Geneva | Switzerland | January 2018
The recognition that businesses particularly in the agri-food sector are playing a growing role in the development of rural areas and, consequently, in achieving the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) are leading many governments, international organisations and other groups to engage in partnerships with the private sector. Very often the objective of these partnerships is to ensure that their business models are designed not only to secure profits, but also the well-being of all those directly or indirectly involved in the value chain. Hence, the label of inclusive agribusiness, is increasingly applied to development projects and policy strategies across the world.
But the notion of “doing no harm” in a system as complex as the agri-food sector is not so straightforward, though not completely unclear either. This is what the International Trade Centre (ITC) showed to their staff and other development practitioners in a recent training held in Geneva (22-24 January 2018). The training unpacked the complexity of food systems and engaged participants in exercises that showed how a certain inclusive agribusiness model may indeed be inclusive and sustainable in certain contexts, but not in others.
A member of the Secretariat of the Global Donor Platform attended the ITC Training in Geneva, and captured below some key messages for the donor community.