Agriculture, Water and Investment
Agriculture is on the frontlines of nearly all urgent global challenges, from hunger to climate change to rising inequality.
We provide high-quality advice to governments to help transform public and private investment into a vehicle for change: strengthening food security and livelihoods, while protecting land rights and responsibly managing natural resources.
Over 800 million people go to bed hungry every night, 70 per cent of whom live in rural areas and depend on agriculture for their livelihoods. Agriculture provides a livelihood for more people globally than any other sector, representing almost 50 per cent of total employment in poor countries. Investment in agriculture has a greater poverty reduction effect—especially amongst the poorest people—than investment in any other sector.
This is why increased investment in agriculture and food systems in low- and middle-income countries is desperately needed. When done right, increased investment can help boost production, generate employment, increase incomes and promote economic development. But when done badly, it can exacerbate existing inequalities, undermine the livelihoods of small farmers, particularly women, and significantly deplete land, water, soil and other natural resources.
Ensuring positive impacts from foreign investment requires robust policies, laws and practices. IISD works with governments and policy-makers to build the laws and policies needed to maximize the benefits—and minimize the risks—of foreign investment.
We also work to improve the flow of public investment to agriculture. We joined forces with the International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI) to measure the scale of public spending needed to end hunger. We found that it will cost an extra USD 11 billion per year from now until 2030 to largely eradicate hunger, a central part of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). Along with IFPRI and Cornell University we have now embarked on a new project, Ceres2030: Sustainable solutions to end hunger, which combines state-of-the-art modelling techniques with expert evidence to build consensus on the best way to end hunger sustainably, with costs and effective solutions.
How ECOWAS Parliamentarians Are Advancing Gender Equality in Agriculture
How the ECOWAS Parliamentary Network fosters food security, women’s empowerment and investment in agriculture.Read More
Contract Farming: Challenges and a new tool for success
IISD and FAO have developed a Model Agreement for Responsible Contract Farming to help farmers and responsible buyers address the shortcomings of contract farming.Read More
Burkina Faso Adopts a New Agricultural Investment Code: How does it contribute to sustainable development?
The strengths and growth potential of Burkina Faso's new Agricultural Investment Code.Read More
Transforming Agriculture in Africa & Asia: What are the policy priorities?
This report uses a first-of-its kind analytical framework that tracks the performance of 117 countries over 45 years to understand which agricultural policies have succeeded or failed.Read More
NAFTA Agriculture Clash Distracts From More Important Conversation: Sustainability
Following the NAFTA negotiations has been like riding a roller coaster, holding your breath because you don’t know what shock might be coming...Read More
Cleaning up Toxic Soils in China: A trillion-dollar question
In its latest effort to address environmental problems, China has adopted its first soil pollution law. However, how to finance the remediation of the damage already done remains a big question.Read More
Joining Forces to put People at the Centre of Land Governance
IISD is proud to announce that the International Land Coalition (ILC) recently confirmed us as an official member. Francine Picard, Parliamentary Advisor for IISD’s Economic Law and Policy, explains what this means for IISD's work to end poverty and hunger.Read More
Food for Thought: Weighing up health and investment in the age of the new pandemic
Obesity is increasing in developing countries and trade agreements could help monitor this. Read more to find out how.Read More
Could a U.S.–China Trade War Lead to a New Wave of Land Grabs?
A trade war could force China to search for new frontiers to secure its soybean demand and protect its supply chains, leading to another wave of so-called “land grabs.”Read More
The Social and Environmental Benefits of Manitoba's Community Pastures
A total economic value analysis of Manitoba's community pastures, demonstrating the private and public benefits of sustainable grazing management.Read More