Realising the promise of inclusive agribusiness
Inclusive agribusiness is one perspective from which to view transformations in the agriculture and food sectors, and one which is gaining a lot of support amongst donors, as well as private sector groups in recent years. This perspective recognizes the critical role the private sector, from small local business to large international corporations, can play in contributing to poverty reduction. The concept is probably similar to value chain development or market systems approach, but the idea here is to emphasize the way that businesses operate and invest taking into consideration the need s and economic opportunities of poor people. But where do we stand with regard to inclusive agribusiness initiatives worldwide? How do we measure inclusiveness? And how much have inclusive agribusiness initiatives contributed to achieve global goals of reducing poverty and promoting food security to poor groups? Consultant to the Donor Platform Jim Woodhill explored these questions in a webinar on 5th July 2016, where he shared the results of his background working paper on inclusive agribusiness, including recommendations for donors. One of the key messages is that there are numerous inclusive agribusiness-related projects/businesses that have generated a broad base of practitioners with a growing understanding of how to put inclusive agribusiness models into practice. However, there is little systemic analysis of how all these initiatives are contributing to improving the livelihoods of the poor at a global scale. With such finding, donors, business networks, knowledge institutes and others are called for supporting a global knowledge and learning agenda that can help generate better evidence about the inclusive agribusiness space to justify the continuation of investments and improve the effectiveness of initiatives. Participants in this webinar included experts from different donor/development organisations, such as DFID, USAID, EIF-WTO, IrishAid, FAO, GIZ, as well as from knowledge organisations such as ECDPM and Seas of Change Initiative. Woodhill’s presentation can be found here.