Inclusive agribusiness: The state of play background working paper
This working paper (PDF) has been prepared as background for the inclusive agribusiness work stream of the Global Donor Platform for Rural Development (GDPRD). The paper outlines the concept of inclusive business and its application to the agrifood sector, it maps the current state of play and explores implications for donors and the GDPRD. An inclusive business benefits poor producers and/or consumers by providing access to markets, services and products in ways that improve their livelihoods, while at the same time being a profitable commercial venture: Inclusive agribusiness provides a perspective that can contribute to a deeper understanding of how to align public and private interests and investments in pursuit of the Sustainable Development Goals. There is a vast body of experience and knowledge about how agricultural markets can help to tackle poverty and encourage sustainable practices. However, this has not been fully tapped, synthesised and communicated in ways that can help to tackle the ongoing structural barriers of taking inclusive agribusiness initiatives to scale. Consequently, inclusive agribusiness is a field where the GDPRD can potentially make a significant contribution through its knowledge sharing, advocacy and networking functions. The paper provides an initial mapping of this work and identifies emerging issues and opportunities. The paper also highlights a weak and fragmented evidence base regarding impact, which risks undermining the case for the much needed investment to take promising example to scale. Critics note that few inclusive business models have gone beyond pilot stage and reached scale.