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Engaging the Private Sector in Agricultural Development
Former Global Harvest Initiative (GHI) Chairman of the Board, Dr. William Lesher, was a featured speaker at a Center For Strategic & International Studies (CSIS) roundtable discussion event on agricultural financing and private sector engagement in food security and agricultural development.
The event, Creating Better Access to Finance for Rural Development: Public and Private Sector Engagement in Food Security and Agricultural Development, highlighted the importance of innovative financing in agricultural development as well as the need to engage the private sector in order to improve development and meet future agricultural needs.
Various approaches to attracting financing were discussed. Kofi Boakye of USAID’s Development Credit Authority (DCA) indicated the need to have a private sector mindset to risk sharing, which could include bringing in another financial partner to assume a portion of the risk. Boakye believes that a flexible approach to risk sharing is critical in order to attract private sector capital in developing markets.
Temitope Oshikoya of Ecobank suggested that Africa needs a vibrant private sector in order to improve agricultural development. Adding to this assessment, Dr. Lesher pointed out the critical importance in attracting private sector capital to the agricultural systems of developing countries in order to close the annual $90 billion agricultural investment gap that currently exists.
GHI’s policy paper, Enhancing Private Sector Involvement in Agricultural and Rural Infrastructure Development, further outlines the important role of the private sector in closing the massive agricultural investment gap, concluding that no country in history has succeeded in generating the capital necessary to achieve its development goals without broad and continuous mobilization of private capital. The policy paper denotes the private sector as one of the key influencers in creating economic growth, raising global incomes and feeding a growing global population.
For more information, you can download the CSIS report on Private Sector Engagement in Food Security and Agricultural Development.
To read GHI’s policy paper, Enhancing Private Sector Involvement in Agricultural and Rural Infrastructure Development, click here.