Food and Agriculture
Hunger levels have been rising for the past five years. Almost 690 million people go to bed hungry every night. COVID-19 could push 130 million more people into hunger by the end of 2020 unless action is taken. Food production and agriculture matter: they provide livelihoods for more people in the world than any other sector.
We provide high-quality advice to governments and parliamentarians to strengthen countries’ food security and livelihoods and to improve the quality of public and private investment in agriculture and food systems, while protecting land rights and responsibly managing natural resources.
We also seek to make food systems and value chains more resilient to climate change. Our experts support governments in implementing policies and regulations that enable food systems and communities to absorb climate shocks.
See Our Projects
Ceres2030: Sustainable Solutions to End Hunger
Our mission is to provide the donor community with a menu of policy options for directing their investments, backed by the best available evidence and economic models.
Working With Parliamentarians on Responsible Investment in Agriculture and Food Systems
Through their legislative, oversight, and representative functions, parliamentarians hold a strategic position: they can inform political and legislative agendas with the purpose of fostering change on the ground.
Toward More Equitable and Sustainable Trade in Food and Agriculture
IISD’s work on trade in food and farm goods seeks to improve the extent to which trade policy supports sustainable development outcomes and expand the space for informed discussion among a wider set of policy actors.
The ASEAN Guidelines on Promoting Responsible Investment in Food, Agriculture and Forestry
The ASEAN Guidelines on Promoting Responsible Investment in Food, Agriculture and Forestry were prepared for the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) Secretariat and were adopted in October 2018 by ASEAN Ministers on Agriculture and Forestry (AMAF) during their annual meeting, held that year in Hanoi, Vietnam.
Model Agreement for Responsible Contract Farming
Offering a simple and practical legal tool for buyers and producers to improve their business relations and to help make responsible agricultural investment a reality.
Advisory and Capacity Development Services on Legal and Policy Frameworks for Responsible Agriculture Investment
We advise and support governments in the drafting of model contracts in various sectors, including large-scale farmland investments, agricultural investment laws, legal frameworks for agricultural growth poles and zones, policies for attracting foreign direct investment in agriculture, contract farming templates and laws, and market opportunities for voluntary sustainability standards.
Best Practices Bulletins: Legal tools for responsible investment in agriculture
In this best practices series, IISD analyzes key legal and policy issues arising from the legal tools used by states to govern responsible investment in agriculture and food systems, with a particular focus on developing country and sustainable development perspectives.
Food and Agriculture: Emerging Policy Issues
Emerging issues policy briefs is a series produced by the IISD Agriculture, Trade & Investment Team. The series highlights and explains emerging issues that affect the resilience and sustainability of food and agriculture systems, particularly in developing countries.
Achieving Sustainable Food Systems in a Global Crisis
Expanding the original scope of the Ceres2030 project, this initiative focused on the interrelationships between food systems, climate change, and diets. The results provided options for country-level transition pathways toward sustainable food systems in Ethiopia, Malawi, and Nigeria.
More Resources on COVID-19
The current crisis has underscored the need for policymakers to better understand the linkages between health, ecosystems, and sustainable food and agriculture systems to increase bolster countries’ ability to withstand a variety of shocks and crises (i.e. increase resilience) and respond quickly and effectively.
How Are African Governments Responding to Avert a COVID-19 Hunger Crisis?
This Ceres2030 webinar brought together African ministers responsible for agriculture and trade to discuss the measures their countries are taking to avert a hunger crisis by ensuring that livelihoods are secured and food systems remain functional.
Foreign Investment in Decline
UNCTAD predicted last month that COVID-19 would cause a 40% drop in foreign direct investment (FDI) in 2020.
Good Food For All – Averting a COVID-19 hunger crisis
This virtual event is intended to drive investments in the Sustainable Development Goal 2 related to ending hunger via raising awareness of numbers and costs needed.
Events & Publications
Localizing the SDGs: Agrifood systems transformation as a key accelerator
To reach food security and nutrition for all, food and agriculture policies need better tuning with environmental and social objectives at all levels.
IISD at the UN 2023 Water Conference
We are excited to speak at the UN 2023 Water Conference in New York City—the first of its kind in almost 50 years.
Global Market Report: Banana prices and sustainability
This report explores market trends in the banana industry and how standards and other supply chain actors can build producers' resilience to sustainability challenges.
How USD 10 Billion Can Transform Food Systems in Ethiopia, Malawi, and Nigeria: Report launch
This webinar presents the findings of a new report exploring food systems, nutrition, and environmental sustainability in Ethiopia, Malawi, and Nigeria.
Voluntary Sustainability Standards in South Asia: A focus on the cotton sector in Bangladesh, India, Pakistan, and Sri Lanka
This public webinar discussed research findings from IISD's State of Sustainability Initiatives.
Ouvrir la voie à l’investissement responsable (in French)
La Suisse s’engage en faveur de l’application des Principes pour un investissement responsable dans l’agriculture et les systèmes alimentaires approuvés en 2014 par le Comité de la sécurité alimentaire mondiale des Nations Unies. Le chemin reste toutefois long jusqu’à une mise en œuvre complète.
Vice-President, Global Strategies and Managing Director, Europe
Associate, Advisor Agriculture and Investment
Senior Advisor & Research Coordinator
Lead, Responsible Agricultural Investment Research
Lead II, Monitoring and Governance, Tracking Progress
Policy Analyst, Trade and Agriculture
Organic Transitions Need Some Push and Pull to Bear Fruit
As farmers grapple with pressures ranging from rising input prices to supply chain disruptions, how can governments help reduce vulnerabilities and mitigate risks—and do so in a way that supports smallholders, communities, and the environment?
Global Market Report: Cotton prices and sustainability
Exploring production and consumption trends in the cotton sector and how voluntary sustainability standards can improve social and environmental results.
Water retention projects can pay off
An International Institute for Sustainable Development report says farms, particularly livestock operations, can see significant benefits from water retention projects installed on their land.
The Value of Water Retention Beneficial Management Practices to Farmers and Landowners in the Seine Rat Roseau Watershed District
This report assesses the economic returns to communities and landowners from implementing on-farm water retention projects in the Seine, Rat, and Roseau watersheds in Manitoba, Canada.
Four Ways Investors Can Boost Sustainable Agriculture
With a multi-billion dollar investment gap for meeting the Sustainable Development Goal (SDG 2) of ending hunger by 2030, how can investors manage risk while supporting sustainable development in agriculture?
Shura attends preparatory meeting for Parliamentary Summit against Hunger
Doha: The Shura Council participated yesterday in the meeting that was held by the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO) in cooperation with the International Institute for Sustainable Development (IISD) in preparation for the convention of the 2nd Parliamentary Summit against Hunger and Malnutrition, which is scheduled to convene next year.
New "Fish Forward" Partnership Supports Sustainable, Eco-Certified Fishing in Manitoba
“Fish Forward” was launched at SMITH Restaurant today by provincial, national and international organizations who are working together to ensure that Manitoba lakes are sustainably fished, Manitoba fisheries are safeguarded for future generations, and Manitoba businesses are serving local fish that comes from increasingly sustainable sources.
Why was Africa exporting only about 1% of Soya, "The King Of Beans"?
Soy, often known as soja or soya bean, is the most popular plant-based protein source. It is also one of the most plentiful and inexpensive protein sources. Soya has become an essential part of daily life for people and animals in many parts of the world.
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