Our aim

A major step up in global support to innovation in agricultural systems is urgently needed to reach the international Sustainable Development Goals.   

CoSAI's vision is a world where there is:

  • wide availability of affordable, safe and nutritious foods
  • a healthy natural environment   
  • reduced poverty and inequality

Meeting these different objectives is a huge challenge — especially in many parts of the Global South, where demand for food is rising quickly and resources are limited.  Innovation is the only way forward – innovation in policy, institutions and financial instruments as well as science and technology.

CoSAI's aim is to influence public and private support to innovation to rapidly scale up Sustainable Agriculture Intensification (SAI) in the Global South. 

CoSAI promotes technical, policy, financial and social/institutional innovation in agricultural systems, to deliver the SDG objectives of food and nutrition security, social equity, resource use efficiency and an improved natural environment. 

Approach and Timeline

CoSAI will investigate the current state of investment in agricultural innovation and explore how to overcome constraints to development and uptake of key innovations for SAI.  To do this, CoSAI will take a Public Inquiry approach.  CoSAI Commissioners will collect evidence on seven Big Questions, including through commissioned studies.   People with ideas and practical experience, from farmer organizations to policy-makers, researchers, civil society, entrepreneurs and leading thinkers will also be invited to make virtual presentations.  The Inquiry process will be open to view online and viewers will be able to send in questions and comments.  Commissioners will ask critical questions and sift evidence.  

CoSAI launches July 2020 and will finish at the end of 2021.  CoSAI findings and reports will feed into important global decision-making events, including the UN Food Systems Summit 2021, as well as being shared with national and international funders and investors. 

CoSAI will work closely with other global and regional initiatives to maximize our joint impact. 

The Commission

CoSAI brings together agricultural and food systems experts and decision-makers from the Global South and is collaborating with scientists, innovators and partner organizations from across the globe.  CoSAI was initiated and is supported by the CGIAR Research Program on Water, Land and Ecosystems (WLE).  WLE is supported by the CGIAR Trust Fund and other donorsCoSAI Commissioners are independent.  

CoSAI is facilitated by a Secretariat based at WLE’s headquarters at the International Water Management Institute (IWMI) in Sri Lanka.  

To contact CoSAI, please email: wle-cosaisecretariat(a)cgiar.org