How can subsidy reform that aims to achieve climate and nature goals also deliver on nutrition? A Foreign and Commonwealth Development Office seminar summary

On 17 July the Global Panel on Agriculture and Food Systems for Nutrition participated in seminar organised by the Foreign Commonwealth and Development Office (FCDO); ‘Repurposing Agricultural subsidies for climate and nutrition.’ The purpose of the seminar was to address the potential for such support to better promote the health of populations, benefit the environment, the incomes of farmers and the poor, while achieving agricultural goals.

Key experts presented research based on modelling conducted at a regional and global level.  Dr Marco Springmann, presented from the Global Panel technical brief ‘Exploring the potential benefits of repurposing agricultural subsidies in sub–Saharan Africa ( This highlighted the importance of reallocating agriculture sector support as part of the ongoing dialogue on food system transformation, with the modelling suggesting that this should be a key consideration as countries deliver on their commitments in the Maputo and Malabo Declarations. The other two experts took a global perspective with Rob Vos (International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI)) presenting on ‘Transforming agriculture and food systems to better serve the health of people, economies and planet’, ( and David Laborde (Food and Agriculture Organisation of the United Nations (FAO)) on ‘Repurposing public support to improve the state of food security and nutrition in the world’ (

All the modelling research suggested that agricultural support could be utilised differently potentially delivering better outcomes for nutrition, nature and climate but the presenters noted that a nuanced contextual approach was needed with particular attention paid to farmer’s incomes and the most vulnerable. 

The seminar provided a rapid snapshot of the modelling research prompting a range of valuable questions on a topic of increasing importance in light of the global food security crisis, economic pressures, increasing concerns about the impacts of climate change and the opportunity to address food systems challenges at the forthcoming COP28. It provided FCDO advisers a useful basis to consider how to apply findings in their policy engagement and programming.