The Zero Hunger Pledge

Our commitment to contribute to efforts to end hunger by 2030

Purpose of this private sector pledge

The Zero Hunger Pledge is a demonstration of our commitment to help end hunger by 2030.


This pledge was created as part of the UN Food Systems Summit Coalition of Action for Achieving Zero Hunger, one of the emerging multistakeholder coalitions from the UN Food Systems Summit process. We committed to contribute $160 million dollars to achieve Zero Hunger in developing countries between 2022 and 2030, with multiple partners.


The Zero Hunger Pledge aligns governments, agencies, civil society and businesses with the 10 high-impact intervention areas from the Ceres2030 evidence, a unique research project by scientists from Cornell University, the International Institute for Sustainable Development (IISD) and the International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI) that provides practical recommendations on how to end hunger by 2030 worldwide – and on a lasting basis.

Overarching principles 

We will comply with applicable national laws and regulations and we will be guided by country priorities for hunger reduction as recorded in their official documents, including their food system pathways and national development priorities and strategies. 

Through our business operations, we commit to uphold internationally accepted principles, including but not limited to the Principles for Responsible Investment in Agriculture and Food Systems of the Committee on World Food Security (CFS-RAI),  the Principles of the UN Global Compact, and the UN Guiding Principles for Business and Human Rights.

Coalitions and partnerships 

We warmly welcome the Zero Hunger Coalition, presented as one of the emerging coalitions from the UN FSS process during the Pre-Summit, and will support the Coalition’s efforts to achieve zero hunger. In addition, we urge development partners to provide appropriate technical and financial support to accelerate implementation of the Zero Hunger Coalition, with the goal of facilitating private investment.

We look forward to building long and mutually beneficial relationships with producers, governments, private sector actors, donors, and other players in the countries where we operate and invest.

Accordingly, we are pleased to make this pledge and commit to working with partner organizations to convert this pledge into a commitment.

Lesson-learning and mutual accountability

We commit to reporting on our progress in implementing this pledge, including the resources allocated, and challenges encountered. 

The reports will be based on existing best practice and reporting standards, such as the CDP Protocol and the Global Reporting Initiative’s forthcoming Agriculture and Aquaculture Standard. We support the Food and Agriculture Benchmark of the World Benchmarking Alliance (WBA) and will collaborate with the WBA to verify that our commitments have been fulfilled. 

We commit to sharing the necessary information allowing WBA to monitor progress of our pledge against the company’s investment area, as part of the broader assessment of the Food and Agriculture Benchmark. We also commit to ensuring that our investments include action on one or more relevant indicators to raise our overall score each year.

Nature of this pledge

This pledge is a non-binding statement of the company’s proposed investments plans and is not intended to create any legally enforceable rights or obligations of the company or its affiliates.




BAYER commits [USD 160 mio] for the following portfolio of Ceres2030-aligned core business investments and in-kind contributions to achieve Zero Hunger in developing countries between 2022 and 2030, with multiple partners:

updated zhp table

This pledge is a non-binding statement of the company’s proposed investments plans and is not intended to create any legally enforceable rights or obligations of the company or its affiliates.

Short description:

With more than 20 different crops and thousands of innovative seed varieties, our vegetable seeds business with its two brands Seminis and De Ruiter have long provided cutting-edge solutions for customers in diverse open-field and protected environments.
At Vegetable Seeds, we are strongly committed to providing solutions that mitigate the risks for smallholder farmers, placing their needs for access to seeds and resources at the center of smallholder business operations. Our commitment to this customer-centric approach is reflected in its Vegetable Seed organization strategy which focuses on smallholders as one of four key customer segments. The shift from a product focus to a customer focus shines a spotlight on delivering value through access to seeds for its smallholder customers. Customer-centric governance guiding the way to reach more smallholders means identifying and addressing smallholder needs via expertise and partnerships that support these farmers with the resources to develop and apply their farming knowledge, mitigate risk, and optimize yield quality and quantity. Bayer’s dedicated global and regional teams work on delivering solutions that meet the unique needs of smallholder farmers to, on, and beyond the farm. As part of this pledge our Vegetable seeds business will:

  • Invest around US$101M in research and development by 2030 to support smallholder farmers to have access to quality vegetable seeds that are tailored for their specific needs supporting diverse food systems and nutrition needs of their local community’s diets. This includes new breeding programs in crops that play a critical role in the diets of smallholder communities and markets, such as okra and bitter gourd.

  • Enable smallholder farmers to have access to vegetable seeds, agronomic knowledge and sustainable practices that are adaptive to the local environment through our market channels and partnerships. 

  • Donate seeds to non-profit organizations, as part of our Corporate Charitable Giving, to support the common good combating hunger and increase the consumption of fruits and vegetables. 

  • Collaborate with partners to drive efficient production and increase consumption of fruits and vegetables to improve nutrition and address zero hunger.


Regions Asia, Africa
Alignment with CERES2030 investment areas
  • Investing in extension services and R&D, especially for women
  • Reducing post-harvest losses by focusing beyond cereals to fruits and vegetables, and other parts of the value chain
Financial Commitment (USD)   2022 2023 2024 2025 2026 2027 2028 2029 2030
R&D 11.2M 11.2M 11.2M 11.2M 11.2M 11.2M 11.2M 11.2M 11.2M


Contact Person VK Kishore, Cristiane Lourenco



Bayer’s Arize hybrid rice seeds combine cutting-edge science in seed traits with a climate-customized approach to create seeds that both improve yields in the face of specific agro-climatic conditions while optimizing water and nitrogen efficiency. One new variety of Arize—a first-of-its-kind hybrid rice seed which we launched earlier in 2018 in India —has been bred with resistance against Brown Plant Hopper and Bacterial Leaf Blight, which both cause huge crop losses. Another Arize rice variety that can survive more than 15 days under a sustained flood was introduced in Bangladesh, where frequent flooding had a serious impact on farmers’ rice harvests. Today Bayer is looking for a solution to grow hybrid rice with high salinity water and focusing on other abiotic/biotic stresses. So far, around 3.5 million smallholder farmers are benefitting from our pioneering work on hybrid rice. This is helping farmers in improving their income levels, livelihood, sustainability, and also their contribution to food security in the region.

Countries India, Philippines
PartnersInternational Rice Research Institute (IRRI), GIZ, Sustainable Rice Platform (SRP)
Alignment with CERES2030 investment areas
  • Investing in extension services and R&D, especially for women
  • Implementing agricultural interventions and innovation to support sustainable practices
  • Supporting the adoption of climate-resilient crops
  • Scaling up farm-level interventions in water-scarce regions


Financial commitment (USD) 202220232024202520262027202820292030



Contact PersonAnkur Tiku, Veeresh Gowda


Short description    

BayG.A.P. is a Service Program that aims to train, advice and support farmers on implementing good agricultural practices to ensure Food Safety and enable along the verification of their produce. Through a comprehensible training content based on good agricultural practices, BayG.A.P works to advance equitable livelihoods worldwide. The program empowers and connects smallholder farmers to new market access points and therefore new income-generating opportunities, helping them become competitive in local and international markets. While BayG.A.P. has helped hundreds of farmers, there are still many more in need of their localg.a.p. or equivalent certificates, and smallholder farmers continue to have difficulty completing the certification process due to the cost and the resources required. In response to these issues, Bay G.A.P. provides sponsorships to fully cover the cost of trainings and has extended its reach by making the service program available through further channels like radio, WhatsApp and online trainings. We Agricultural transformation is not only technological, it’s mainly cultural, BayG.A.P. aims to support agricultural culture.


Countries / RegionsBrazil, China, India, Indonesia, Thailand, Colombia, Ecuador, Mexico, Egypt, West-Central Africa, East Africa
Alignment with CERES2030 investment areas
  • Offering integrated training in multiple skills through vocational programs for rural youth
Financial commitment (USD) 202220232024202520262027202820292030
In-kind  2.5M      
Contact PersonKai Wirtz, Gerhard Adam


Short description    

Bayer is currently leading the Better Life Farming Alliance (BLFA), a global, multi-stakeholder partnership between Bayer, Netafim, and the International Finance Corporation (IFC), created to ensure the easy availability of farming solutions from the partner network to rural farmers through a “last mile delivery model” in their villages to improve initially limited access to essential agricultural services – with the roll-out potential to other areas such as healthcare and nutrition. BLF Centers provide to local farmers agronomic advice and good agricultural practices trainings (BayG.A.P.), customized agronomic solutions, financing (including financial literacy training), access to model farms, as well as partnerships along the value chain to facilitate market access and ensure fair prices. BLF Centers are owned and run by agri-entrepreneurs, farmers, or agri-graduates from the rural communities, who are trained to provide access to inputs and services. Moreover, the introduction of irrigation systems through BLF also ensures a more effective use of water, which proved effective in reducing methane emissions in rice production (BLF plans to incorporate GHG reduction assessments at smallholder farm levels in lighthouse projects). 


Countries / RegionsIndia, Bangladesh, Indonesia
Alignment with CERES2030 investment areas
  • Offering integrated training in multiple skills through vocational programs for rural youth
  • Implementing agricultural interventions and innovation to support sustainable practices
  • Investing in infrastructure, regulations, technical assistance and services to support SMEs in the value chain
Financial commitment (USD) 202220232024202520262027202820292030
expansion studies
Contact PersonRonald Gündel, Rohit Maini 


Short description


The Modern Breeding Project (MBP) is 30-month project launched in 2020 by Bayer, IITA, and CGIAR, funded by the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, aimed to build a more effective plant breeding system that develops superior cultivars for critical African crops, namely cassava, maize, cowpea, banana, yam, and soybean. The project is expected to improve both technical and organizational elements patterned after protocols and best practices from Bayer. Bayer is assisting IITA with research workflow management, product development, implementation of shared services, and general organizational insights. Bayer is contributing up to $1.2 M of in-kind support, mostly in the form of time of skills-based volunteers. The project’s beneficiaries are the over 100 million smallholder farmers who grow IITA’s mandate crops on about 60 million hectares in the humid to semiarid zones of sub-Saharan Africa.


Countries / RegionsBurkina Faso, DR Congo, Ghana, Kenya, Mali, Nigeria, Rwanda, Tanzania, Uganda, Zambia
PartnersInternational Institute of Tropical Agriculture (IITA)
Alignment with CERES2030 investment areas
  • Offering integrated training in multiple skills through vocational programs for rural youth
  • Implementing agricultural interventions and innovation to support sustainable practices
Financial commitment (USD) 202220232024202520262027202820292030
Contact PersonCristiane Lourenco, Erin Jones 


Achievements and advancements 2022

We invested €13M to develop Vegetable Seeds varieties that help smallholders grow quality and nutritious fruits and vegetables in Africa and Asia. We’ve developed 20 different vegetable crops with the intention to reduce both field and post-harvest losses. We helped to support more than 50,000 households and smallholder farmers in Ukraine and Brazil with seed donation.

in africa and asia

Through the Modern Breeding Project, we co-developed superior cultivars for critical African crops alongside our partners at the International Institute of Tropical Agriculture (IITA). Together we contributed technical expertise in plant breeding to create a baseline for genetic gains across six crops and 31 product pipelines. Furthermore, we provided industry best practices on operational excellence of the product pipeline progress. The project received a high commendation for the “Best Public Outreach Program” by S&P Global Commodity Insights in 2022. 


Through our Arize Hybrid Rice Seeds Program, we are upscaling sustainable rice cropping systems to 10,000 acres in India, with farm level interventions and innovations. Through this program, we offer a comprehensive system of technological and agronomic advisory and inputs to make direct seeded rice successful at the farmer’s own rate.


Three of our Arize hybrids – known for their higher nutrient and water use efficiency – were launched in India, Bangladesh and the Philippines. 


Through Better Life Farming and the “BLF Academy” in India, Indonesia and  Bangladesh, we trained smallholder farmers on business topics, including safe use of agrochemicals, good agricultural practices, gender awareness and health. Additionally, we invested in two government programs in India to help identify potential female agri-entrepreneurs. 


Through the BayG.A.P. program, we trained small and medium-scale farmers in 16 countries to implement sustainable farming standards and principles of good agricultural practices. We also added two new value chain solutions that are being piloted in Ecuador and India, with the aim of improving market access for farmers with local supermarkets, reaching more than 190 farmers. Additionally, we have expanded our training portfolio with a new training on Regenerative Agriculture. We have also held biosecurity trainings on Tropical Race Disease of bananas (TR4) for more than 200 farmers in Vietnam.

Bayer is a Life Science company with a more than 150-year history and core competencies in the areas of health care and agriculture.

The Crop Science division is a world-leading agriculture enterprise driving research in biology, biotechnology, crop protection, and data science, allowing us to deliver tailored solutions to farmers faster than ever before. In 2020, our Crop Science division employed around 33,000 people in 143 countries, and invested an unmatched 2 billion euros in R&D.

Through traditional and advanced breeding techniques, as well as research in biotechnology, we’re developing seeds and traits that provide farmers with crops that combat environmental challenges — like pests, disease, and drought — while providing more choice for consumers. 

Our researchers are using data science each day to target, test, and select only the molecules with the most favorable toxicological profiles for our crop protection products, helping farmers defend their crops against weeds, disease, and harmful insects and fungi in an environmentally-sustainable way.

Using digital tools that integrate data from farm equipment, satellites, field sensors, irrigation systems, drones, and other input sources, we’re empowering farmers to make better decisions through data science and predictive analytics, with detailed, real-time assessments of growing conditions and crop health.

Bayer’s commercial portfolio of sustainable solutions also includes a carbon farming model that provides financial incentives to farmers who uptake sustainable practices.

Complementary to our core-business, we invest financial and in-kind resources into non-commercial development projects with multiple partners to improve the ability of smallholders in developing countries to access our solutions and other sustainable technologies, providing agronomic advise, training and stewardship to fully and sustainably leverage their potential, and facilitating their access to up- and down-stream value chain partners.

ESG / Sustainability / Food Systems

Climate change, biodiversity loss, and food insecurity are key challenges to a growing population. Sustainable agriculture – that is, all the tools and practices farmers use to improve productivity and grow safe, healthy food, all while preserving natural resources – can play a key role to provide solutions.

As a global leader in crop science, Bayer has a heightened responsibility and the unique potential to advance sustainable farming for the benefit of farmers, consumers, and the planet. That’s why, when it comes to managing our business, we’ve introduced three ambitious commitments to address these pressing challenges by 2030:

  • Empower 100 million smallholder farmers in low- and middle-income countries to sustainably increase their productivity, improve the quality of their produce, and enhance their livelihoods by enabling their access to our products – including improved seeds, crop protection solutions, and digital farming tools – services – from training to stewardship and agronomic advice – and value chain partners. To date, we are reaching 45 million smallholder farmers in Asia (30 million), Africa (13 million), and Latin America (2 million).
  • Reduce the global environmental impact Bayer’s of crop protection by 30 percent against the baseline by: (a) developing active ingredients with better environmental profile, ensuring lower effect on non-target plants and species compared to other products; (b) optimizing crop protection volumes required per hectare – e.g. through precision application (data-driven tools that ensure that the right amount of crop protection is applied by farmers in the right place and at the right time), seed treatment (seed-applied crop protection tools can significantly reduce the volume of chemicals used and therefore the potential exposure to wildlife and the environment), seeds and traits (crops bred and designed to better fight pests and diseases that attack them, ensuring that less chemical crop protection is needed), and chemical crop protection complemented with biologics to enhance integrated management practices and reduce pest resistance; (c) reducing the emissions of crop protection into the environment through mitigation measures such as drift reduction and buffer strips, and digitally enabled precision application. To evaluate the potential environmental impact of its crop protection portfolio, Bayer uses models developed by independent third parties and endorsed by UNEP/SETAC Life Cycle Initiative.
  • Reduce by 30 percent greenhouse gas emissions produced by key crops in the main regions we serve. Bayer is deploying climate-smart seeds – including hybrid seeds for dry direct seeded rice to reduce methane emissions, short-stature corn to grow more using less land – improved crop genetics requiring less fertilizer, digital tools for precise fertilizer application, crop protection solutions allowing no-till farming, and microorganisms and inoculants. Through its Carbon Initiative, Bayer is giving financial incentives to farmers adopting cover crops, no-till farming, and crop rotation to maximize soil carbon, enrich soil nutrients and reduce fertilizer need.

Besides our efforts to mitigate the impact of farming on climate, in harmony with the Paris Agreement, we committed to become climate-neutral by 2030 by reducing its own emissions by >42% and offsetting remaining emissions through the purchase of recognized certificates. The company also cooperates with its suppliers and customers to reduce greenhouse gas emissions along the upstream and downstream value chain by at least 12.3% by 2030. These targets have been approved by the Science Based Target initiative led by Carbon Disclosure Project (CDP), UNGC, WRI, and WWF.

Bayer applies the same rigor to achieving its sustainability targets as it does to its financial targets. We established an independent Sustainability Council, formed by external experts, and all our commitments have been reviewed and validated and are monitored by independent experts and auditors on the basis of scientific methodologies and parameters. Our progress is made public on an annual basis in Bayer’s Sustainability Reports. Moreover, achievement of our commitments is connected to the variable compensation of the Board of Management.

Bayer is committed to transparency by disclosing safety-relevant study summaries and granting non-commercial access to full study reports for our marketed crop protection products and genetically modified (GM) crops. At Bayer, we are consumers as well as scientists, and we take our responsibility for the safety of our products very seriously by conducting comprehensive safety studies according to scientific principles and the high-quality standards set by the regulators. Before they are put on the market, Bayer’s genetically modified (GM) crops undergo more food and environmental safety testing and oversight than any other agricultural product – including conventional (or non-GM) crops. The guidelines for establishing safety of GM crops that are followed by Bayer and recognized by regulatory authorities globally were developed over many years by international scientific bodies like the FAO/WHO Codex Alimentarius Commission and the Organization for Economic Development (OECD). Only after Bayer has met internal safety testing requirements is the GM crop submitted to global regulatory authorities for their review. In the US, for example, after extensive safety testing is completed at Bayer, every genetically modified product goes through regulatory review to make sure it is safe to eat, safe to grow, and safe for the Environment.

Bayer is a founding member of the UN Global Compact since 2000, and we respect the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. We support the UN Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights (UNGPs) and globally recognized declarations applicable for multinational corporations, including the OECD Guidelines for Multi-national Enterprises, and the Tripartite Declaration of Principles concerning Multinational Enterprises and Social Policy of the International Labour Organization (ILO MNE) and the latter’s core labor standards. We participated in the pilot project on the implementation of the OECD-FAO Guidance for Responsible Agricultural Supply Chains, which is based on and incorporates the UNGPs, ILO MNE, and the UN Committee on World Food Security’s Principles for Responsible Investment in Agriculture and Food Systems (CFS-RAI).

Bayer is also actively engaged in preventing child labor in the seed supply chain.

Last but not least, acknowledging Article 9.3 of the International Plant Treaty – which recognizes the “rights that farmers have to save, use, exchange and sell farm-saved seed/propagating material, subject to national law and as appropriate” – Bayer does not intend to enforce its intellectual property rights against smallholder farmers for private and non-commercial use of farm-saved seed to escape extreme poverty and will collaboratively work to integrate them into the world of commercial farming to improve their livelihood.