About GIFS

Our Vision and Mission

Our vision is to create ingenious science that delivers sustainable food security for the world.

Our mission is to help feed the world through transformative innovations in agriculture and food production that will benefit Saskatchewan’s economic, social and environmental well being and which will empower developing countries to achieve local food security.

Our History

In February 2011, three visionary leaders in Saskatchewan – Bill Doyle (former President and CEO of PotashCorp), Brad Wall (Premier of Saskatchewan), and Peter MacKinnon (former President of the University of Saskatchewan) – shook hands on an agreement in principle to create a research institute based at the University of Saskatchewan dedicated to achieving global food security.

Following significant negotiations among the three organizations regarding the mandate and governance for such an institute, in December 2012, the Global Institute for Food Security (GIFS) was officially established.

Our Mandate

GIFS has been constituted with a unique focus on research and technology development that has the potential to improve agriculture in both the developed world and the developing world. Traditionally, discovery research has first been exploited in industrialized economies and eventually flows into the developing world. It usually takes many years before new technologies are transferred to the places that most need it. This is often because of a focus on more lucrative markets, the cost of product launch, and intellectual property considerations. However, there are examples where recent discovery research has been delivered directly to developing world agriculture with rapid beneficial impact.

At GIFS, we are choosing to work in areas of agricultural research that have the potential to benefit “breadbasket” nations like Canada but also have the potential to enhance agriculture in sub-Saharan Africa and south Asia. Progress in both worlds is essential to assuring long-term food security. This cannot be achieved without many partners, but it can be promoted if scientists from the outset are focusing on opportunities in both worlds. It starts with a vision and a mindset; it succeeds when a discovery becomes part of farming practice and contributes, even village by village, to global food security.