Enhanced Private Sector Involvement Key to Global Food Security

Posted by on May 18th, 2012 | 0 Comments »

The critical role of the private sector in global efforts to address food security and agricultural development is one of many topics that will addressed at today’s Chicago Council on Global Affairs’ Third Annual Symposium on Global Agriculture and Food Security, held in Washington D.C.

The event commences in company with this year’s G8 Summit, and brings a renewed focus on food security and agricultural development; the G8 countries as well as global agricultural leaders are expected to focus their efforts on initiatives to attract private sector resources to support agricultural growth in developing countries worldwide. Investments in agriculture are proven to have significant returns. Feed the Future, the U.S. Government’s global hunger and food security initiative, notes that agricultural growth is at least twice as effective in reducing poverty than growth in other sectors, and can spur long-term economic growth.

The agriculture sectors in developing countries have generally experienced severe underinvestment, and in a 2011 report, Global Food and Agriculture Productivity Review: The Investment Challenge, the Global Harvest Initiative (GHI) found that this investment gap approaches $90 billion annually.

The private sector is uniquely able to help create economic growth to raise global incomes and feed a growing global population estimated to reach 9 billion by 2050. Given the massive agriculture investment gap, neither the public nor private sector can meet these challenges alone. An unprecedented level of collaboration among public and private sector partnerships will be required to develop new initiatives necessary to transform agricultural production and meet future food demands.

For this reason, GHI is actively engaged in dialogue with Feed the Future and the Millennium Challenge Corporation, among others operating in the food security and agricultural development space, with the goal of identifying opportunities to further leverage the resources and expertise of the private sector. In a recent report, The Chicago Council on Global Affairs noted the impact that both Feed the Future and Millennium Challenge Corporation have made through global food security initiatives.

By engaging the private sector, committing to sustained agricultural investments, leveraging private-public partnerships and focusing on long-term productivity solutions, agriculture can make important strides in improving food security in developing countries around the world.

For more information, read GHI’s policy brief on enhancing private sector involvement in agricultural and rural infrastructure development, and visit our interactive map of food security case studies.

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