Canada has long championed food security, nutrition, and sustainable and productive agriculture. Canada was one of the first responders to spring into action in the wake of the 2008 food price crisis and in April 2011, Canada achieved another notable milestone as the first G8 country to meet its L’Aquila Summit commitment, disbursing more than $1 billion in funding for sustainable agricultural development. In 2008, the Canadian government made international headlines with its decision to “untie” 100 percent of its food assistance budget. Typically, Canada’s food aid funds were required to be spent domestically on the purchase of food and then exported to recipient countries. Since 2008, Canada’s aid monies can be spent on the purchase of food locally, in recipient countries, improving aid effectiveness and ensuring quicker and lower-cost delivery to those in need. As a theme of its Aid Effectiveness Agenda, food security plays an important role in DFATD’s development priorities.
To meet the needs of a global population that is projected to reach 9 billion by 2050, agricultural production must drastically increase. Moreover, investment in agriculture is fundamental to poverty alleviation: Growth in the agricultural sector has been found to be three to six times more effective at reducing poverty than growth in other sectors.
Agriculture and rural development will continue to play a critical role in alleviating poverty and malnutrition—but the solutions have changed over time. In the early years, they focused on food subsidies and commercialization of agriculture. More recently they have shifted to making nutrition interventions for women and children a priority, supporting agricultural growth and country-led agricultural growth strategies, focusing on measures to strengthen resilience, investing in agricultural research, and forging partnerships with stakeholders in initiatives such as HarvestPlus and the CGIAR Research Program on Agriculture for Nutrition and Health (A4NH).
Working with many longstanding partners, including Canada, IFPRI’s food policy research has contributed to reducing poverty and improving food security for the world’s poor. By serving as a trusted voice on food policy issues, IFPRI helps to shift conventional wisdom and provide evidence on how to improve food and nutrition security. This brochure highlights some of the key collaborations between IFPRI and Canada, often in partnership with other institutions.