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Supporting policy with scientific evidence

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Publication | 28 September 2021

Sustainable Solutions to End Hunger

The report through complex modelling aims at answering two questions:

First, what does the published evidence tell us about agricultural interventions that work, in particular to double the incomes of small-scale producers and to improve environmental outcomes for agriculture?

And second, what will it cost governments to end hunger, double the incomes of small-scale producers, and protect the climate by 2030?

The research shows that agricultural interventions are more effective with a population that enjoys at least a minimum level of income, education, with access to networks and resources such as extension services and robust infrastructure. Whether the intervention is climate-resilient crops, membership in a farmers’ organization, or reducing crop losses, this minimum threshold matters.

Both the evidence syntheses and the model show it is much more effective to create integrated portfolios of interventions rather than seek improvements in isolation. Interventions are also more successful if they are designed to meet complex objectives, such as paying attention to the marketability of a crop and not just its climate resilience or resistance to pests. Interventions aiming at linking smallholder farmers with SMEs and market show significant success.

Ten recommendations emerged from the research on how to increase the effectiveness of public spending on agricultural interventions and how much it will cost donors.


The results from the model show that donors need to contribute an additional USD 14 billion per year on average until 2030 to end hunger and double incomes of small-scale producers in low- and middle-income countries. The investment achieves these goals while maintaining greenhouse gas emissions for agriculture below the commitments made in the Paris Agreement.

Donors currently spend USD 12 billion per year on food security and nutrition and therefore need to double their contributions to meet the goals. However, ODA alone will not be enough. Additional public spending of USD 19 billion per year on average until 2030 will have to be provided by low- and middle-income countries through increased taxation.