In this guest post, Jonny Jacobs, Managing Director of Malawi Mangoes gives recommendations on how to make interventions to improve rural livelihoods gain traction in communities. For more on the Malawi Mangoes business model, watch the Farming First TV interview embedded in the post.
Poverty has continued to linger on the African continent with much of the economic hardship falling on farmers. At Malawi Mangoes we believe we can play a key role in addressing the social, environmental and economic challenges encountered by rural communities by involving them in inclusive and empowering business enterprise.
During the Interactive Hearing with Civil Society convened by the President of the General Assembly on May 26-27, Robynne Anderson, Director General of the International Agri-Food Network, had the opportunity to be the final speaker. The Post 2015 agenda will set new Sustainable Development Goals to create the world we want in 2015. Her remarks on monitoring and reporting emphasize the instrumental roles for all stakeholders and the willingness of business to take up the new agenda when it is finalised in September.
From FarmingFirst – farmingfirst.org
This World Water Week, iDE will convene a side event on bringing drip irrigation to smallholder farmers, bringing together key stakeholders from the drip industry, NGOs, donor agencies, finance, and scientific institutions to discuss how they can bring –in a concerted effort – suitable and affordable drip irrigation technologies to smallholders. The conveners of the seminar will present on the current landscape of the drip irrigation industry, their perspective on the challenges and solutions mentioned above, and discuss the potential for collaboration across sectors and organizations.
Farmers using drip irrigation kits are able to save water and energy while increasing their crop yields and profit. iDE will share its experiences of selling over 150,000 drip kits to smallholder farmers through case studies focused on Burkina Faso and Cambodia. Building on these case studies and a broad industry market assessment, iDE will facilitate a discussion on how to accelerate the dissemination of drip irrigation kits in developing countries to significantly contribute to the eradication of extreme poverty through strong private sector engagement and a focus on the farmer as an entrepreneur.
Find out more at worldwaterweek.org
May 14, 2015 – Jaine Chisholm Caunt, Director General of the Grain and Feed Trade Association (GAFTA), has been elected Chair of the International Agri-Food Network (IAFN) at the 2015 annual meeting in Rome.
Chisholm Caunt will lead the IAFN in the next two years in bringing together international agricultural associations representing over 10,000 businesses worldwide in 135 countries. “Representing business among multilateral bodies in the diplomatic world is essential to achieving food security. In the agricultural sector, the Rome-based agencies of the United Nations – FAO, WFP and IFAD – are key actors and partners”, stated Chisholm Caunt upon her nomination at IAFN’s Annual General Meeting in Rome.
The IAFN works on a wide variety of issues relating to agriculture, food and nutrition, and serves as the focal point for the Private Sector Mechanism (PSM) of the United Nations Committee on World Food Security (CFS).
35 delegates were in Rome for the annual meetings of the IAFN and the PSM, spanning over 13 countries and 4 continents, from all parts of the value chain.
Press release pdf here (198 KB)
April 22, 2015 – Farming First has produced an interactive essay explaining how and why agriculture will be central to achieving the Post-2015 Sustainable Development Goals. Farming First has explored the role of agriculture in relation to hunger and malnutrition, poverty reduction, gender equality, education, water, sustainable consumption and production, economic growth, and climate change.
The essay focuses on the links between agriculture and “Goal 2″, which calls for relevant actors to “end hunger, achieve food security and improved nutrition, and promote sustainable agriculture”. The interactive article uses easily shareable and digestible visual data to illustrate Goal 2 Targets relevant to hunger, malnutrition, sustainability, resilience, biodiversity, productivity, incomes, investment, trade, and markets. It is an excellent resource for those seeking a better understanding of these issues or a means of bringing them to life for a general audience.
April 16, 2015 – The IAFN, YPARD and GFRAS are among the global actors spearheading a worldwide “Call to Action” that asks governments to promote and foster talent development, knowledge dissemination, and skill enhancement in the agricultural sector. The Call was jointly drafted by businesses, youth organizations, academia, and agricultural knowledge & extension bodies, and has been circulated to the member countries of the UN’s Committee on World Food Security (CFS).
In its official seat at the CFS, the private sector is highlighting the urgency of unified action on talent development in agriculture in order to make the sector more sustainable, competitive, productive, and efficient. Emerging trends, shifting global markets, climate change, and the ageing of the agricultural workforce underscore the importance of this issue. Now more than ever, development actors must highlight the opportunities and benefits of a career in agriculture. The private sector will be integral to these efforts.
The five key points of the Call ask development actors to:
- Create an enabling environment and incentives for private sector engagement in talent development to improve linkages between supply and demand of knowledge and skills;
- Promote demand-driven and innovative agriculture education, training, and skills development programmes geared towards transformation and maintaining high performance culture at all levels;
- Recruit and retain youth and women in agriculture through incentives and the promotion of conducive environments for equitable access to secure land tenure, inputs, financial services, knowledge, and markets;
- Develop national agricultural plans and resource mobilisation strategies to enhance talent development in agriculture, food, and natural resources while including women and youth in the process;
- Develop monitoring, learning, evaluation, and knowledge management systems for talent development
These measures will help to set agriculture on the path to a brighter future, for the sector and for the entire globe.
Agricultural businesses and farm groups are invited to join us in our debates, in Rome or virtually. Social media hashtag: #CallforAction
March 20, 2015 – This week members of the Private Sector Mechanism (PSM) were at the UN FAO Head Quarters in Rome to give their views on how new Principles on Responsible Agricultural Investment can be used to respond to the urgent need to increase global investment in farm production. The ten Principles were endorsed by the UN Committee on World Food Security (CFS) in October 2014 and are designed to ‘provide a framework to rethink investment in agriculture and food systems’. The agri-business community was invited to help draft the Principles, which look at natural resource use, land rights, employment, empowerment of women, farm innovation, and more.
At this week’s meeting the PSM members highlighted that on average, businesses of all sizes provide 60% of GDP, 80% of capital flows and 90% of jobs in developing countries, and are the major source of the US$1 trillion a year needed to finance development. In the context of the CFS Principles, governments can leverage this potential by prioritizing stable, predictable and transparent regulatory frameworks and legal systems to attract sustainable investments in agriculture.
The Private Sector Mechanism speakers at the ‘Kick-Start’ meeting were:
- Barrie Bain, International Fertilizer Industry Association
- Natalia Federighi, Yara International
- Bernd Schanzenbacher, EBG Capital
The PSM official statement is here:
February 4, 2015 – The UN Committee on World Food Security (CFS) has published a promotional video featuring seven leaders from the food and farming business community alongside governments, UN officials and civil society representatives.
The aim of the video is to bring to light the work undertaken by the CFS, the United Nations’ forum for reviewing policies concerning world food security. Importantly, agri-businesses have a ‘seat at the table’ in this forum through what is known as the Private Sector Mechanism, allowing their voices to be heard on an equal footing with those of governments, political decision makers and civil society.
In order of appearance, the private sector representatives on the video are:
Jan Dyer, Canadian Canola Growers’ Association
Mike Michener, CropLife International
Nico Van Belzen, International Dairy Federation
Natalia Federighi, Yara International
Charles Ogang, Uganda National Farmers Federation
Barrie Bain, Informa
Robynne Anderson, IAFN
Find out more about the work we do with the CFS here.
January 29, 2015 – Hakan Bahceci, Chair of the International Agri Food Network, currently features on the website of FAO Director General José Graziano da Silva, amid his campaign to run for a second term in office. Hakan Bahceci has joined hundreds of global actors to call for the strengthening of partnerships in global agri-food discussions and commend the achievements of recent years, which have seen increased meaningful participation of businesses and an office for the Private Sector Mechanism at the FAO alongside other stakeholders.
In addition, FAO has released a video celebrating its partnerships with businesses, civil society and other external stakeholders. The video, which features Esin Mete, President of the International Fertilizer Industry Association, can be viewed here