Agriculture, Water and Investment
Rural areas in developing countries desperately need investment. The challenge is to design a strategy to invest in small-scale farmers, food security and sustainable use of water and other natural resources.
A wave of foreign investment in agricultural land and water is transforming rural economies and livelihoods. The Land Matrix Partnership says that more than 1,217 deals were concluded in developing countries between 2000 and 2009, covering 83 million hectares of land.
A key driver for investment is the growing global demand for food and biofuels, coupled with increasing water shortages and scarcity, which have forced many governments to look abroad. The private sector, including banking and finance, is seizing the opportunities.
Rural areas and the agriculture sector desperately need investment. One billion people go to bed hungry every night. Seventy per cent of those people live in rural areas and depend on agriculture for their livelihoods. However, foreign investment does not always contribute to improving those livelihoods.
IISD’s work tries to help governments and policy-makers build more effective investment strategies that contribute to sustainable development. We explain the role of international investment agreements in protecting investors’ interests and the need to safeguard space for governments to implement agricultural policies in the public interest.
Historic New Law Secures Land for Malian Farmers
Farmers in Mali have gained critical new rights to their traditional land—and rural communities have gained much-needed economic stability—as a result of a historic new law.Read More
- Policy Brief
How to Improve Gender Equality in Agriculture: Investment in Agriculture Policy Brief #5
In this policy brief, we explore how global standards and guidelines contribute to gender equality and women’s empowerment, and whether more can be done through these instruments to improve the situation of women in agriculture.Read More
Promoting Gender Equality in Foreign Agricultural Investments: Lessons from voluntary sustainability standards
This report looks deeper into the successes and failures of existing global standards on agribusinesses in developing countries to determine how they can help improve the situation of rural women.Read More
- Briefing Note
How Small Businesses Can Support Climate-Resilient Value Chains: Lessons from Uganda
This brief focuses on investments by domestic seed companies in quality seeds, including climate-resilient varieties, in developing countries and the climate risk management benefits for other actors along the value chain. It is designed for researchers and practitioners working on agricultural value chains, food security and climate resilience in developing countries.Read More
What it Would Take to End Hunger
An event on the sidelines of CFS 43 focused on the public investment required to end hunger.Read More
- Briefing Note
Ending Hunger: What would it cost?
The International Institute for Sustainable Development and the International Food Policy Research Institute joined forces to estimate what it would cost to end hunger, and the contribution that donors need to make.Read More
Bayer Tightens Control Over the World’s Food Supply
Bayer recently succeeded in a US$ 66 billion takeover bid of Monsanto—the biggest deal this year. While the public wants competitive prices, innovation and choice, these mergers block all three.Read More
Reducing Food Waste: The role of foreign investors in promoting efficiency
Agricultural investors can help to minimize food loss both on the farm and during transport and storage. Governments also have a role to play in promoting efficiency and reducing waste. This blog explores both sets of interventions.Read More
- Policy Brief
Investing in Land for Water: The converging legal regimes Policy Brief #4 Investment in Agriculture
This policy brief presents the different sources of law that are triggered by the use of water for farmland investments, and makes recommendations to help reconcile different legal regimes while ensuring water issues are adequately addressed.Read More
Rationalizing Energy Subsidies in Agriculture: A scoping study of agricultural subsidies in Haryana, India
This study untangles the energy-water nexus by analyzing how subsidized electricity has incentivized groundwater extraction in Haryana, India.Read More