The United Kingdom’s Department for International Development (DFID) is the largest bilateral donor to development-focused research. As such, DFID fosters the new technologies and ideas that are essential to tackling some of our greatest challenges, such as the achievement of the Millennium Development Goals. In June 2002, the International Development Act made poverty reduction the official focus of DFID’s work, and the department has risen to meet the challenge. DFID strives to tackle root causes of hunger, particularly in Africa. It emphasizes improving agricultural productivity and innovation, promoting climate change resiliency, and ensuring food and nutrition security through cash transfers, biofortification, and other means.
Achieving global food and nutrition security goals remains as urgent as ever. Feeding a growing population, projected to reach 9 billion by 2050, will require significant increases in agricultural productivity. With nearly 75 percent of the poor living in rural areas in developing countries, agricultural growth is poised to make a big difference, because it is three to six times more effective in reducing poverty than growth in other sectors. IFPRI’s key priority areas, outlined in its 2013–2018 Strategy, mirror DFID’s: ensuring sustainable food production and promoting healthy food systems, which includes good nutrition. In fact, the prime minister has led an international effort to reduce, by 2025, the number of children who are stunted due to malnutrition by 40 percent. However, meeting such ambitious targets will require a sea change in current policies.
Through its food policy research, IFPRI—in collaboration with many longstanding partners, including DFID—has contributed to reducing poverty and improving food security for the world’s poor. According to a landmark 2003 study on the impact of crop improvement research from 1965 to 1998, agricultural research is a good investment: every US$1 invested in CGIAR research yields approximately US$9 worth of additional food in the developing world. By serving as a trusted voice on food policy issues, IFPRI helps to change thinking and provide evidence about how to improve food and nutrition security. This brochure highlights some of the key collaborations between IFPRI and DFID.