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Supporting Responsible Investments in Agriculture and Food Systems (RAI)

FAO visits LUISS University to discuss with young professionals how responsible agricultural investment contributes to the realization of the SDGs

12/03/2019

How is responsible investment in agriculture and food systems connected to the right to food and the achievement of the Sustainable Development Goals more broadly? And how does this reflect on the responsibilities of States? These were some of the key issues discussed during an interactive guest lecture held by FAO experts at the LUISS Guido Carli University on 15 February 2019 within the University’s Masters in Food Law.


The lecture aimed to familiarize the students with the rationale, content and background of the Principles for Responsible Investment in Agriculture and Food Systems (CFS-RAI), which were adopted by the Committee on World Food Security in 2014. The CFS-RAI specifically aim to “promote responsible investment in agriculture and food systems that contributes to food security and nutrition, thus supporting the progressive realization of the right to adequate food in the context of national food security”.


Although the Principles are voluntary and non-binding, they are based on existing obligations under international law, which include the progressive realization of the right to adequate food, a legal obligation recognized by the International Covenant of Economic, Social and Cultural Rights (article 11), Emma McGhie (FAO) explained.


Realizing the right to food – and hence eradicating hunger – is also the objective of the second Sustainable Development Goal. Increasing responsible agricultural investments is one of the most effective ways to eradicate poverty and hunger, Yannick Fiedler (FAO) highlighted. According to FAO estimates, the eradication of poverty (SDG1) and hunger (SDG2) by 2030 would require additional annual investments of USD 140 billion in agriculture and rural development.


Since the bulk of on-farm investments is realized by farmers, most of whom are small-scale producers and family farmers (SOFA 2012), it is key to strengthen their capacities to carry out and benefit from agricultural investments. This priority is recognized in the CFS-RAI, which take into particular account the interests of smallholders, highlighting that responsible investment by other stakeholders is also needed to strengthen and support small-scale producers’ own investments.

The FAO experts further provided information on some examples of the activities currently undertaken by FAO under the Umbrella Programme “Supporting investments in agriculture and food systems”.


The lecture is part of a recently signed agreement between FAO and LUISS University, which includes, as main objectives, the placement of interns in FAO offices and the use of FAO e-learning materials in the Master. Among these, the Mobile E-Learning Course (available in English, French and Spanish) on the CFS-RAI, accessible at: http://www.fao.org/elearning/#/elc/en/courses/RAI 

For more information:
The Principles for Responsible Investment in Agriculture and Food Systems
Overview of the FAO Umbrella Programme Supporting Responsible Investments in Agriculture and Food systems