Money Flows Report

What is holding back investment in agroecological research for Africa?

This report, co-developed by Biovision, IPES-Food and the Institute of Development Studies (IDS), zooms in on the all-important financial flows in food system research to sub-Saharan Africa, with a view to understanding more about how the industrial model is perpetuated and where the opportunities lie for sparking agroecological transition.

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From the Green Revolution onwards, international development agencies, governments, philanthropic organisations and research institutes have invested heavily in agricultural development in the Global South. The present study seeks to answer the following questions: Where does AgR4D funding go? What agricultural development trends are funded over others? Is agroecology overlooked? How can we make a shift? The report concludes with
6 recommendations and specific steps for decision-makers to contribute to Food System Transformation through research for development.

Executive summary

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The Money Flows report shines a light on some of the most contentious flows of all. The findings of this report are unsurprising: 63% of the flows we tracked are focused on reinforcing and tweaking existing systems. Our analysis shows that most investments by the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation and Kenyan research institutes reinforce industrial models, in effect “locking out” funding for more sustainable, regenerative agriculture – or ‘agroecology’. But, there are also some surprising and highly encouraging signs: 51% of Swiss-funded programmes and 13% of Kenyan research now supports agroecology, while concerns like gender equity and sustainable livelihoods are increasingly widespread. We may be turning a corner — albeit very slowly, and with plenty of new challenges coming into view.

Factsheets

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Discover other case studies by partner organisations
Yes2Agroecology by Coalition contre la faim

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Tracking Money Flows: Analyse your own portfolio!
Explore the Agroecology Criteria Tool (ACT) to analyze the contribution of agricultural projects and programs to agroecology.

Press release

With the compound challenges of climate change, pressure on land and water, food-induced health problems and pandemics such as COVID, we need change now. And this includes money flowing into research for agroecology.

Hans R. Herren

Biovision and IPES-Food