Research projects

Current projects

Research is a main strand of the WTI's work. See below for a list of research projects arranged under the three main thematic areas of trade, investment and sustainability, as well as information on past projects.

Making Agricultural Trade Sustainable (MATS): EU Horizon 2020

The WTI is one of the 14 partners to the EU funded Horizon 2020 programme “Making Agricultural Trade Sustainable” (MATS). MATS is a 3.5-year duration programme ending in December 2024. It comprises partners with a wide spectrum of expertise and competences, substantial and longstanding experiences, and wide geographical spread in Europe and Africa. 

The programme aims to identify key leverage points for changes in agricultural trade policy that foster positive and reduce negative impacts of trade on sustainable development and human rights.

Under the MATS programme, the WTI is responsible for two multi-disciplinary and multi-institutional discussion papers

  • Discussion paper on the political economy of trade regimes
  • Discussion paper on the feasibility of changes in trade relations and instruments.

These research papers will be available in the course of the year 2024.

With a hopefully immediate impact, WTI also conducts the MATS/Ukraine project “Repairing Broken Food Trade Routes Ukraine – Africa”. The aim is to identify and explore “broken” Ukrainian-African food trade routes due to the Russian invasion of Ukraine.

  • Starting with a food trade flow chart pre- and post-24 February 2022, it will assess, first, whether and which Ukrainian (or African) traders can again supply these products (Output 1).
  • Failing that, whether the new EU-financed “Crisis Management” (or another) programme can possibly make up for lost Ukrainian agri-food exports (Output 2).
  • It will also identify alternative exporters which might already have supplied new agri-food to Africa under war conditions (Output 3).
  • Importantly, the Project also looks at the potential effect of these developments on competing farm production in Africa (Output 4).

For further information and/or offer to assist in project implementation, please write to Christian Häberli ( or to Bogdan Kostetsky (