Food security investments in the region need an enabling environment and innovative partnerships. This session featured proposed partnership frameworks for food security by India, Bangladesh, Lao PDR and the Pacific.
Vibrant and dynamic food supply chains and novel public-private partnerships are emerging, but more needs to be done to tackle food and nutrition security. The participants suggested the following opportunities for partnerships:
- replicating these dynamic food supply chains in less progressive states
- productivity enhancement for food and high-value crops
- transparency and better mechanisms for social audits, and
- access to basic goods and services by extremely poor people.
Bangladesh’s National Food Policy Plan of Action and its attendant Comprehensive Investment Plan cover four components for achieving food security: availability, access, utilization, and absorption, and is supported by a number of programs. It considers the challenge of mobilizing adequate financial and technical resources as the greatest in implementing the plan. The Government of Bangladesh urged development partners and the Partnership Framework to take a positive and proactive role in the implementation of the plan by reviewing their investment portfolio and aligning interventions around the identified investment priorities.
Lao People’s Democratic Republic
Lao PDR considers greater investment in food and agriculture through enhanced biodiversity by opening its abundant agriculture land to foreign direct investments as its major approach to meeting its MDGs in poverty, hunger, and health. Its approach is not so much to attract official development assistance funding, but rather private sector funds. They need support for innovative land use contract arrangements and regulations.
The key elements of food security in the sub-region cover availability, access, nutrition, and stability, with emphasis on developing traditional and healthier food crops. Because of small population, and archipelagic, small, and numerous islands of the Pacific, focus will be towards improving food supply chains at the national and regional levels, facilitating trade, and enhancing productivity of nutritious food. The region’s food security programme will be imbedded in local structures supporting and building on ongoing initiatives, link strongly with donor and NGO-supported activities and the private sector, and collaborate with activities of relevant national and regional projects operating at country levels.