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.
public goods agriculture food security governance economic development international cooperation