Columbia International Affairs Online: Policy Briefs

CIAO DATE: 04/2013

Innovating for Food Security and Smallholder Livelihoods

Kimberly Ann Elliott

March 2013

Center for Global Development


In the face of climate change, land and water scarcity, declining growth in crop yields, and dwindling public budgets, donors will need to be more innovative in how they deliver aid for agriculture. The world’s population is expected to grow by 3 billion people in the coming four decades, and 1 billion are already food insecure. Feeding them all will require every tool available. One such tool is pull mechanisms, which can help overcome the underinvestment in agriculture in developing countries by increasing the demand and compensation for new technologies. Australia, Canada, the United Kingdom, the United States, and the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation have committed $100 million for AgResults, an initiative that will use pull mechanisms to engage the private sector and encourage the development and dissemination of agricultural technologies aimed at improving food security and smallholder productivity.