with the help of agriculture. “Also because it has to be achieved!”, said the host of the conference, K+S CEO Dr. Burkhard Lohr. “An insecure food situation undermines peace and security. It prevents people from living a healthy life and limits their development of skills to pursue jobs. Secured nutrition is worth a lot and has a high economic benefit”, said Lohr in his welcome speech to around 250 guests.

Dr. Gerd Müller, German Federal Minister for Economic Cooperation and Development, stressed in his opening speech that the fight against hunger can only be won if a global agricultural turnaround succeeds: "80% of food production in developing countries is in the hands of smallholders. What we need is a new vision of rural development: resource-saving, job-creating, fair, and innovative. We need to produce more food with fewer resources, trade it fairly, and create future opportunities in the countryside."

Dr. Tassos Haniotis, Director of Strategy, Simplification, and Policy Analysis at the European Commission’s Directorate-General for Agriculture and Rural Development, put future nutrition and agriculture at the centre of his speech, identifying that, despite concrete achievements of the common agricultural policy, especially in removing trade distortions and safeguarding income and cohesion targets, more needs to be done: “Environmental and climate change challenges require a better link of support to specific objectives, a stronger reliance on knowledge, innovation, and greater flexibility in implementation of policy measures.”

Chief Economist and Head of Analysis and Trends in food safety at the World Food Program of the United Nations, Italy, Dr. Arif Husain, spoke about global synergies in order to achieve sustainable development. He emphasised that we can achieve a hunger free world by 2030 but not without peace: “Conflict feeds hunger and hunger feeds conflict.”

Dr. Bert Rürup, President of the Handelsblatt Research Institute and Chief Economist of the Handelsblatt, presented the guests with a fact book containing the most important facts and arguments concerning world nutrition. Using graphics to explain the subject of nutrition, it provides a broad readership easy access to this complex subject for the first time. Although information graphics and plausible statistics alone cannot cover the whole issue of world nutrition exhaustively, they do provide a serious basis for a fruitful discussion about practical solutions.

Other top-class speakers included Dr. Heike Baumüller Senior Researcher, Department for Economic and Technological Change, Zentrum für Entwicklungsforschung (ZEF), Martina Fleckenstein, Policy Manager Food, WWF International, Dr. Ariane Borgstedt, Head of Global Project Green Innovation Centers, Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ) GmbH, as well as Dr. Debisi Araba, Regional Director Africa, International Center for Tropical Agriculture (CIAT), Kenya, and Dr. Harald Grethe Agricultural Economist, Humboldt University Berlin.

In addition, the food industry of tomorrow was discussed in a startup & business slam, moderated by Fabio Ziemßen, Director of Food Innovation, NX-FOOD (Metro AG). Here, Robert Waweru, Country Director at Parker Randall Eastern Africa, Uganda, Thomas Heuer, CEO of desertfoods, Riazuddin Kawsar and Lionel Born, General Managers of Spacenus GmbH , as well as Gunnar Mühlstädt, CEO of MINT Engineering GmbH presented their innovative projects for the food security of tomorrow.

The Future Food Forum is organised by K+S Aktiengesellschaft every two years on World Food Day and brings players from international politics, business, and science together. The focus is on how the fight against hunger can be managed even more effectively and how the agriculture and food sector has to contribute with modern production methods and functioning local distribution channels.

Global hunger should be overcome by 2030 according to the “Zero Hunger” target issued by the UN. As a producer of fertilizers, K+S sees itself as part of the solution for this, because the fertilizers produced by K+S, on the basis of the potash and magnesium minerals, enable a considerable increase in yield when used in a balanced way. This will be more important than ever before, because by 2050, the per capita arable land will fall by almost a third, according to the forecasts of the UN Food and Agricultural Organization FAO. Farmers worldwide are therefore called upon to make the best possible use of the available land to produce sufficient food for a steadily growing world population.

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