About CoSAI

The Commission on Sustainable Agriculture Intensification (CoSAI) has now closed. Please browse the website for our main findings. Lessons for other Commissions can be found in our final management report.

Our aim

A major boost in global support to innovation in agricultural systems is urgently needed to reach the UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). CoSAI's vision was a world where there is wide availability of affordable, safe and nutritious food; a healthy natural environment; and 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 in policy, institutions and financial instruments, as well as science and technology, is a crucial way forward.

CoSAI’s aim was to influence public and private support to innovation to rapidly scale up sustainable agricultural intensification (SAI) in the Global South.

CoSAI promoted 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 was launched in July 2020 to investigate the current state of investment in agricultural innovation and explore how to overcome constraints to the development and uptake of key innovations for SAI.

Following an initial assessment, CoSAI gathered evidence through a range of commissioned studies, stakeholder engagement and public inquiry. CoSAI Commissioners aimed to answer six ‘big questions’, explored through six collaborative working groups.

Contributions from people with ideas and practical experience, from farmer organizations to policymakers, researchers, civil society, entrepreneurs and leading thinkers were at the heart of CoSAI’s approach. These contributors helped answer the big questions and supported an effective case for investment in innovation. CoSAI worked closely with other global and regional initiatives to maximize joint impact.

CoSAI concluded at the end of April 2022. Findings will feed into important global decision-making events and will be shared with national and international funders and investors.

The Commission

CoSAI brought together agricultural and food systems experts and decision-makers from the Global South and collaborated with scientists, innovators and partner organizations from across the globe.

CoSAI was initiated and supported by the CGIAR Research Program on Water, Land and Ecosystems (WLE). WLE was supported by the CGIAR Trust Fund and other donors, including the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) Bureau for Resilience and Food Security/Center for Agriculture-led Growth under the Cooperative Agreement # AID-OAA-L-14-00006 as part of Feed the Future Innovation Lab for Collaborative Research on Sustainable Intensification (SIIL). CoSAI Commissioners were independent.

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