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
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Investment Capacity Building and Advisory Services
The highly qualified international lawyers of IISD’s Investment Program offer advisory services on international investment treaties and contracts, with respect to investment negotiations, implementation and disputes.
Investment Policy Best Practices Advisory Bulletins
Drawing on public treaty texts and different model investment agreements produced by governments, IISD’s Best Practices Series analyzes the evolving scope and nature of investment treaty negotiations, in particular from the developing country and sustainable development perspectives.
Farmers for Climate Solutions Task Force
COVID-19 has been fundamentally destabilizing to much of Canadian life, and the agriculture sector is no exception.
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
Certification insulates cotton against market shocks
GENEVA – A new policy brief released by a major global think tank claims that compliance with voluntary sustainability standards can help smallholder cotton farmers to be more resilient to global shocks – such as the COVID-19 pandemic.
Farmers’ group wants cash for ‘climate-friendly’ agriculture in budget
An organization representing more than 20,000 farmers across the country is urging the federal government to follow a key takeaway from a report it recently published on Canada’s shortcomings in agro-environmental policy.
The Sustainable Use of Natural Resources: The Governance Challenge
Over-exploitation of natural resources harms the health of ecosystems and the livelihoods and wellbeing of people, but there are fair policy options.
Virtual Workshop for Eastern African Policymakers on Responsible Contract Farming
This workshop will discuss legal, policy and institutional innovations to support and promote contract farming, as an important inclusive business model for responsible investment in agriculture.
IISD Trade and Sustainability Review, Volume 1, Issue 2, March 2021
This second edition of IISD's Trade and Sustainability Review features analytical pieces and commentaries that focus on a series of transitions in the realm of trade and sustainability development.
How Could Trade Policy Better Address Food System Shocks?
This report examines how trade policy can help governments anticipate and respond to food system shocks while avoiding harm to producers and consumers in other countries.
Executive Director, IISD Europe; Senior Director, Economic Law & Policy
Senior Law Advisor
Suzy H. Nikièma
Director, Agriculture, Trade & Investment
Francine Picard Mukazi
Senior Policy Advisor & Lead, Partnerships
Susan H. Bragdon
Senior Policy Advisor
Lead, Monitoring and Governance, Tracking Progress
Agriculture and Trade in the Climate Change Negotiations
While there is widespread agreement on the potential benefits of bringing agriculture into an international climate change regime, a number of important sticking points need to be resolved before it will be possible. Trade-related issues are some of the most significant.As part of IISD's Food…
Making Investment Work for Africa: What role for parliamentarians?
Making Investment Work for Africa: What role for parliamentarians? is a discussion note on foreign investment in agricultural land and water prepared for the seminar Making Investment Work for Africa, July 21-22, 2011, organized by the Pan African Parliament in collaboration with the International…
Trade and Food Security Policy in Tanzania
This paper investigates the impact of the 2007-08 international food crisis on Tanzania and assesses the extent to which both the country's long-term and short-term policies helped mitigate the effects of the crisis on its society and economy.Using household-level data from a budget survey, we…
Corruption and fraud in agricultural and energy subsidies: identifying the key issues
Governments appear willing to provide publicly funded subsidy programs totaling billions of dollars, but they commit significantly fewer resources to monitor these programs effectively to prevent fraud and/or corruption.The extent to which fraud and corruption affect subsidy policy is difficult to…
Food Security: The Brazilian case
Chronic food insecurity remains one of the main challenges to developing countries' sustainable development and thus to the stability of global political and economic regimes and nations.Trade also plays an important role in nations' economic growth and has several links with food security.This…
A Thirst for Distant Lands: Foreign investment in agricultural land and water
This paper examines how water is the main driver behind a new wave of foreign investment in the agriculture sector. Investors have made it clear that acquiring land without water resources has no economic value. Governments with scarce or depleted water resources are actively acquiring fertile land with abundant water resources. What is often referred to as the "great global land grab" may actually turn out to be a "water grab."
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