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Developing Pro-Poor Business Models with the Private Sector - Day 2

Posted by Nebat Sukker Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Don Seville, Co-Director Sustainable Food Lab and Mark Lundy, Senior Researcher Decision and Policy Analysis Program CIAT, started the second day of the workshop providing a quick recap of what was discussed and learnt on Day 1 and what was to be achieved during the rest of the meeting.

Highlights from the second day of the workshop included:

A presentation from David Bright of Oxfam GB, focusing on the development of partnerships between Oxfam GB and major private sector companies in Africa and Central Asia. Of particular interest was a clear focus on women's empowerment within a supply chain construct.

Subsequently, case study presentations were led by Michele Bruni of Oxfam GB and Frederick Payton of AgroFrontera, on new private sector partnerships for pro poor sourcing in Guatemala and the Dominican Republic; which in turn opened a discussion on to what sort of innovative funding/ partnership models could link these types of projects to IFAD/ public sector funding.

The rest of the morning was spent discussing strategies on how better initiatives and partnerships can be established between IFAD projects, the private sector, the public sector, civil society and farmer organizations at various levels; be it at the project level, country level, and, regional level.

A big part of the discussions touched upon during the meeting addressed how smallholder farmers can articulate their relationship with big buyers, and ways in which IFAD could better collaborate with emerging inclusive business initiatives in Latin America, through its relationships with stakeholders such as governments and other organizations.

The other recurring issue was how we are going to tackle the distrust between the private sector/government and local producers /foreign investors, and what role IFAD can play in facilitating and overcoming these obstacles and further strengthen knowledge sharing.

Highlights from the closing comments were as follows:

  • IFAD can expand our thinking and help in the learning process to facilitate further develop the model of principles that can be used as knowledge for replication in the future;

  • The roles and responsibilities of the actors are overlooked and these relationships need to be clearly defined, furthermore the actors need to be held accountable;

  • IFAD will continue supporting institutional strengthening, especially among small farmers. IFAD wants to strengthen federations and cooperatives as a way, not only to add volume, but to create economic return and sustainability at the local level.

Key areas identified for further work include the following:

  • Facilitation of ongoing engagements between IFAD country level teams and key private sector actors active in supply chains that are important to the rural poor;

  • Proactive engagement with public sector agencies at a country level to facilitate better alignment between public and private goals and us, ensuring better returns on public investments focused on market linkages;

  • Engagement at a regional scale with existing collaborative spaces - such as the Sustainable Food Lab - where longer-term relationships can be forged around common goals between civil society, private sector companies, multi-lateral agencies and national level public sector.

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