Development Pro-Poor Business Models with the Private Sector Workshop

The two day Development Pro-Poor Business Models with the Private Sector workshop organized by CIAT, kicked off yesterday October 27, 2010, at IFAD Headquarters. Attendees from the public sector consisted of the Minister and the Vice-Minister of rural and agricultural development of Guatemala and the Dominican Republic as well as representatives from three farmers' cooperatives. Representatives from the private sector included Agexport, Cadbury’s/ Kraft, Oxfam, the Sustainable Food Lab, SYSCO, Unilever, and other well-known organizations and businesses; alongside IFAD staff, working together to provide opportunities for a strategic dialogue on various issues and challenges such as:

  • How can supply chains benefit both business and development?
  • How can private-sector links be leveraged to support social development for rural people, especially women and youth?
  • How can we learn from the private sector?

Highlights from yesterday's workshop are below.

The first presentation led by Mark Lundy, Senior Researcher Decision and Policy Analysis Program CIAT considered how building sustained business relationships can contribute to poverty reduction and identified the challenges and best ways to facilitate a move towards sustained partnerships.

Subsequently, an invigorating panel discussion led by Giulia Di-Tommaso, Marco Cruz, Craig Watson and Tulio García dealt with motivation and questions from the private sector on how to collaborate with IFAD in the future.

This was followed by another panel discussion, involving Iván Buitrón from Agexport, Juan Santos from Agrisem, Tulio Garcia from Cooperativa Cuatro Pinos, Jairo Flores from FONAPAZ, and Enrique Murguia Oropeza, CPM of LAC Division, which reviewed and shared lessons learnt on IFAD’s approach regarding partnership with the private sector and also provided examples.

Later a dialogue chaired by David Bright from Oxfam and Justin Tait from Unilever emphasized how important it is to leverage business linkages for poverty reduction, in which insights from the SUNRISE initiative - an Oxfam /Unilever partnership on smallholder sourcing was shared.

The last part of the afternoon led by Don Seville, Co-Director Sustainable Food Lab and Mark Lundy was dedicated to a discussion on funding and partnership models between the public sector, private sector, and producers, and how to promote further innovation in this field.