CGIAR calls for more funding for agri-food innovations to address hunger (Devex)

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Science, technology, and innovation can play key roles in achieving the Sustainable Development Goals, however, investment is needed to develop innovations and roll them out widely. Devex in its report about a recent roundtable discussion in Nairobi moderated by The Economist, cites CGIAR’s leadership who made a case for agri-food innovations and the need for increased financing to scale them up.

Marco Ferroni, chair of the CGIAR system board, said the sector was not only underfunded but was also experiencing a decrease in funding. He said that the funding gap for agricultural innovation sits at $15.2 billion annually, and from 2012, investments in agricultural research and development have dropped by 10 percent.

This is happening despite a warming climate which essentially calls for more investments instead, Claudia Sadoff, the executive director at CGIAR, said.

“We need financing for new innovations. What we see instead is an incredibly yawning gap between what we know we need to invest in research and innovation and what we need to be investing in agricultural innovation,” she said.

Johan Swinnen, managing director of systems transformation at CGIAR and director general of the International Food Policy Research Institute, said private sector investments in agriculture could elicit a huge impact. “There are a lot of investments in the private sector, capital markets, and public investments by governments and international organizations on agricultural subsidies. A lot of that is very inefficient in trying to address what we are trying to address. If we can just repurpose that we can have a major impact.” Read more

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