Following an overview on the fast changing global context of agriculture, and food and nutrition security, this paper provides a framework for identifying the set of essential international public goods for a well-functioning world agriculture and food system: natural resource management related to biodiversity, water, and soils; climate change adaptation and mitigation; trade and food reserves; competition policy and standards for foreign direct investment; international research and innovation; responding to and preventing food and nutrition emergencies; and trans-boundary food safety and health related investments and standards. The deficiencies of the current institutional arrangements in support of agricultural development and food and nutrition security are reviewed and a perspective for re-design is presented. It comprises three focal clusters of organizational setups under a global platform: a cluster on food and nutrition security for the poor; a second one on protection of natural resources; and a third one on enhanced sustainable intensification and productivity growth. A gradual approach toward re-design based on current building blocks of international organizations is proposed, allowing for more involvement of non-government global actors as well as intensified government-to-government (G-to-G) networking in order to improve international public goods delivery in support of development goals. Some re-design actually occurs already in this direction, but it is rather ad hoc. To move the re-design process forward more strategically, and less ad hoc needs a high-level, broad based, legitimized time-bound dialogue forum that embraces the whole set of international public goods for agricultural development and food and nutrition security, and addresses the organizational implications.
von Braun, J. International co-operation for agricultural development and food and nutrition security: New institutional arrangements for related public goods. UNU-WIDER, Helsinki, Finland (2013) 25 pp. ISBN 978-92-9230-638-0 [WIDER Working Paper No. 2013/061]