Supporting Responsible Investments in Agriculture and Food Systems (RAI)

Overview of the FAO Umbrella Programme

Supporting Responsible Investments in Agriculture and Food Systems

In order to support responsible investment and the application of the CFS RAI Principles, FAO has developed the needs-driven Umbrella Programme Supporting Responsible Investments in Agriculture and Food Systems. Building on the existing guiding instruments - including the CFS RAI Principles, VGGT and OECD-FAO Guidance on Responsible Agricultural Supply Chains, – the Umbrella Programme aims at enhancing responsible investments in agriculture and food systems as enshrined in the Sustainable Development Goals.

The objective of the programme will be achieved by:

 

Increasing awareness and joint action on responsible investment in agriculture and food systems.

 

Improving the enabling environment and strengthen capacities to enhance responsible investments in agriculture and food systems by and for all stakeholders.

 

Improving monitoring and assessment of trends and impacts of investments in agriculture and food systems.

An inclusive process to develop a needs-driven programme

In line with the CFS RAI Principles, FAO recognizes that enhancing responsible investments in agriculture and food systems is a collective responsibility of all stakeholders. Accordingly, increasing responsible investment requires reaching a very wide group of stakeholders and engaging their participation. 

To this end, FAO organized nine multi-stakeholder capacity assessment events in 2015 and 2017 to identify the needs and priorities of all relevant stakeholders for the Umbrella Programme. These events - indicated in the table below - took place with a cross-section of stakeholder groups at the global, subregional and national levels, and served to raise awareness, increase engagement across a range of key stakeholders and initiate the identification of capacity development need at the global and regional levels. 

Government stakeholders (December 2015, Italy)

Tenure and investment in South-East Asia (December 2015, Thailand)

Forestry sector investment (April 2016, Spain)

Private sector stakeholders April (2016, Italy)

Enabling environment for investment in Mesoamerica (May 2016, Guatemala)

Swiss private sector investment (April 2016, Switzerland)

Civil society stakeholders (July 2016, Italy)

Investment in Southern Africa (SADC countries) (June 2016, South Africa)

Multi-stakeholder learning needs assessment (July 2017, Italy)

Coordination mechanisms

Inter-Agency Working Group on Responsible Agricultural Investment 

The Inter-Agency Working Group on Responsible Agricultural Investment which is composed of FAO, the International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD), the United Nations Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD) and the World Bank is a collaborative effort to support the use of guidance instruments (such as the CFS RAI principles) for responsible agricultural investment. Since its creation in 2009 amidst global concerns about a new wave of large-scale land acquisitions, the IAWG engages in research activities, awareness raising and multi-stakeholder dialogue to promote responsible investment.

FAO’s Inter-Departmental Working Group on Responsible Investment in Agriculture and Food Systems

This body aims at ensuring coordination of FAO's support to responsible investment and the application of the CFS RAI principles. It is composed by experts from different technical divisions in the Organization.