Funding Agricultural Innovation for the Global South: Does it Promote Sustainable Agricultural Intensification?

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Commission on Sustainable Agriculture Intensification (CoSAI)

What are the patterns of funding in agricultural innovation for the Global South1 ? Who are the key funders in this innovation and who are the key recipients? How doesthis funding split between various topics and value chains? What proportion of these funds support Sustainable Agricultural Intensification (SAI)? And how is SAI innovation funding split across different parts of the agriculture sector funding and innovation canvas?

This study, carried out in 2020-21 by Dalberg Advisors Asia (relying on secondary and primary funding data, modeling, and expert discussions), answers some of these key questions. The study covers four key categories of funders – (i) Global South Governments (domestic funding 3 ), (ii) Development Partners4 , (iii) Private Companies, and (iv) Private Equity/Venture Capital (PE/VC) funds. It studies their funding across the last decade (2010-2019) for the Global South and seeks to achieve a baseline understanding of these funding patterns. While private funding by farmers and other agricultural producers can be significant, they are excluded from this report’s analysis due to the study focus and lack of available data.

The study covers both agriculture innovation funding overall and SAI innovation funding specifically after developing a clear approach to defining SAI for these funding calculations.

The broad definition. Funding that aims to produce both gains in productivity and improve environmental sustainability.

The narrow definition. Funding that meets the above criteria, AND also aims to improve human (nutrition, education) or social (e.g. equity) dimensions.

The study also highlights challenges with funding data granularity (e.g., lack of descriptions on funding flows) and tagging of sustainable funding data that prevent a closer look at this stage. Details of the methodology can be found here

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Palabras clave: 
agricultural innovation
Global South
sustainable agricultural intensification