Defining the path towards climate-efficient agrifood system infrastructure


Project Summary

This joint FAO-EBRD project explores the potential of a new generation of agrifood system infrastructure for achieving increased efficiency, resilience, decarbonization, and the promotion of a more sustainable water, energy, and land nexus.


Agrifood systems represent a significant part of the global economy, valued at over US$10 trillion (FAO et al, 2023). They employ over a quarter of the world’s workforce, and feed billions of people and livestock.

Agrifood system infrastructure can be defined as the long lived, capital intensive, strategically important physical assets, that provide essential services or facilities enabling the functioning of the agrifood system. They are critical drivers of agrifood systems, and provide an important entry point to address agrifood systems’ sustainability, resilience and inclusiveness (FAO-EU-CIRAD 2022).

Within EBRD’s region of operation, filling the gap in innovative and climate-efficient agrifood infrastructure is key to help agrifood systems perform effectively, and face a range of increasing challenges and crises: climate change, extreme weather, shifting consumption demand, etc.).

Nonetheless, dedicated academic literature and reports tend to focus on broad categories of infrastructure, such as transport, energy, water (e.g., GIH platform, ADB 2022, WB 2019), missing specific reflections on infrastructure for the agrifood systems (irrigation, storage, markets, logistics, waste management…).

This work comes at an opportune time of infrastructure development, with a dedicated demand stimulated through economic stimulus packages such as the EU Green Deal, the COVID-19 recovery packages, and efforts to restore agricultural trade flows in the Black Sea region resulting from the war in Ukraine.


This project combines a review of policy papers and reports from the major International Financial Institutions with first-hand evidence from a survey of agribusiness companies in Egypt, Serbia and Uzbekistan.


Its findings will inform global discussion, and support private and public investment decisions.

Innovative results comprise: a specific definition, a conceptual framework,

and key performance indicators of economic, environmental, and social performance to guide private and public investment decisions.


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