Aerial picture of crops in Malawi

Responsible Investment in Agriculture

IISD's work on responsible agricultural investment focuses on aligning investment practices with sustainability goals, fostering ethical and environmentally conscious investments, and promoting inclusive dialogue among diverse stakeholders in the agricultural sector. 

Agriculture and food systems have been hit hard by an onslaught of crises in the last 5 years. As millions more people face hunger and malnutrition, responsible investment in agriculture is more critical than ever.

IISD aims to align investment practices with sustainable development goals by promoting fair, environmentally responsible investments that spur economic growth in developing countries. We provide research and tools for governments and private sector actors and foster inclusive dialogue to promote responsible investments that help global food systems get back on track.

To help achieve these objectives, IISD has recently developed the IISD Model Contract Clauses for Responsible Investment in Agriculture. These customizable legal provisions are designed to help agricultural investment negotiators, state lawyers, and policy-makers design responsible and effective investment contracts that supplement gaps in domestic laws. They build upon and update the earlier IISD Guide to Negotiating Investment Contracts for Farmland and Water.

Since 2014, there has been a growing body of international and regional guidance on ensuring responsible, equitable, and sustainable investment contracts, particularly for land-based agricultural investments. The IISD Model Contract Clauses aim to distill this guidance into a user-friendly set of customizable contract provisions. When applied, these provisions can complement national laws, address project-specific concerns, and give the guidance legal effect. They are also designed to reinforce gender equity and promote a just and equitable transition toward more climate-resilient production practices.