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Investing in smallholder agriculture for food security

A report by the High Level Panel of Experts on Food Security and Nutrition (HLPE) of the Committee on World Food Security








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    Book (series)
    Home Country Measures that Promote Responsible Foreign Agricultural Investment 2016
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    This paper summarizes the good practices by nine selected OECD countries that seek to promote responsible foreign investment in developing country agriculture, primarily by investors in their territory or jurisdiction. The study provides examples of the increasing trend of home countries in establishing binding legal norms and other mechanisms as safeguards that are relevant for agricultural investment. It finds that States apply some specific provisions to hold private corporate actors investin g in agriculture abroad accountable, for example in regard to bribery of foreign public officials. Investment home countries are also increasingly using safeguards relevant for agricultural investment for companies that are controlled by the State or seek its support. Furthermore, Public-Private Partnerships are increasingly used in development assistance projects as a means to promote responsible agricultural investment. In these cases, the safeguards usually imply the use of negotiated and app roved instruments such as the Voluntary Guidelines on the Responsible Governance of Tenure of Land, Fisheries and Forests in the Context of National Food Security (VGGT). The Principles for Responsible Investment in Agriculture and Food Systems (CFS-RAI), endorsed in 2014 by the Committee on World Food Security (CFS), will possibly become a major guidance instrument, given recent declarations by the G7 and G20.
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    More effective and sustainable investments in water for poverty reduction 2016
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    Water management by smallholders, including all forms of informal irrigation, private, water farming, fishing, etc, has a significant potential for development which is still largely untapped. This project funded by IFAD (International Fund for Agricultural Development) and implemented by FAO and IWMI is an opportunity to understand the conditions of success for the development of all forms of small-scale agricultural water management and to improve the efficiency and performance of the developm ent projects. The project is implemented in Madagascar, Ethiopia, Tanzania, Rwanda, Niger and Mali with the participation of the ministries of agriculture of those countries. It aims to further inform on more appropriate investments in irrigation. The project focuses on the exchange of experiences between countries, both in the technological field and know-how, in order to promote innovation.
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    Book (stand-alone)
    Public-Private Partnerships for Agribusines Development 2016
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    High levels of investments are required to unleash the potential of agriculture for sustainable development and poverty reduction in developing countries, but low public budgetary allocations to the sector have slowed growth. To address this problem, innovative partnerships that bring together business, government and civil society actors are increasingly being promoted as a mechanism for pooling much-needed financing while mitigating some of the risks of doing business in the agriculture sector . Commonly referred to as public–private partnerships (PPPs), these initiatives are expected to contribute to the pursuit of sustainable agricultural development that is inclusive of smallholder farmers. However, there remain many unanswered questions about the types of project that may suitably be governed by PPPs and about the partnerships’ effectiveness in delivering on these objectives. To improve understanding of the potential benefits and challenges of agri-PPPs, this publication provides an analysis of 70 PPP cases gathered from 15 developing countries, together with evidence from FAO’s support to the review of PPP policies for agriculture in Southeast Asia and Central America. Four common project types are identified: i) partnerships that aim to develop agricultural value chains; ii) partnerships for joint agricultural research, innovation and technology transfer; iii) partnerships for building and upgrading market infrastructure; and iv) partnerships for the delivery of busine ss development services to farmers and small and medium enterprises. The main lessons are synthesized, including the public skills and institutions required to enable more effective partnerships with the private sector, and the circumstances under which PPPs are likely to be the best modality for achieving sustainable development outcomes. The conclusion reached is that while there is evidence of positive contributions to sustainable agricultural development objectives, there remain several outs tanding issues associated with the impact of PPPs on poverty reduction and inclusion, which still need to be addressed. When deciding whether or not to engage in an agri-PPP, policy-makers should aim to ensure that the partnership will represent value for money and generate public benefits that exceed those that could be achieved through alternative modes of public procurement or through private investment alone.

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