WASHINGTON, DC (October 14, 2020) – The Supporters of Agricultural Research (SoAR) Foundation released The Payoff to Investing in CGIAR Research report,coauthored by Julian M. Alston, University of California, Davis; Philip G. Pardey, University of Minnesota; and Xudong Rao, North Dakota State University today. SoAR commissioned this work to examine the benefit-cost ratio of CGIAR investments. Formerly called the Consultative Group on International Agricultural Research, CGIAR is the world’s largest global agricultural research network. The report found that CGIAR investments of roughly $60 billion in present value terms has generated a benefit-cost ratio of 10 to 1 over the past five decades.
“This work by esteemed economists exemplifies the continued need for increased investment in agricultural research across the globe,” said Thomas Grumbly, president of SoAR. “Farmers everywhere need new innovations to be able to adapt to the effects of climate change, while still feeding their communities and the world.”
Established in 1971, CGIAR comprises 15 research centers working under One CGIAR mandate to reduce poverty, enhance food and nutrition security, and improve natural resources. CGIAR’s early work included developing high-yielding wheat and rice varieties, which is credited with spurring the Green Revolution and saving a billion lives primarily in Asia where many people were on the brink of starvation. Today, CGIAR focuses on ending hunger by 2030 through science to transform food, land, and water systems in the climate crisis.
This report provides a strong economic investment case for funding partners as they consider future investments in international agriculture research and development. With a strong presence and long-term partnerships in developing countries, CGIAR is uniquely positioned to further create and develop needed innovations. Additional investments in CGIAR research would continue to yield dramatic returns on investment and benefits for poor communities, particularly in Africa and South Asia where smallholder farmers and local food systems are most vulnerable.
SoAR strongly encourages governments and foundations to accelerate their funding of CGIAR to strengthen smallholder agriculture and protect food systems for future generations.
Click here to read the full report.