Embracing the Sustainable Development Goals – Zero Hunger


Sustainable development, business ethics, CSR and responsible management have been in the core DNA of Maastricht School of Management (MSM) since its inception. Not only is it clearly at the heart of MSM’s vision, mission and values, but it is also propagated by the students as they journey through the MSM experience, the passionate and international MSM staff and faculty, MSM’s international partner institutes and the corporate partners that share MSM’s vision for ‘working together for better global management’.

This article is part of a series highlighting how MSM as an institute, our students and alumni contribute to the Sustainable Development Goals. In this article, the focus is on MSM’s contribution to end hunger.

When a growing population cannot be sustained with limited natural and economic resources, shortages, often involving food, quickly follow. Today already 821 million people are suffering from hunger and in 2050 an additional 2 billion people are expected to be malnourished/undernourished. This calls for a serious change in the global food and agriculture system.

In addition, climate change is putting pressure on the resources people depend on. The changing environment that brings risks such as droughts and flooding, together with a lack of agricultural knowledge results in the fact that people cannot make a living/cannot make ends meet from farming their land, which forces them to migrate to cities in search of opportunities.

Therefore, it is time to rethink how to grow, share and consume food. Investment in agriculture is essential to increase the capacity for agricultural productivity and sustainable food production systems to help in the fight against hunger.

Working together to build a better world
At MSM we currently manage 13 multiple-year projects located in Africa and Asia that focus on food and nutrition security (FNS). MSM has ample experience in supporting agribusiness development from an institutional and organizational knowledge eco-system point of view. Issues on how to link agro-supply and demand can be assessed, but also the development of curricula and apprenticeship programs, agribusiness eco systems, telephone farmer systems, the setting up of agribusiness franchising models or agribusiness incubation parks. Through many different methods, we try to contribute to a world without hunger. To achieve the best results we work together with partners who all have specific expertise that are key in fulfilling the goals of the project. We work together to build a better world.

Let’s have a more in-depth look into one of our projects in the agricultural sector and how MSM contributes to United Nations SDG 2: end hunger. 

Improvement of agricultural vocational education in Ethiopia

Through the project Bright Future in Agriculture (BFA) the Ethiopian agricultural vocational education sector is being supported and developed. MSM and the Ethiopian Federal TVET Institute jointly implement the project together with 12 partners from the Netherlands, Ethiopia and South Africa. The objective of BFA is to contribute to Sustainable Development Goal 2: Zero Hunger, through concentrating on the dairy and horticulture sub-sector. Within this sector, there is room for huge economic opportunities. One of these economic opportunities are the five agro-parks that the Ethiopian Government is currently building. These agro-processing parks divided the country into six major corridors for horticulture and are expected to create over 100,000 jobs. This new economic opportunity in the agricultural field is very useful for sound links with agricultural TVETs: giving access to hands-on education and supplying qualified graduates.

Implementing the project on local, regional and federal level
BFA will strengthen agricultural ATVET’s to be able to serve the agro-industry based on the fundamental notion that improving the quality and employability of agricultural TVET graduates necessitates changes on local, regional and federal level through triple helix partnerships. On local level, four agricultural TVET colleges (two in Oromia and two in Amhara) will be capacitated to perform inclusive agro-processing, -value addition, and –production teaching, technology transfer and industry extension. On regional level, the Oromia and Amhara TVET Bureaus will be capacitated to being better positioned to execute their pivotal roles in orchestrating the TVET sector. On national (federal) level, national TVET teacher training programs will be improved. In addition, partnerships and lessons learned will be rolled out to other agricultural TVETs in Ethiopia.

A successful first year
The project is well under way since its start in January 2019. Over the last year multiple meetings, events and trainings have taken place to make the best possible use of the 3-year project duration.

In August, MSM welcomed the steering committee and deans of four TVET colleges in Ethiopia for a one-week exposure visit. The Ethiopian delegation was headed by Dr Abdiwasa Abdilahi, State Minister for TVET of the Ministry of Science & Higher Education. The delegation of in total 15 people got acquainted with the Dutch Education system and experienced labor-market oriented agricultural tertiary education, with TVET School management and the gist of change management. The subgroup of high-level leaders had a 2-day separate program in The Hague where they visited the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Nuffic, Vocational Education Labour Market (SBB) and the Ministry of Education, Culture and Science. The aim was to learn from the Dutch education system, to seek strategic partnerships, and to share experiences on education.

Bright Future in Agriculture South
To make the impact of the project in the Ethiopian agricultural TVET sector as big as possible, a sister project, Bright Future in Agriculture South has officially started on 15 January 2020. The southern part of Ethiopia is rich in vegetable and fruit production with high export opportunities and linkages with the Dutch horticultural businesses. BFA South is targeting explicitly the South region of Ethiopia (the axis Addis Ababa – Hawassa – Arba Minch).

Contributing to zero hunger
The results achieved through the projects are key contributions to SDG 2 where in the long run both projects will promote agricultural growth, the creation of ecologically sustainable food systems and water efficiency in agriculture. Furthermore, the education system (TVET/HE) will be of good quality, relevant and accessible (SDG 4) and partnerships between persons and organizations will be inclusive and sustainable (SDG 17).

Nuffic Orange Knowledge Programme (OKP)
Both BFA and BFA South are part of the Orange Knowledge Programme. The Nuffic OKP contributes to a society’s sustainable and inclusive development by providing access to education and training for professionals and organisations in technical vocational education and training (TVET) and higher education. It is funded by the Dutch Ministry of Foreign Affairs as part of its development cooperation policy. The subsidy programme is managed by Nuffic, a Dutch non-profit organisation for internationalisation in education.

It offers funding for long-term, demand-driven partnerships between Dutch knowledge institutions and organisations in 19 participating countries, as well as individual scholarships and Tailor-Made Trainings in all 53 selected countries. The € 195-m, five-year programme ends mid-2022, enabling tens of thousands to change their future. From the Dutch development cooperation policy, 4 priority themes have been selected on which to focus in the programme: Food and Nutrition Security; Water, Energy and Climate; Sexual and Reproductive Health and Rights; and Security and Rule of Law. Cross-cutting themes in this programme are inclusion, employability and environmental sustainability.

This is just one example of our broad portfolio on agricultural projects. For more projects on agricultural development please click here

MSM Alumnus aims to boost food security & modernize agriculture

Like many Master in Business Administration (MBA) students, Mutende Musonda wanted to use his MBA experience to gain the knowledge and the network needed to help drive development.

Originally, it was Mutende’s intention to go back to Zambia after graduation, but he had a change of plans. Once graduated, he co-founded two social enterprises in the Netherlands, named Bos Tuin Tafel Cooperative and Compost Company. These businesses were created to contribute to the 2020 vision of the municipality in Almere, to ensure that 30 percent of the food consumption in this city would be organic, healthy and locally produced by 2020.

The Compost Company is a waste management start-up that sells sustainable soil conditions and other products for  gardens and plants. It is an innovative idea contributing to a circular economy. The company collects organic waste from residents and commercial parties in Almere, which is used to make high-quality compost products such as liquid fertilizers. The product is then being sold to their subscribers and (sometimes) sold separately to improve the fertility of the land in Almere, where in return crops can grow better.

In 2018, Compost Company was shortlisted for the Lush Spring Prize. It was the only Dutch project that was nominated in their category worldwide.

Mutende still aims to bring his gained knowledge to Africa. “Hopefully, in the future we can transfer our knowledge on waste management to developing communities. The potential is there.” he says.

Maastricht School of Management: Working together for better global management

As a signatory to the Principles for Responsible Management Education (PRME), MSM strives towards making the world a better place through responsible management. MSM aims to contribute to the Sustainable Development Goals (SDG’s) in all its activities: the international capacity-building programs, the custom made programs, research activities and in its education programs. To learn more on how MSM contributes to the SDG’s, click here.

Source photo 3: Nuffic Global Development