Special initiative Transformation of Agricultural and Food Systems

We have the means to feed the world's people. The natural resources, the knowledge and the technologies that it takes are all there. What is needed is more investment – in education and training, in sustainable agriculture, in infrastructure, and in local value chains.

Wheat field in northern Mongolia

Back in 2015, the G7 nations made a commitment to increase their funding to fight hunger. They must deliver on that promise.

In autumn 2020, the BMZ presented two studies from leading research institutions on how to end the global hunger crisis. International experts have calculated that an additional 40 billion US dollars or so a year would need to be invested if we are to end global hunger by 2030. The industrialised countries would need to contribute additional funding of 14 billion US dollars a year to make that happen.

The developing countries, too, need to do everything within their power to tackle the challenge. They have to make agriculture and food a top political priority. Then 500 million people could be lifted out of hunger by 2030.

An ambitious joint effort by industrialised, emerging and developing economies would enable us to achieve a world without hunger – Goal 2 of the 2030 Agenda – within the next ten years.

Facts and figures

Great progress has been made on fighting hunger worldwide since 1990. However, in the last few years hunger rates have been rising again.

  • Even before the COVID-19 crisis, there were nearly 700 million hungry people in the world. Now, there are over 800 million.
  • The pandemic and everything resulting from it have exacerbated the situation. Supply chains have been disrupted, and income opportunities and jobs have been lost.
  • The Russian war of aggression on Ukraine has made the situation even worse. The worst famine since the Second World War is looming. According to initial forecasts by the Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO), the war will lead to a further drastic increase in the number of people suffering from hunger.

The BMZ's Special Initiative “Transformation of Agricultural and Food Systems”

Background facts
A Nigerian rice farmer in his field

The Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ) invests some 2 billion euros each year in global food security and rural development. In 17 of the BMZ's partner countries, these issues are priority areas of bilateral cooperation.

About one third of that funding is channelled through the Special Initiative “Transformation of Agricultural and Food Systems”, which the BMZ launched in 2014. It targets partner countries that are particularly badly affected by hunger and malnutrition. The initiative comprises about 300 projects and focuses on fostering smallholder farming in Africa.


  • The special initiative seeks to improve nutrition for more than 7.5 million people – especially women and children – by the end of 2023.
  • It provides assistance to over two million people in adapting to climate change.
  • 1.7 million hectares of degraded land and forests are to be restored and managed in a more sustainable manner.
  • Secure land rights are to be established for at least 120,000 farming families.
  • Through 15 Green Innovation Centres, the BMZ is helping to share innovations in the food and agriculture sector, which it is hoped will improve the productivity of 1.6 million smallholder farms.
  • In five knowledge centres for organic farming in West, East, Southern, North and Central Africa, organic farming methods are collected and studied and good practice is shared with relevant networks and organisations, with strong participation by local non-governmental organisations.
  • The special initiative aims to improve the incomes of a total of 3.2 million farming households.

Questions and answers on the Special Initiative “Transformation of Agricultural and Food Systems”

As at: 03/01/2023