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AGA 2020 – Event 4


“Catalysing responsible private sector investments
for food systems transformation

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Opening Remarks

David Hegwood

Senior Advisor, Global Engagement Bureau for Resilience and Food Security,
United States Agency for International Development


Head, Food Systems Initiative and Member of the Executive Committee, World Economic Forum

Program Director, AgriFin Accelerate and AgriFin Digital Farmer, Programs, Mercy Corps

Chief Executive Officer, Southern African Confederation of Agricultural Unions

Member of the Managing Board, Rabobank

Assistant Governor and Director General of Central Banking, National Bank of Cambodia


Jim Woodhill

Director, AgriFoodNexus Consulting, and Honorary Research Associate,
Environmental Change Institute, University of Oxford

The final session of the 2020 AGA brought together pre-eminent voices from the public, private and financing sectors to discuss how the private sector and the donor community can together bring about tangible transformation. The dialogue explored how donors and private actors can mobilize concrete multi-stakeholder action to accelerate progress towards the SDGs.

Panellists stressed the need to incentivize public-private partnerships that lay the groundwork for sustainability, including through innovative financing arrangements. The donor community can facilitate this by convening partners and providing the necessary liquidity to transform value chains. The panellists also explored how innovations in digital data can catalyse rural transformation while fostering inclusivity. The insights gained from these discussions will inform action-oriented recommendations in the lead-up to the FSS, nurturing the emerging ecosystem of next-generation, multi-stakeholder partnerships.


The private sector holds the potential to generate much-needed investment in agriculture and food systems, and ensure responsible supply chains that can benefit small-scale producers, workers and consumers. However, irresponsible business and financial sector operations can undermine this potential.

Responsible investments in food and agriculture require the proactive engagement and commitment of all concerned partners, particularly in the business sectors of developing countries. To advance on such agenda, it is imperative that global financial institutions and organizations cooperate adequately and promote key coordinated effort towards responsible investment in agri-food value chains.

The event addressed the following key questions:

  • How can we promote more responsible private sector investments contributing to food systems transformation?

  • What is the investment gap?

  • What is the potential role of the private sector in transforming food systems, both at the international and national levels?

  • How do we make private sector investment more responsible?