As the implementing organization, AKI is involved in various international projects in the agricultural and food sector. AKI supervises bilateral cooperation programs with our partner countries, such as Russia, Kenya, Georgia and Burundi, on behalf of public sponsors, such as the German Corporation for International Cooperation (GIZ), the Federal Ministry of Food and Agriculture (BMEL), as well as the Ministry for Rural Affairs and Consumer Protection Baden-Württemberg.
The project planning is specified according to the wishes and requests of the corresponding partner. In this way, existing international contacts will be strengthened and enhanced. AKI always remains open to further projects.
The project work from AKI has a strong focus on topics such as:
Rapid change in agriculture, partly caused by globalization and climate change, affects farmers worldwide. Many countries are facing major political and systemic changes, which generate further challenges but also opportunities for farmers and their organizations.
The family has been and still is the center of agricultural production worldwide and its social anchoring must be further strengthened in the future. This is also supported by the Global Action Plan: UN Decade of Family Farming, launched in 2020 by the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO). The action plan provides a good basis for addressing the issue of family-based agriculture, presenting challenges and opportunities and strengthening the role of Farmers' Organizations (FOs) in promoting family-based agriculture.
As part of the project "Transitional Agriculture: Promoting exchanges between FOs", which is funded by the Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ), AgrarKontakte International (AKI) e.V. together with the Andreas Hermes Academy (AHA) organizes two seminars a year on various topics related to "Transitional Agriculture". The participants are a diverse group of members of the respective FOs from Germany, Russia, Ghana, Malawi, Rwanda and Zimbabwe, who collaborate interactively during the seminars.
In Burundi, East Africa, the production of sufficient and sustainably produced food is a central goal. As a result of high land use pressure and the resulting deforestation of mountainous regions in combination with heavy rainfall, the preservation of soil fertility is one of the essential factors for sustainable agriculture. Additional challenges of the country are socio-economical such as poverty, overpopulation and an inadequate educational infrastructure.
Between July 2020 and December 2021, a 5-hectare area near the capital Gitega will be transformed according to permaculture principles. Permaculture is a sustainable and alternative concept for agriculture and horticulture based on observing and imitating natural ecosystems and cycles of nature. It is an agricultural design method based on the ethical principles:
In addition to the design elements typical for permaculture, such as edible forest garden, herb spiral, solar dryer, etc., the core element will be the “AgriSocial Education and Training Centre”, where multipliers such as teachers as well as farmers, students and, based on the principal of inclusion, disadvantaged persons will be educated and trained. Together, AKI and the project partners face the social and ecological challenges of Burundi thus making a local contribution to improving the living conditions of present and future generations in Burundi in the sense of capacity building.
Since 1980, there has been a partnership between Baden-Württemberg and French-speaking Burundi. The project "Establishment of an Agri-social Education and Training Center in Gitega, Burundi" is funded by the Ministry of Rural Affairs and Consumer Protection Baden-Württemberg (MLR) with the project management being carried out by AKI. The local project partners are Father Walter Stärk, who has been a local resident for many years, the Christian community "Camelius" and the primary and secondary school St. Kizito in the south of the capital Gitega. They will be in charge of managing the AgriSocial Education and Training Centre beyond the project period.
Within the framework of this partnership project, financially sponsored by the bilateral cooperation program of the Federal Ministry of Food and Agriculture (BMEL) since 2009, the partnership between the German Farmers’ Association e.V. (DBV) and the Association of Russian Farm Enterprises and Agricultural Cooperatives (AKKOR) was bilaterally deepened.
The project was carried out jointly between the DBV and AKI. The main goal of the collaboration in this cooperation project was to assist AKKOR, through the further-development of the association’s structure and improvement of the association’s management, to more effectively represent the interests of family-run farms and rural cooperatives as well as the entire rural area of Russia and to be able to “speak with one voice” within politics, administration, economy and society in Russia.
The project was particularly focused on the development of regional and district associations and on supporting and providing consultation to improve the association’s management in all areas. In this effect, an intense consultation was carried out with questions aimed towards the association’s management, including what services are offered by the association. Both partner associations organized numerous joint seminars and training courses in Russia and in Germany, as well as consultation activities in Russia for both volunteer and official representatives of the association. For AKKOR functionaries, seminars were presented in Germany to particularly discuss the method of operation in a German farm association, as well as in agricultural merchandise cooperatives. Furthermore, this project assisted the Russian agricultural association in developing stronger networking with agropolitical and agroeconomical protagonists at both the national and international level.
On September 1st and 2nd, 2018, the sixty-fifth World Ploughing Championship was held at the Herzog von Württemberg Hofgut Einsiedel farm estate in Baden-Württemberg. Around 30,000 visitors from near and far followed the contests on both days, where 56 participants from 28 nations competed in stubble and grassland ploughing.
The goal of the World Ploughing Championship 2018, in addition to the pure ploughing competition, was to present the national and statewide agricultural and food economy in an attractive light to a wide international, national and regional audience.
The organizer of the competition was the Kuratorium Weltpflügen 2018 e.V., exclusively founded for this purpose, under the chairmanship of Helmut Wolf. The management of the Kuratorium was delegated to AgrarKontakte International (AKI) e.V..
Further information and surveys on this outstanding event can be found here: www.weltpfluegen2018.de