Frequently Asked Questions

What does CoSAI mean by “Sustainable Agriculture Intensification” (SAI)?

“Sustainable Agriculture Intensification” (SAI) is a term with many definitions and past controversies. 

CoSAI has a broad vision of SAI - from field to farm to landscape to food system. (CoSAI's own focus is  on agricultural systems rather than the whole of food systems.)   

SAI should promote, or at minimum not cause harm to, the following objectives, consistent with the UN Sustainable Development Goals:

  • Increased availability and broad access to affordable, safe and nutritious food; [SDG2]
  • Improved productivity and efficiency of resource use, with reduced pollution, loss and waste [SDG12]
  • Improved natural environment, including climate action and promotion of One Health;  [SDG15, SDG13, SDG3]
  • Reduced poverty and increased resilience of livelihoods [SDG1, SDG8
  • Improved social equity, including reduced gender inequality and social exclusion [SDG10]

What does CoSAI mean by “innovation”?

Innovation means any new way of doing things. It can be formal or informal.

CoSAI will investigate and promote innovation for SAI in four main areas:

  • Science and technology
  • Social/institutional
  • Finance
  • Policies

Why is CoSAI commissioning a large study on investment flows for innovation in agriculture in the Global South?

This study will give us a baseline against which to compare changes in funding in future. Our hypothesis is that most of the funding in innovation for agricultural systems is currently not promoting sustainable agricultural intensification, as CoSAI understands the term. Moreover, we suspect that current global funding is unbalanced, and that certain important areas of innovation and parts of the world may be underfunded. The study gives everyone a chance to see whether these hypotheses are well founded. Of course, what global funding should prioritize is open to debate - and an important role of the CoSAI Commissioners is to promote that debate.