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Small and medium enterprises and nutrition: understanding linkages, seizing opportunities

Discussion paper









FAO 2024. Small and medium enterprises and nutrition: understanding linkages, seizing opportunities – Discussion paper.Rome.




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    Book (stand-alone)
    Promoting the digitalization of small and medium-sized agrifood enterprises in Asia and the Pacific 2023
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    Small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) constitute the large majority of businesses both globally and in Asia and the Pacific. Despite their undeniable importance, the literature on SMEs in general, and agrifood SMEs in particular, is relatively limited. One specific area that deserves deeper consideration is the extent of digital engagement of agrifood SMEs along the agrifood value chain, from farm to retail and food services, in countries in Asia and the Pacific. The goal of this publication is to understand the current status of digitalization of agri-SMEs in Asia and the Pacific, what this process looks like and how to improve it. A value-chain approach was adopted to evaluate the digital maturity of all types of agri-SMEs across previously siloed categories – from farm to fork, and in the core and the extended value chain. The report analyses the benefits of digital transformation for agri-SMEs and the challenges they face in this process. Next, the report outlines practical and actionable measures that governments and other stakeholders may undertake to help agrifood SMEs stay ahead in the digital age. Special attention is given to the creation of a digital environment that enables agri-SMEs to increase the efficiency of their operations and allow them to grow. This is particularly important given that many agri-SMEs are located in rural agricultural areas, (where more than half of the population in Asia and the Pacific still resides), but where the environment is less favourable to digital transformation.
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    Document
    Romania: Bank Lending to Small and Medium Sized Enterprises in Rural areas; an Analysis of Supply and Demand
    Report N. 9 - January 2005
    2005
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    The economic situation in Romania has improved over the last years and starting in 2001 the growth rate averaged some 5 percent per year. Also the development of the financial sector has gathered pace and domestic and foreign direct investments, in view of the country’s accession to the EU in 2007, are rapidly picking up. These favourable trends, however, are far from being evenly distributed over the territory: Bucharest and a few other big towns in more favourable regions account for the bulk of the growth, while a large part of the country’s economic potential, representing small cities and rural communities, is not fully utilized. One of the reasons that financial resources allocated to rural areas remain under-utilized is the inadequacy of financial services to match the needs of local business, notwithstanding the number of specially designed financing programs in this respect. This publication is part of report series published under the FAO Investment Centre/European Bank f or Reconstruction and Development Cooperation Programme. The series presents sector reviews and studies undertaken in Central and Eastern Europe that cover development issues and innovative areas to increase investment in agriculture in the region. Romania's entry into the European Union in 2007 is expected to have a significant impact on the country's small and medium sized enterprises (SMEs) operating in rural areas. EBRD's Financial Institutions team, together with its Agribusiness team, h as developed a Facility to mix EU grant and EBRD loans in favour of rural SMEs in EU accession countries. EBRD called upon FAO's expertise to review lending opportunities in Romania's rural sector. This report was prepared to put forward recommendations to EBRD and local financial intermediaries, on which clients the EU/EBRD Facility should focus and on the types of financial products required to serve these new clients. The analysis can be used by other local or international financial institut ions interested in rural credit.
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    Brochure, flyer, fact-sheet
    Boosting the capacities of small-scale producers and small and medium-sized enterprises for the nutrition of the most vulnerable 2023
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    FAO’s vision for nutrition is a world where all people are eating healthy diets from efficient, inclusive, resilient and sustainable agrifood systems. Multiple actors need to be mobilized to enable this transformation, and small-scale producers and small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) are particularly important, as they form the backbone of food systems in most countries. However, they face critical finance, policy and capacity development challenges in making their businesses more nutrition-sensitive. FAO is working towards leveraging the potential of local small-scale producers and SMEs as a key to reducing hunger and malnutrition, and improving livelihoods among the poorest and most vulnerable. The project, “Protecting the diets of the most vulnerable people as part of COVID-19 response and recovery programme”. The project aims to strengthen the matching between the supply and demand of safe, nutritious and locally produced food by enhancing the capacities of small-scale producers and SMEs. The project also aims to increase access to food for consumers whose nutritional requirements put them at high risk of malnutrition – such as women of reproductive age, and children.

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