Policies, Institutions and Markets (PIM) Full Proposal 2017-2022
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Major episodes of agricultural growth in the last half of the 20th century can be explained by the synergistic interaction between policy reforms and investment.2 For example, Brazil’s relaxation of policies that penalized agriculture (exchange rate, public investment, and others) and simultaneous creation of a modern agricultural research system launched the country as a major agricultural exporter. China’s institutional reforms in the late 1970’s (dismantling of the commune system) and subsequent investments in agriculture initiated processes that moved an estimated 600 million people out of poverty in two decades. Economywide reforms in many African countries in the 1990’s brought increased agricultural growth in the 2000’s, but momentum faltered due to lack of accompanying investments in agriculture and incomplete reforms. Returns to investments in agriculture depend on the policy environment in which they are undertaken. CGIAR’s portfolio achieves impact through synergistic effects of technical change, policy reforms, and institutional innovation. Strong synergies between reforms and agricultural research (including biological, social, physical, and mechanical research) can transform the wealth and health of millions of poor people. CGIAR’s Strategy and Results Framework (SRF) positions the system to deliver research contributing to reduced poverty, improved nutrition and health, and a sound natural resource base. Ambitious targets for 2030 and intermediate milestones in 2022 can only be met if policy and institutional reforms accompany the research undertaken by CGIAR and partners. The CGIAR Research Program on Policies, Institutions, and Markets (PIM) works to assist key actors in agrifood systems to understand and act on the reforms needed to accomplish these objectives. As noted in the SRF, the context for CGIAR’s work includes a daunting list of grand challenges associated with management of food and agriculture: competition for land; degradation and depletion of soil and water; loss of biodiversity; climate change; unsustainable harvest of forests, fish, and aquatic products; loss of products in the field and on the hoof; and contamination of fooden routefrom producer to consumer. Each of these challenges has a policy and/or institutional dimension contributing to it. Solutions to each, in turn, require combinations of reforms in policies and institutions and new flows of investment.