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Transforming development aid to support agroecology

IATP is among the groups the have endorsed the following policy brief. Access the policy brief in French and Spanish on CIDSE's website


The now widely recognised potential of agroecology as the basis for just sustainability is severely hampered by the quantity and quality of financing available for its development. The organisations, food producers and proponents that are advancing agroecology around the world have little access to public and philanthropic financing. The majority of finance for agriculture is allocated to destructive models of agriculture that undermine not only agroecology, but also food security, environmental sustainability, the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and the Paris Agreement. When funding does go to agroecology, it is often delivered through problematic financing mechanisms and approaches that limit the ability of agroecology to reach its potential. Yet, there are some emerging exemplary donors forging new pathways, and other donors are realising the need to shift towards agroecology.

In this policy briefing, we synthesise the findings from the research commissioned by CIDSE to Agroecology Now! on how we can ‘make money move for agroecology’. We make the case for reforming the way agricultural and food systems development is financed so we can achieve the transformations that we desperately need.

Drawing on the collective intelligence of leading agroecologists and donors, we identify twelve different areas through which donors can focus their methods and approach to financing to support more just and sustainable food systems. These are organised through five sets of recommendations:

  1. Engage in iterative reflection and examination of donor practices;
  2. Transform relationships between funders and recipients;
  3. Change funding modalities, methodologies and foci for delivering funding;
  4. Create and adopt more appropriate measurement and evaluation tools;
  5. Address the big picture issues that undermine a more just and sustainable food system, including especially shifting funding away from detrimental forms of agriculture. 

To learn more, download a PDF of the policy brief

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