Innovation investment study

Photo: Georgina Smith / CIAT

Estimating investment in innovation for sustainable agricultural intensification 

What does the global agricultural innovation investment landscape look like? And how are investments shaping this landscape? The innovation investment study provides a global baseline for investments in agricultural innovation.

Carried out by Dalberg Advisors (Asia) on behalf of CoSAI, the study looks at who is investing and how funds are being invested, including how much of this funding aims to promote the multiple economic, environmental and social objectives of sustainable agricultural intensification (SAI).

Find out more in this CoSAI policy brief.

Actions needed

  • Funders and innovators should reorient research and innovation to include sustainability and equity aims, adopting common international principles to track innovation intentions and implementation.

  • Funding bodies should increase funding for agrifood systems innovation as an immediate priority. Research and innovation have long lead times for their major payoffs, and they need upfront investment to meet global goals.

  • The global community should address critical innovation gaps. Innovation in policy, institutions and finance is vital, but rarely addressed systematically. Other underfunded areas identified in the study were post-harvest issues, local seed systems and natural resource management.

  • International agencies should join together to track global funding flows for research and innovation, including the proportion of funding that promotes sustainability and equity aims.


Case studies

Building on the global report, a series of case studies explored investments in agricultural innovation in different contexts (see the table below).

R&D network





Brazil; India; Kenya


Innovative financial instruments; Sustainable seed production and management

A detailed methodology and series of data downloads can also be found as attachments on this page.

Read our policy brief to learn more.


This work was supported by the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) Bureau for Resilience and Food Security/Center for Agriculture-led Growth under the Cooperative Agreement # AID-OAA-L-14-00006 as part of Feed the Future Innovation Lab for Collaborative Research on Sustainable Intensification (SIIL). Any opinions, findings, conclusions or recommendations expressed are those of the authors alone.