Director, Agriculture, Trade & Investment
Carin Smaller is Director, Agriculture, Trade & Investment, for the Economic Law and Policy program. She advises governments and parliamentarians on law and policy issues related to foreign investment and trade in agriculture. She is the author of the IISD Guide to Negotiating Investment Contracts for Farmland and Water, the first attempt to create a model contract for developing countries to attract investment for agriculture, while at the same time, promoting the needs of the poor and protecting the environment.
She has lived and worked in several developing countries, and advised dozens of government officials on how to maximize the benefits and minimize the risks from foreign investment in the agriculture sector. She has organized and participated in international conferences on agriculture, trade, investment and human rights; has worked with several NGOs; and has carried out media relations, particularly providing access to the media for people whose voices are not usually heard.
- We Can Prevent a COVID-19 Hunger Crisis if We Look Back and LearnThe world now faces the risk of a dramatic rise in hunger, barely 12 years after the devastating food price crisis. What can be learned from the past?
- We Need a Global Stimulus Package to Avoid a COVID-19 Hunger CrisisThe loss of income for billions of people could be the most devastating effect of the COVID-19 pandemic, and it's directly connected to a pending hunger crisis.
- Can Responsible Contracts Help Improve Farmer Incomes and Productivity? This commentary explores some of the issues raised by rice farmers from the Philippines and Kyrgyzstan; coffee farmers from Lao People’s Democratic Republic (PDR) and Vietnam; and sugarcane and fruit growers from Cambodia during a workshop held in late October 2019.
- Agricultural Bias in FocusThis paper provides further details and explains how to measure and understand the source of agricultural bias in a country, including examples and country case studies.
- Modelling for Sustainable Development: New decisions for a new ageThis book provides a detailed overview of models used in designing projects and policies that integrate sustainable development considerations and objectives.
- Explorer les projets d'investissement agricoleUn voyage de deux semaines explore les moyens de maximiser les avantages et de minimiser les risques des outils d’investissement agricole en Afrique.
- Touring Agricultural Investment ProjectsA two-week trip explores how to maximize the benefits and minimize the risks of agricultural investment tools in Africa.
- Contract Farming: Challenges and a new tool for successIISD and FAO have developed a Model Agreement for Responsible Contract Farming to help farmers and responsible buyers address the shortcomings of contract farming.
- Transforming Agriculture in Africa & Asia: What are the policy priorities?This report uses a first-of-its kind analytical framework that tracks the performance of 117 countries over 45 years to understand which agricultural policies have succeeded or failed.
- Could a U.S.–China Trade War Lead to a New Wave of Land Grabs?A trade war could force China to search for new frontiers to secure its soybean demand and protect its supply chains, leading to another wave of so-called “land grabs.”
- Effective Public Investments to Improve Food SecurityThe world has made significant progress in reducing hunger over the past decade. But hunger remains a major challenge. This policy brief identifies the most effective and efficient ways to invest in improving food security.
- Hunger Is On the Rise: Here are three ways to stop itHunger levels are rising. Carin Smaller explores how technology could help tackle climate change and end hunger.
- The Rise of Agricultural Growth Poles in Africa: Investment in Agriculture Policy Brief #6Africa has seen the emergence of 36 agricultural growth poles and 9 corridors over the past 15 years. They cover at least 3.5 million hectares of land in 23 countries. Ensuring that the new wave of agropoles and growth corridors is effective requires robust policies, laws and practices to ensure that a possible new trend of investment helps Africa achieve the sustainable development goals the continent has set.
- Farmland Investments Are Finding their Way to International ArbitrationA claim registered by a Swedish investor against the Tanzanian government for revoking a land title amid concerns over the impact on local communities and a wildlife sanctuary is the first known investor-state dispute against a government linked to the so-called “land grab” phenomenon, which arose out of the 2008 food crisis.
- How Can the G20 Effectively Address Migration?We make the case for how the upcoming G20 summit's core focus—how to strengthen economic resilience and further integrate global financial markets—can help address both hunger and migration.
- What Is the Link Between Hunger and Migration?In the context of the current refugee crisis—and the rhetoric surrounding international migration—we investigated how international migration is affected by economic growth, hunger and increased agricultural productivity.
- How to Improve Gender Equality in Agriculture: Investment in Agriculture Policy Brief #5 In this policy brief, we explore how global standards and guidelines contribute to gender equality and women’s empowerment, and whether more can be done through these instruments to improve the situation of women in agriculture.
- What it Would Take to End HungerAn event on the sidelines of CFS 43 focused on the public investment required to end hunger.
- Ending Hunger: What would it cost?The International Institute for Sustainable Development and the International Food Policy Research Institute joined forces to estimate what it would cost to end hunger, and the contribution that donors need to make.
- Bayer Tightens Control Over the World’s Food SupplyBayer recently succeeded in a US$ 66 billion takeover bid of Monsanto—the biggest deal this year. While the public wants competitive prices, innovation and choice, these mergers block all three.
- Investment Contracts for Agriculture: Maximizing gains and minimizing risksThis joint IISD, World Bank and UNCTAD discussion paper marries two substantial bodies of research to show how investment contracts can be set up to promote sustainable development. It presents the top five positive outcomes and the five downsides from private sector investments in large-scale agricultural projects.
- IISD Commentary on the FAO–OECD Guidance for Responsible Agricultural Supply ChainsThis IISD commentary looks at the FAO–OECD Guidance for Responsible Agricultural Supply Chains...
- The IISD Guide to Negotiating Investment Contracts for Farmland and WaterThe IISD Guide to Negotiating Investment Contracts for Farmland and Water is a legal and policy tool for governments and communities that are involved in negotiating investment contracts with foreign investors.
- Investment Treaty News Quarterly, Volume 5, Issue 2, May 2014In this issue:The Practice of Responsible Investment Principles in Larger-Scale Agricultural...
- The Global Response to Foreign Investment in Agriculture Policy Brief #1The global community was taken by surprise at the sharp rise of investor interest in agricultural...
- Investment Treaty News Quarterly, Volume 3, Issue 4, June 2013In this issue:Smart Flexibility Clauses in International Investment Agreements; The Quest for...
- Investment Contracts for Farmland and Water: 10 Steps This document is a tool for parliamentarians, government officials, landholders and local...
- Farmland and Water: China invests abroadChina is actively investing in agriculture abroad and is now the world's third largest source of...
- Going public to improve investment in agricultureThis paper makes the case for transparency in investment contracts.It looks at the negative...
- Making Investment Work for Africa: What role for parliamentarians?Making Investment Work for Africa: What role for parliamentarians? is a discussion note on...
- Investment Treaty News Quarterly, Volume 2, Issue 1, October 2011In this issue:Rethinking investor-state contracts through a sustainable development lens;...
- A Thirst for Distant Lands: Foreign investment in agricultural land and waterThis paper examines how water is the main driver behind a new wave of foreign investment in the...