Agriculture, Water and Investment
Agriculture is on the frontlines of nearly all urgent global challenges, from hunger to climate change to rising inequality.
We provide high-quality advice to governments to help transform public and private investment into a vehicle for change: strengthening food security and livelihoods, while protecting land rights and responsibly managing natural resources.
Over 800 million people go to bed hungry every night, 70 per cent of whom live in rural areas and depend on agriculture for their livelihoods. Agriculture provides a livelihood for more people globally than any other sector, representing almost 50 per cent of total employment in poor countries. Investment in agriculture has a greater poverty reduction effect—especially amongst the poorest people—than investment in any other sector.
This is why increased investment in agriculture and food systems in low- and middle-income countries is desperately needed. When done right, increased investment can help boost production, generate employment, increase incomes and promote economic development. But when done badly, it can exacerbate existing inequalities, undermine the livelihoods of small farmers, particularly women, and significantly deplete land, water, soil and other natural resources.
Ensuring positive impacts from foreign investment requires robust policies, laws and practices. IISD works with governments and policy-makers to build the laws and policies needed to maximize the benefits—and minimize the risks—of foreign investment.
We also work to improve the flow of public investment to agriculture. We joined forces with the International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI) to measure the scale of public spending needed to end hunger. We found that it will cost an extra USD 11 billion per year from now until 2030 to largely eradicate hunger, a central part of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). Along with IFPRI and Cornell University we have now embarked on a new project, CERES 2030: Sustainable solutions to end hunger, which combines state-of-the-art modelling techniques with expert evidence to build consensus on the best way to end hunger sustainably, with costs and effective solutions.
Joining Forces to put People at the Centre of Land Governance
IISD is proud to announce that the International Land Coalition (ILC) recently confirmed us as an official member. Francine Picard, Parliamentary Advisor for IISD’s Economic Law and Policy, explains what this means for IISD's work to end poverty and hunger.Read More
Food for Thought: Weighing up health and investment in the age of the new pandemic
Obesity is increasing in developing countries and trade agreements could help monitor this. Read more to find out how.Read More
Could a U.S.–China Trade War Lead to a New Wave of Land Grabs?
A trade war could force China to search for new frontiers to secure its soybean demand and protect its supply chains, leading to another wave of so-called “land grabs.”Read More
The Social and Environmental Benefits of Manitoba's Community Pastures
A total economic value analysis of Manitoba's community pastures, demonstrating the private and public benefits of sustainable grazing management.Read More
Can Agricultural Growth Poles Solve Rural Poverty in Africa?
What are agricultural growth poles? Could they help solve rural poverty in Africa? Francine Picard explores...Read More
Effective Public Investments to Improve Food Security
The world has made significant progress in reducing hunger over the past decade. But hunger remains a major challenge. This policy brief identifies the most effective and efficient ways to invest in improving food security.Read More
The Potential for Carbon Dioxide Equivalent Sequestration in Agro-Manitoba
IISD and the Prairie Climate Centre conducted a high-level quantitative analysis of the sequestration potential of land use practices in Agro-Manitoba that are additional to business as usual.Read More
Hunger Is On the Rise: Here are three ways to stop it
Hunger levels are rising. Carin Smaller explores how technology could help tackle climate change and end hunger.Read More
The Rise of Agricultural Growth Poles in Africa: Investment in Agriculture Policy Brief #6
Africa has seen the emergence of 36 agricultural growth poles and 9 corridors over the past 15 years. They cover at least 3.5 million hectares of land in 23 countries. Ensuring that the new wave of agropoles and growth corridors is effective requires robust policies, laws and practices to ensure that a possible new trend of investment helps Africa achieve the sustainable development goals the continent has set.Read More
Farmland Investments Are Finding their Way to International Arbitration
A claim registered by a Swedish investor against the Tanzanian government for revoking a land title amid concerns over the impact on local communities and a wildlife sanctuary is the first known investor-state dispute against a government linked to the so-called “land grab” phenomenon, which arose out of the 2008 food crisis.Read More