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
« Sécurité alimentaire – meilleure nutrition pour tous » : La plaidoirie du parlementaire Abdoulaye Wilane (in French)
L’Organisation des Nations Unies pour l’alimentation et l’agriculture (FAO), en collaboration avec l’Institut international du développement durable (IIDD), ont organisé la session thématique « Action parlementaire sur la lutte contre les inégalités entre les sexes pour parvenir à la sécurité alimentaire et à une meilleure nutrition pour tous ». Ce, dans le cadre des événements préparatoires du deuxième Sommet parlementaire mondial contre la faim et la malnutrition, qui se tiendra en 2023.
Varying sustainability standards polarize vegetable oil market
We are now seeing a gradual shift in the global perception of palm oil, which had been blamed as the main driver of deforestation in the past, toward the more balanced view that other vegetable oils and commodities are equally responsible for contributing to climate change and deforestation.
IISD Mourns the Passing of Ciata Bishop, Advisor and Advocate for Responsible Agricultural Investment
IISD is saddened by the recent loss of Ciata Bishop, a longtime friend and advisor to our team, and a passionate advocate for ensuring that investment is conducted sustainably and with the involvement of the communities affected.
Do due diligence laws actually promote climate smart food?
EU-proposed due-diligence legislation has been criticised for triggering unintended consequences across the supply chain, which begs the question: will such a law actually promote climate smart food?
Global Market Report: Coffee prices and sustainability
A new report examines sustainable production and consumption trends in the coffee sector, focusing on how voluntary sustainability standards can help farmers.
World Trade Organization Talks on Agricultural Subsidies Should Consider Trade-Offs Among Trade, Food Security, and the Environment
Facundo Calvo, agricultural policy analyst for IISD, discusses the WTO’s approach to agricultural subsidies from a trade, food security, and an environmental perspective.
Voluntary Sustainability Standards in East Africa
Exploring how adopting voluntary sustainability standards for staple crops can help achieve regional policy objectives in East Africa.
Achieving Sustainable Food Systems in a Global Crisis: Malawi
This report presents an evidence-based and costed country roadmap for effective public interventions to transform agriculture and food systems in Malawi in a way that ends hunger, makes diets healthier and more affordable, improves the productivity and incomes of small-scale producers, and mitigates and adapts to climate change.
You might also be interested in
Human activity—from pollutants to climate change—is threatening the health of our planet's precious freshwater resources. That's where we come in.
For development to be sustainable and effective, the needs of all people must be considered.
Investment Law & Policy
How can we ensure developing economies attract international investment that promotes sustainable development?
Technology and Innovation
When it comes to achieving a sustainable future for all, we cannot merely rely on tried-and-tested formulas. We need to think outside the box and get innovative.
COVID-19 and Resilient Recovery
How will the COVID-19 pandemic and the global recovery from it affect the future of sustainable development?
Depending on how trade policy is designed and implemented, it can either advance or be a hindrance to sustainable, low-carbon development.