Principles for Responsible Agricultural Investment (PRAI)

UNCTAD, FAO, IFAD and the World Bank have jointly developed a set of Principles for responsible agricultural investment that respects rights, livelihoods and resources (PRAI). The seven Principles cover all types of investment in agriculture, including between principal investors and contract farmers. In many cases no purchase of land or concessions are involved. Where this does occur the principles cover both large and small holdings. The Principles are based on detailed research on the nature, extent and impacts of private sector investment and best practices in law and policy.

Goal: The Principles are intended to provide a framework for national regulations, international investment agreements, global corporate social responsibility initiatives, and individual investor contracts.

Relevant Clauses:1

  • Principle 1: Existing rights to land and associated natural resources are recognized and respected.
  • Principle 2: Investments do not jeopardize food security but rather strengthen it.
  • Principle 3: Processes relating to investment in agriculture are transparent, monitored, and ensure accountability by all stakeholders, within a proper business, legal, and regulatory environment.
  • Principle 4: All those materially affected are consulted, and agreements from consultations are recorded and enforced.
  • Principle 5: Investors ensure that projects respect the rule of law, reflect industry best practice, are viable economically, and result in durable shared value.
  • Principle 6: Investments generate desirable social and distributional impacts and do not increase vulnerability.
  • Principle 7: Environmental impacts of a project are quantified and measures taken to encourage sustainable resource use, while minimizing the risk/magnitude of negative impacts and mitigating them.

Guidelines in relation to implementation and more information is available here.

  1. UNCTAD (2013): The Principles for Responsible Agricultural Investment []