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Food Security Exchange Embassies

The Food Security Exchange for policy officers from Dutch Embassies was organized by the Ministries of Foreign and Economic Affairs and the Food & Business Knowledge Platform, and took place from May 6 to May 9, 2014.
Food Security Exchange Embassies
June 16, 2014 By: F&BKP Office Image: MinFA

Putting people first, think longer term in stable investment and intervention policies (like the business sector does), and support that with a good and specific theory of change. Translate that into action by joint programming between The Hague and local embassies. Make farming attractive for the young through higher profit margins and much more innovative business models. And have your people where it matters when formulating and implementing large multilateral and central programs. These are some of the conclusions of a Food Security Exchange among food security experts and agricultural attaches from 11 partner country embassies, policy makers in The Hague and food security and agricultural sector partners in the Netherlands.

The Food Security Exchange was opened by the Secretary General Foreign Affairs, Renee Jones-Bos, and closed four days later through a joint wrap-up performance by Roald Lapperre and Christaan Rebergen, Deputy Director General at respectively Economic and Foreign Affairs. It shows, as the week did more broadly, that the “One Team” concept in foreign affairs stretches across departments and ministries, although embassy feedback learned there is still room for improvement sometimes.

In between the opening and closing:

  • Embassies shared their lessons and views on public-private partnerships, on combining aid, investment and trade in food and nutrition security, on the nexus between food security and water in program implementation and on a target group centered M&E framework with an example from the Great Lakes Region.
  • At WageningenUR thematic expert sessions were held with partners on a range of topics indicated by embassies as priority learning themes.
  • This was followed by a lively market with intensive networking among many organizations and programs, larded with 1 minute pitches.
  • A full day was dedicated to company visits throughout the country with different itinerary in various groups
  • Finally, before the wrap up, Joost Oorthuizen (IDH), Willem Lageweg (MVO NL) and Myrtille Danse (BoPInc) shared  their view on future developments in sustainable supply chains and reaching ‘bottom of the pyramid’ markets for food and nutrition security.

This last session reflected the need, also expressed by embassy staff, for stable longer term policy investment if transitions are to be achieved. The presenters warned that we have just started. Inclusive business models for ‘bottom of the pyramid’ markets are not yet business-as-usual. African national investments in agriculture and rural development are not a given priority, and sustainable sourcing by mainstream companies is not yet generally accepted or irreversible. We are on the right track with some of this, but it is fragile! Transitions are not achieved in one or two political or planning cycles.

Please download the complete report about the Food Security Exchange (PDF).
The table of contents of the report provides easy access to sections on Dutch policy, on themes such as Agro-logistics, Agri-Finance and Innovation, and to the detailed conclusions of the week.

As background information, you can also download the following documentation:

The Office of the Food & Business Knowledge Platform has compiled this report based on the contributions of Wijnand van IJssel, Kevin Huyzen, Ariane van Beuzekom and some other Ministry staff members, and on input from Frans Verberne, Klaas de Vries, Jan Brouwers and Nicole Metz from the Office. We thank them all for their contributions.




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