Policy seminar: Rebuilding food and agricultural research institutions in a post-pandemic world

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The COVID-19 pandemic presents new challenges to publicly-funded food and agricultural research institutions, as government deficits and weakening economies threaten their traditional funding. A Feb. 2 IFPRI virtual policy seminar explored the ways that these organizations can move forward in a changed landscape, as well as the new opportunities that COVID-19 has created for realizing positive transformation in food systems.

Highlights from the discussion include:

  • COVID-19 has already sparked rapid progress in vaccine research for zoonotic diseases, and will continue to positively impact food, agriculture, and livestock research by increasing investment in biofortification, synthetic genomics, and livestock zoonosis research.
  • Though there may be an increased investment in food and agricultural research in the wake of COVID-19, policy changes are necessary to boost long-term funding for research institutions in low- and middle-income countries.
  • Reforming food systems and rebuilding publicly-funded food and agricultural research institutions will require a holistic, collaborative, and sustainability-focused approach.

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