Zero hunger, WURSustainable development goal

2. Zero hunger

Population growth, urbanisation, dietary change, pressure on ecosystems and climate change are among the factors contributing to greater uncertainties about future food and nutrition security. Food and nutrition security is also increasingly considered as a global public good, and needs to be supported for the sake of security and stability for the global population.

An estimated 805 million people or 12 percent of the global population still suffer from chronic hunger, and 2 billion people around the globe face malnutrition due to insufficient or unbalanced diets. The Wageningen Zero Hunger programme focuses on innovative research for enhancing global food and nutrition security FNS). It aims to identify options, opportunities and strategies for improving nutrition and strengthening sustainable global and local food systems by developing science-based solutions, creating partnerships and delivering change.

Our goal: End hunger, achieve food security and improved nutrition and promote sustainable agriculture

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Examples of WUR projects


N2AFRICA is a large scale, science-based “research-in-development” project focused on putting nitrogen fixation to work for smallholder farmers growing legume crops in Africa. Our vision of success is to build sustainable, long-term partnerships to enable African smallholder farmers to benefit from symbiotic N2-fixation by grain legumes through effective production technologies, including inoculants and fertilizers. The project will run for five years and is led by Wageningen University & Research together with the International Institute of Tropical Agriculture (IITA) and the International Livestock Research Institute (ILRI) and many partners throughout Africa. N2Africa reached more than 230,000 farmers who evaluated and employed improved grain legume varieties, rhizobium inoculants and phosphate based fertilizers.

Banana cultivation

Bananas are a staple food for more than 400 million people in the tropics. They are the fourth most consumed food crop, the most consumed non-cereal staple food, and the most consumed fruit in the world. Global banana production is, however, under critical attack by widespread fungal diseases. There are two major causes: Panama disease and Black Sigatoka. The livelihoods of millions of people are at stake due to the Panama disease and Black Sigatoka. The public-private collaboration programme PromoBanana focuses on the Philippines where fundamental and applied knowledge about Panama disease and Black Sigatoka is used for setting up a professional service laboratory. This laboratory offers small and large banana growers the possibility of early disease detection, to prevent spreading, and to optimise fertilisation.