As of May 2022, the Initiative supports 52 countries. The following are progress highlights from some countries. Updates are made whenever possible.

1. Angola

Angola - yolande-conradie-TKsDclZ3i4o-unsplash

Having completed its first-ever national agricultural survey, Angola has adopted the Hand-in-Hand Initiative to strengthen the impact of the National Development Plan. The farmer field schools programme, launched jointly with FAO in 2006, has grown tremendously and now provides a vital support to the plan. The aim is to expand a principal part of the National Development Plan from its current 100,000 participants to 1 million using the HIH approach. The work is funded by Angola’s agriculture-oriented unilateral trust fund agreement.


2. Bangladesh

Bengladesh - Sirajganj District Grassland - Manzur-Alam-_jxz7Fe1btc-unsplash

Despite having made remarkable progress on the Sustainable Development Goals, Bangladesh still faces challenges, with 20 percent of the population living below the national poverty line. The Government has committed to moving the farming sector to a more commercial, mechanized and diversified sector. In this context, the HIH Initiative is becoming a key support for the government’s priority Agriculture Transformation Programme, which seeks to modernize the agriculture sector through interventions such as agro-mechanization, agro-processing, post-harvest processing, cold chain, and safe value chain strategies; engagement of private sector associations, international finance partners, national banks and investors; and adoption of climate-smart agricultural systems to build resilience.


3. Bhutan

Bhutan has engaged the Hand-in-Hand Initiative to support four priority areas: enterprise development and marketing; climate-smart agriculture and sustainable farming; food security and nutrition; and GIS platforms and digitalization of farming. The Government has undertaken baseline studies to identify key constraints and opportunities. Together with the Hand-in-Hand task force team, the Government has initiated the development of typologies.


4. Burundi


The Initiative started in Burundi in late 2021, with the Minister of the Environment, Agriculture and Livestock indicating expectations for strong support from the Hand-in-Hand process for five strategic priorities, including increasing productivity and quality of food through the establishment of agricultural growth zones ("centres de rayonnement") and breeding centres, with a focus on transformation and fortification. The HIH team is currently working with the Government on several analytical products, including agricultural typologies and territorial analyses. The team is also conducting analysis on institutional and governance aspects related to decentralization, land, water and forest tenure, and the development-humanitarian-peace nexus.

5. Ecuador

In Ecuador, the Initiative supports the National Agricultural Plan (NAP) 2020-2030. FAO's HIH team has been working with the Government and local stakeholders on how to strengthen the cocoa value chain. As part of this effort, information on all national programmes and private initiatives are being systematized. Using the typology maps as an input, the Ministry of Agriculture is organizing its National Agricultural Plan, with projects focusing on livestock (Proyecto nacional de reconversión y sostenibilidad ganadera), forestry (Dinamización del sector forestal productivo sostenible), and agriculture (Proyecto integral de diversificación agroproductiva y reconversión agrícola).

6. El Salvador


The Initiative in El Salvador supports the national RECLIMA programme, which aims to strengthen the resilience of farmers against climate change. It also supports the agriculture ministry’s Agricultural Rescue Master Plan, which has a fully compatible approach with HIH. An investment note on the coffee value chain in the Tecapa Chinameca mountain range, a prioritized territory, is being prepared. The HIH task force is working together with the Salvadoran Coffee Council to obtain data on the coffee value chain. The Ministry of Agriculture and Livestock is focused on modernizing the coffee sector, taking into consideration environmental impact as well as the domestic market and export of “special coffee.”


7. Ethiopia


The HIH Initiative in Ethiopia seeks to accelerate agricultural transformation and rural development, building on existing work supporting the development and implementation of the Integrated Agro-Industrial Park Policy. Several analytical products to support evidence-based decision making are under development. These include a quantitative poverty profile of the agricultural sector, as well as a poverty, food security, and nutrition baseline and territorial assessments in the Agro-Commodity Procurement Zones. The ACPZ Investment Plans successfully raised US$680 million to build small- and medium-scale irrigation and post-harvest and storage infrastructure over five years.  

The most recent partner to come on board is Digital Green, a platform for disseminating agricultural knowledge to farmers. Another important partner is the Agricultural Transformation Agency, a government agency, which has produced several studies on the transformation of the sector.

8. Gabon

The Government signed the Technical Cooperation Programme supporting the Initiative in late 2021. Based on analyses and consultations, it was agreed that the Hand-in-Hand Initiative will support the Government in operationalizing the High Agricultural Productivity Zones, established through the Emerging Gabon Strategic Plan ("Plan stratégique Gabon Emergent"), also known as PSGE. The ZAP aims to ensure national food security and nutrition and to prioritize the country’s agricultural potential. The Initiative will support the Government on establishing the first pilot ZAP in Andem region, close to Libreville, with a focus on developing a poultry value chain.

9. Guatemala


In Guatemala, 46 percent of the population lives in rural areas, and every third job in the country is in the agriculture sector. Almost 600,000 young people are engaged in agricultural activities in rural areas. With innovation and strategic investments, the agriculture sector has a high potential to generate development opportunities and reduce rural exodus and inequality. The Initiative assists the Cabinet for Integrated Rural Development with recovery and resilience-building in the territories of Polochic and Adyacencia in the wake of past tropical depressions. The Initiative also supports the Ministry of Agriculture, Livestock, and Food by providing territorial analysis to  design interventions in Polochic-Adyacencia. This is happening in parallel with the development of the typology of micro-regions, which guide strategic investments.

10. Guinea Bissau

The Initiative in Guinee Bissau focuses on three target regions — Gabu, Oio, and Biombo — where food insecurity and malnutrition are particularly high. The Initiative supports the preparation of a national strategy for the cashew value chain to build a more sustainable and inclusive supply chain and processing systems The Initiative also helps identify the most appropriate interventions for sustainable diversification of food systems. Several analytical products to support evidence-based decision making, including systematic analysis of cashew and fisheries value chains, and qualitative territorial development assessment in the three target regions, are under way.

11. Lao PDR

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Lao People's Democratic Republic considers the HiH Initiative as a way to mobilize resources to unlock agricultural potential and eradicate poverty and malnutrition along the China-Lao railway corridor, currently under construction. Programme activities began in late 2020, including assessments of suitable production and value chain analysis (rice, maize, cassava, fruits). The Initiative aims to improve the livelihoods of smallholder farmers and vulnerable populations, especially women, youth and ethno-linguistic groups, in the provinces of Luam Namtha, Oudomxay, Luang Prabang, and Vientiane.



12. Malawi

The Government has identified entry points and value chains that could benefit from HIH’s programmatic support to accelerate agriculture development. The HIH team in Malawi is in the process of validating typologies guiding note, which was developed early 2022. The Government has set up a national task force team, so that it can be trained by the GIS team to customize the typologies to fit the national context.

13. Mali


In Mali, the Initiative supports the operationalization of two pilot Agricultural Growth Zonez or Agropoles. The establishment of Agropoles is promoted by the country's Economic Acceleration and Sustainable Development Strategy (CREDD II, 2019-2023). It is also supported by the National Agricultural Investment Plan to attract private investment and enhance competitiveness and access to markets. Agropoles would also improve the incomes of smallscale producers and businesses, and boost their acess to healthy diets.  


14. Nepal

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Under the Hand-in-Hand Initiative, FAO and the World Bank supported the Ministry of Agriculture and Livestock Development to conduct a study on a climate-smart agriculture investment plan (CSAIP). The study identifies key opportunities for collaboration and investment in the agriculture sector. It also contributes to the World Bank’s agriculture engagement strategy and FAO’s Green Climate Fund projects. The HIH team is supporting the rollout of CSAIP-related plans at the local level in selected provinces. This will help mainstream the inclusive climate-resilient agrifood systems approach and identify locally important investment requirements from development partners and private companies.


15. Niger

Niger has potential for agriculture and livestock development, but the economy remains vulnerable due to climate change, degradation of natural resources, lack of diversification and increasing security problems. The Initiative builds on the results of the ongoing “pro-Sahel” project, which promotes innovation of small-scale irrigation systems for small-scale producers in the Sahel. Key entry points include strengthening climate change resilience of irrigated farming systems. The Technical Cooperation Programme aims to identify investment opportunities in the target regions of Dosso and Tahoua to improve food security and nutrition, and sustainable use of natural resources.

16. Nigeria

In Nigeria, the Initiative has enjoyed steadily increasing government leadership. Regular briefings are provided to the ministers of agriculture and rural development, environment, finance, budget and national planning. The Government's technical task team has finalised the HIH programme plan to support the development of agricultural commodities value chains and agro-processing units in regions where poverty rates and potential for growth are both high. Donor mapping exercise and geospatial analysis have been conducted to guide territorial targeting and identify key resource partners.

17. Peru

In Peru, the Initiative promotes family farming and robust public and private investments. The HIH methodology of micro-region typologies, complemented by other tools from FAO and the Ministry of Agriculture, zeroed in on family-farming territories and territorial development. The Initiative also provides criteria for selecting value chains with high potential for poverty reduction and economic revitalization, especially in the family-farming sector and among rural population affected by the COVID-19 pandemic. The HIH team has worked together with regional governments to identify priority value chains (dairy, native grains, potato and others) in La Libertad and Cajamarca, and assessed the social returns of investments. Several family-farming typologies are in development.

18. Solomon Islands

Solomon Islands - Pexels - Mikhail Nilov -8333108

Under HIH, FAO supports the Ministry of Agriculture and Livestock with the 10-year Agriculture Sector Growth and Investment Plan (ASGIP) 2021-2030. The plan comprises four strategic programmes: governance, management, and innovation; national food and nutrition security; national livestock development programme; and national crop development. Based on the ASGIP, IFAD and FAO jointly designed the “Agricultural Investment for Markets and Nutrition Project” in 2021, which mobilised $15 million from the Global Agriculture and Food Security Programme (GAFSP). The project supports the HIH objectives of the Sustainable Development Goals 1 and 2. 

19. Sudan


The Hand-in-Hand Initiative supports the establishment of the Agriculture and Livestock Transformation Agency as a means to accelerate progress toward inclusive and sustainable agri-food systems development and rural transformation. To this end, the Initiative has provided analyses, training, and recruitment. A technical task force, comprising government officials and FAO staff, has identified the first set of priorities include livestock sector development, which also support extensions and vaccination programmes, value chain development for sorghum and groundnuts, seeds distribution, water management and irrigation, financial services, and clean energy generation.

20. Tajikistan


In Tajikistan, the Hand-in-Hand Initiative supports the development of a 10-year National Investment Plan for the agriculture sector. The Initiative specifically focuses on the dairy sector, which has been identified as one with the greatest potential to improve the incomes of the poorest communities and to generate opportunities for value-chain development. The HiH team has produced geospatial datasets related to Tajikistan’s food systems, including population, infrastructure, natural resources, production, and data processing. The World Bank and IFAD are financing two projects identified by the geospatial datasets.

21. Yemen


Yemen is in need of prioritizing the humanitarian-development-peace nexus. In May 2021, FAO, UNDP, WFP, and the World Bank mobilized $127 million to provide nutritious food products and restore livelihoods, which aligns with the goals of the Hand-in-Hand Initiative. The HIH team is working with the Government on drafting the National Agriculture and Fisheries Strategy (NAFS) and National Agriculture and Fisheries Investment Plan (NAFIP) in order to facilitate the development of a national strategy to improve food security. To raise money, they have finalized key financial models for investment in production and post-production technologies. Additionally, the World Bank has secured an additional financing of $150 million for the Yemen Food Security Response and Resilience Project.


22. Zimbabwe


Zimbabwe’s HiH Initiative builds on the Government’s agrifood systems transformation agenda, leveraging existing agricultural investment in the country. The Initiative strengthens the Government's effort with an advanced methodology that combines household-level data with GIS information to identify hot spots. With the Initiative’s support, Zimbabwe is focusing on developing inclusive value chains, enhancing agriculture financing and infrastructure, and reducing food loss and waste. The donor mapping, data assessment and typologies analysis are complete. With this, the Government has identified entry points. Extensive consultations have taken place at national and provincial levels.



Papua New Guinea
Solomon Islands


Burkina Faso
Cabo Verde
Central African Republic
Gambia, the


Sao Tomé and Principe
South Sudan



Latin America

El Salvador

Near East and North Africa