Policy Action

International Engagement

Transition at scale from environmentally harmful practices to resilient, sustainable food systems requires a shift in incentives and public support.

Currently, public support to the food and agriculture sector does not address mounting challenges linked to climate change, environmental degradation and poor diets. In some cases, it can actually exacerbate these challenges.  

To be truly effective, we need more holistic, tailored policy responses with better targeting. Governments provide well over US$720 billion a year in public support to their agriculture sectors – and much of this could be repurposed to incentivize food systems transformation and generate positive outcomes for people, nature and climate.  

We work closely with our partners to build and mobilise support for the repurposing agenda, as well as supporting countries aiming to repurpose agricultural policies and public support. Our approach includes:

JRT has developed a knowledge hub of policy briefs, case studies and toolkits that will help decision makers to access information that makes the case for action, informs design policy approaches and supports implementation.

In addition, the Working Group on Repurposing Public Support to Food and Agriculture, which is co-chaired by Just Rural Transition, brings together leading researchers and analysts who present emerging evidence on the ‘repurposing’ agenda.

JRT contributes to government-to-government Ministerial and Technical policy dialogues co-hosted by the COP26 Presidency and the World Bank. 

JRT also hosts multi-stakeholder consultations and dialogues at the global and regional levels focused on repurposing public support for food and agriculture. In addition to the Working Group on Repurposing Public Support to Food and Agriculture, regional dialogues were held this year in Europe, North Africa, South Africa, and virtually.

JRT brings together key stakeholders to share experiences and identify opportunities to scale up sustainable agriculture by repurposing policy and public support. Our dialogues support an inclusive engagement process, helping to build support with key constituencies and enabling governments to move forward with policy reform.  

If you are interested in getting involved or collaborating with JRT on a dialogue in your region, please contact pac@merid.org.

JRT helped to co-develop the Policy Action Agenda for Transition to Sustainable Food & Agriculture. The Policy Action Agenda sets out pathways and actions that countries can take to repurpose public policies and support to food and agriculture and enable a just rural transition. 

As part of the COP26 UK Presidency’s Nature Campaign we worked with the Presidency, the World Bank and dozens of countries and civil society organizations to build support for the Policy Action Agenda, which sets out actions and opportunities for key stakeholders (international organizations, food producers, financial entities, researchers, civil society, and others) to channel their expertise, knowledge, and resources in support of the transition to sustainable food and agriculture. This work gives us a firm basis to build momentum and champion just rural transitions around the world at COP27

The policy solutions to achieve transition to sustainable agriculture are context specific and will differ according to each country and region. The following options set out potential pathways to sustainable agriculture that countries could undertake, as appropriate to their context: 

  1. Develop or integrate cross-government approaches to achieve sustainable agriculture in line with Paris Agreement goals, net zero/negative emissions, and efforts to protect biodiversity and deliver nutritious food.
  2. Direct significant public support to farmers, including smallholder farmers,to incentivize and support the uptake or continued use of sustainable agricultural practices.
  3. Significantly increase investment in agricultural R&D to generate multiple-win innovations and agricultural extensions that support healthy diets, protect natural resources and biodiversity, and help to mitigate climate change.
  4. Channel public funds, including increased climate finance, to develop more equitable partnerships and supply chains and support the just rural transition in developing countries.
  5. Orient public policies to help achieve nutrition and sustainability goals. 
  6. Create incentives, financial and non-financial, for greater flows of private sector finance to the just rural transition, through guarantees, regulation, reducing credit restrictions, and provision of blended finance. 

To learn more about this work and how to get involved, please contact pac@merid.org.

Repurposing Brief