German initiative wants to fight world hunger with billionaire


At least the hashtag already exists. With #ItsUpToYouElon Erwin Ballis wants to arouse the necessary attention in one person in particular: Elon Musk is the first addressee for the campaign from Germany. Initiator Ballis is the managing director of the Federal Association for Machine Rings. He is convinced that only sustainable agriculture can save mankind from hunger in the long term. His suggestion to Elon Musk: “With a sum of six billion US dollars, we can set up 400,000 machine rings in Africa and solve the problem of world food where it arises.”

What sounds a bit strange at first sight is actually meant seriously. Ballis has been promoting his idea online for a few days. The Maschinenring Association has already launched its own website with the hashtag in its name. “A world without hunger is possible” is right at the top up2you.maschinenring.de.

The action was triggered by the high-profile discussion between Elon Musk and David Beasley, the Executive Director of the United Nations World Food Program. It’s about $ 6 billion, which Musk has promised if he can come up with a workable plan for tackling hunger in the world. To a suggestion from Beasley, after all head of the UN World Food Program, Musk has so far not really reacted, at least in public.



Sharing economy as a solution

Now Erwin Ballis is trying to warm the world’s richest man, at least at the moment, to his idea. The machine rings are the first sharing economy organization in agriculture. Their idea of ​​a community in which people, workers, knowledge and machines serve the good of all has been established in 17 countries since the machine rings were founded around 60 years ago. “We solve problems where they arise,” says Ballis.

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His suggestion to Musk: to help farmers in Africa with simple means to feed themselves and others. The concept of the machine rings stands for help for self-help as an organization by farmers for farmers. Great effects can be achieved with simple mechanization. Expertise is definitely there. The Federal Association of Machine Rings has been active with projects in Africa for a number of years. In Senegal, for example, a value chain has developed with three regional and 21 local machine rings and almost 3,000 agricultural members.



6 billion for start-up funding

Ballis’s calculation is quite pragmatic: “We need 15,000 euros for each machine ring as start-up financing.” .

The whole thing sounds kind of sensible and crazy at the same time. Possibly the right mix for Elon Musk. To do this he would have to from #ItsUpToYouElon only noticed something. Digitally, the action is slowly picking up speed. Perhaps the farmers in the Grünheide area should put up a few more signs to be on the safe side.

The action is important enough to the initiators. “This is not a marketing gimmick,” emphasizes the Maschinenring. Erwin Ballis is passionate about the idea. Even without the billions from Musk, it could be achieved that a piece of development cooperation progressed in Africa and that people were really helped to secure their nutrition and to build local value chains.

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