Farmers harvesting crops in a field

Food and Agriculture

Making agriculture and food systems more equitable, resilient, and sustainable is key to addressing many of the world’s most pressing sustainable development challenges—from hunger and poverty to climate change and biodiversity loss.

Agriculture and food systems are key to sustainable development. They feed us and provide livelihoods for a significant share of the world’s population. We need to ensure they can continue to sustain future generations—without harming the natural environment upon which they depend.

IISD works with policy-makers and practitioners to help establish laws, policies, and institutions that ensure agriculture and food systems advance sustainable development.

We support the establishment of legal and policy frameworks that encourage responsible private sector investment in agriculture and food systems, particularly in low-income developing countries. We support the negotiation of multilateral trade rules for more equitable and sustainable international trade in food and agricultural products. And we seek to inform better use of public policies and spending—including official development assistance and domestic subsidies—to incentivize sustainable agriculture, tackle food insecurity, and promote sustainable food systems. 

To achieve these objectives, we work with a range of stakeholders in developing countries and regions, and at the international level. We provide advice and training to governments and regional bodies; we produce practical tools and guidance for governments, investors, and civil society; and we bring these stakeholders together to engage in inclusive dialogue and peer-to-peer learning.

This work is complemented by in-depth research conducted in collaboration with leading international organizations and research institutes. Together, we produce and disseminate evidence and recommendations to improve knowledge and inspire and inform action. This feeds into important international processes to develop rules, norms, principles, and targets aimed at achieving equitable and sustainable food systems for present and future generations.