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.

Find out more in this CoSAI policy brief.

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.


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.