Looking for volunteers to pilot proposed new Principles for agricultural innovators and researchers to deliver sustainable agri-food systems

Photo: eurasiainfo.ch

Innovation and research are critical to the delivery of required changes to equitably and sustainably serve humanity’s future food needs within planetary boundaries. However, a study by CoSAI found that less than 5% of current innovation funding has visible social and environmental aims.

An international, multi-stakeholder Taskforce initiated by CoSAI, representing both private and public sectors, is in the final stages of developing Principles and Metrics for Guiding Innovation in Sustainable Agri-Food Systems. The Principles serve as a tool to guide and track innovation in the agriculture sector.

“By setting intentions that align with a holistic, sustainable agri-food system, both in innovation and investment processes, and for agricultural outcomes, agricultural actors can begin to consciously evaluate the progress that will ensure positive environmental and food security goals,” noted Prof Dr P. V. Vara Prasad, one of the Taskforce Co-chairs.

The Principles are currently in the piloting stage. The pilot aims to ensure the Principles, their Step-by-Step Guidance, FAQs and Glossary are easy to use by all innovators and researchers. Some of agriculture’s influential innovators and investors, such as the World Bank and USAID, are already piloting the Principles, and more piloting volunteers are being sought to ensure they meet the needs of different stakeholders.

“It is critical that the Principles are clear, comprehensive, and easy to use or integrate into organizations’ current processes; this is the main goal of this round of piloting,” noted Dr Prasad. “Even if the Principles are relevant and important, if they are not easy to use, their impact will be minimal”.

We are urgently looking for more volunteers to pilot the Principles or simply to provide feedback on the Principles and guidance materials. If you or your organization are interested in taking part in the pilot, please contact scarlett.crawford@cgiar.org or j.wirths@cgiar.org. Alternatively, if you would like to provide feedback or be kept up-to-date on progress, please fill in this form. 

This round of piloting will finish at the beginning of March 2022.