Supporting innovation

We are examining the entire value chain in the food sector – from the farm to the table

In order to improve the food situation in a country long term, and to raise the income and employment levels of people living in rural areas, agriculture must become more productive and sustainable. It is also important that small farmers are able to sell their products more easily. However, these improvements by themselves are not enough. A large proportion of the food stuffs produced in developing countries today spoil as a result of incorrect storage or during transport to processing facilities or consumer markets.

That is why we look at the entire delivery or value chain. We support innovations in all areas of the food sector – from the fields where food crops are grown to the facilities where they are stored or processed, all the way to the consumers' plate.

Innovation centres for the agriculture and food sector

A productive and environmentally sound agricultural sector can drive the development of rural areas. The prerequisites for this are education, extension services and research; the use of suitable technologies; and efficient state institutions.

With our "ONE WORLD – No Hunger" initiative we are providing support for the establishment of fourteen 'innovation centres' for the agriculture and food sector. Through this initiative and these centres, we want to create income for farmers and jobs in the food processing industry.

The innovation centres will provide assistance in increasing yields; will support smallholder farmers in their efforts to link up with markets and to organise themselves in cooperatives and associations; and will help protect the water supply and the soil. They will also support agricultural training, applied agricultural research and extension services, and will help people and institutions in the sector network with each other. Government departments will receive advice, both at national and local level, on programmes that promote agriculture in a sustainable manner.