Sector policies and sector budget support – participants agreed that policy dialogues have the potential to encourage multi-sector and inter-institutional coordination by improving budgetary transparency.
Working with the private sector and blending – the cooperation with the private sector is in the focus of the European development agenda. Although institutions start to gather experience in blending finance and actively supporting the private sector in partner countries, there is still limited practice of investing in farming activities or in the agricultural production systems. Several concerns were raised during the meeting, the most prominent being the high level of diversification in private sector in agriculture, the need to convince national governments of the benefits and the practical issues at local level.
European Investment Plan – participants showed a lot of interest in this new initiative, but also warned from a structure that will aim to develop one approach of investments to fit all sectors. Delegations from partner countries also expressed their concern about the targeted enterprises and the mismatch to the need for investments.
Value chains – A key issue was flagged during the discussions, namely the need to combine value chain development approaches with territorial approaches. Although seen as a main problem, the discussions focused rather on the economic viabilities of value chains, the need to EU support in assessing regulatory environment, the inclusiveness aspect and ownership.
Family farming – it can be highly strategic for the sustainability of agricultural and food systems. The pathways to agricultural intensification should focus at the same time on production and on the system as a whole, aiming at balancing production objectives with eco-systemic concerns.
Youth employment with a gender focus – the future of SSA is about youth employment in rural areas. Agriculture alone will not be sufficient to create enough employment, a higher level of diversification in the rural economy will be necessary. Participants agree that youth related issues should not be addressed in isolation from other economic and social challenges. Also here gender inequality was stressed as one of the biggest concerns
Nutrition-sensitive agriculture – the participants shared good examples of nutrition sensitive agriculture interventions. The participants called for efforts to generate age and sex disaggregated data and named the Platform as a possible forum to share experiences and best practices.