Investment gap study

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The global investment gap in innovation for sustainable agricultural intensification

What is the ‘global investment gap’ in research and innovation for sustainable agri-food systems? Building on the innovation investment baseline study, CoSAI and the COP26 Transforming Agricultural Innovation for People, Nature and Climate campaign commissioned a study to estimate this gap.

The forward-looking study, carried out by the International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI) and jointly funded by CoSAI and the UK Foreign, Commonwealth & Development Office (FCDO), modelled the overall global need for public and private investment in agricultural research and innovation relevant to the Global South.

Actions needed

  • Investors should put a further US$4 bn a year into national and international R&D, private R&D, and higher research efficiency to approach zero hunger in the Global South by 2030.

  • National and international investors should deploy US$6.5 bn a year for climate-smart technical mitigation options in farming to reduce and sequester emissions on a path to less than 2°C of global warming.

  • Investors should improve water resource management with US$4.7 bn a year for innovation to rein in agricultural blue water use by 10% in 2030.

  • The international community should get SDG2, SDG6, SDG13 and the Paris Agreement back on track by closing this investment gap of US$15.2 bn for agricultural innovation – modest in light of the US$700 bn spent every year on agricultural subsidies.

  • Public and private investors should make complementary investments in finance, agricultural extension and infrastructure, which are also critical to meet the global goals.


Read our policy brief to learn more.

A further report by IFPRI examines the role of extension and financial services in boosting the effect of innovation investments to reduce poverty and hunger.