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 project focuses on the interrelation between food systems, climate change, and diets. The results provide options for country-level transition pathways towards sustainable food systems in three countries – 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
Global Food Crisis May Take Centre Stage at MC12 Agriculture Negotiations
IISD’s Facundo Calvo discusses the implications of the global food security crisis for agricultural negotiations at the WTO’s 12th Ministerial Conference.
Seeking Clarity on Nature-Based Climate Solutions for Adaptation
This guidance note clarifies the concepts behind nature-based solutions (NbS), nature-based climate solutions (NBCS), and ecosystem-based adaptation (EbA).
Showcasing Best Practices on Promoting Responsible Land-Based Investments
On May 24, 2022, IIED, representing the ALIGN project, IISD, and Oxfam will present a joint plenary discussion on good practices to promote responsible action in large-scale land-based investment during the Global Land Forum in Jordan.
Country Diagnostic Report: Nigeria
This report provides an overview of the current economic, social, and climate (mitigation and adaptation) trends in Nigeria, as well as projections based on modelling.
Country Diagnostic Report: Ethiopia
This report provides an overview of the current economic, social, and climate (mitigation and adaptation) trends in Ethiopia, as well as projections based on modelling.
Country Diagnostic Report: Malawi
This report provides an overview of the current economic, social, and climate (mitigation and adaptation) trends in Malawi, as well as projections based on modelling.
Executive Director, IISD Europe; Senior Director, Economic Law & Policy
Senior Law Advisor
Suzy H. Nikièma
Lead, Sustainable Investment
Associate, Advisor Agriculture and Investment
Susan H. Bragdon
Lead II, Monitoring and Governance, Tracking Progress
The Role of Agricultural Trade in Reducing Inequality
The benefits of international trade are often distributed unequally. Ekaterina Krivonos discusses how policy can make agricultural trade more inclusive.
More Say for Smallholders Will Help Standards Address Poverty
Voluntary sustainability standards can be a valuable tool for tackling poverty. But for these standards to be truly effective, smallholder farmers must have a say in how these are designed and put into practice.
UN's Zero Hunger Sustainable Development Goal at risk
After the huge success of the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) the United Nations laid out a new set of targets for 2030 - the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). The UN's SDG for Zero Hunger is measured by the prevalence of undernourishment, meaning a condition where "a person is unable to acquire enough food to meet daily minimum dietary energy requirements for one year".
Socio-Economic Factors Affecting the Adoption of Agri-Environmental Beneficial Management Practices in Manitoba
This Living Lab brief examines the socio-economic factors that drive the uptake of agri-environmental beneficial management practices on agricultural lands in Manitoba, Canada.
From Land Degradation to Land Restoration
Combating desertification, land degradation, and droughts can win socio-economic benefits for people in drylands and reduce climate change impacts.
Prezzi alimentari alle stelle. Le conseguenze sui Paesi in via di sviluppo (in Italian)
I prezzi dei beni alimentari volano, trainando l'inflazione. E le banche centrali dei Paesi emergenti hanno le mani legate.
Sustainable Food Systems in Canada
IISD undertook a scoping exercise to hear from our staff, civil society, and policy partners about what they see as some of the biggest challenges in charting a path to sustainable food systems in Canada.
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