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FAO launches an umbrella programme to support responsible investments in agriculture and food systems

13/10/2016

Urgent need for more and better investments

Increasing investments in agriculture is crucial to end hunger and poverty by 2030. Achieving the first two Sustainable Development Goals will require allocating a substantial amount above and beyond the current level of investment in agriculture and rural development.

At the same time, not all kinds of investments are equally beneficial. In order to generate sustainable benefits for all, it is essential that investments are responsible – addressing the needs of communities, farmers, investors and the broader environment.

However, current limitations in awareness, governance, capacities and information can obstruct responsible investment. This leads to investments that may cause hardship for rural communities, including the loss of lands and livelihoods, and are unlikely to generate benefits for investors.

FAO enhances responsible agricultural investment

Enhancing responsible agricultural investment requires supporting and engaging all relevant actors. With more than 50 years of experience and recognized expertise in all types of investment, as well as related socio-economic and human rights challenges, FAO is well placed to achieve this.

Based on eight multi-stakeholder capacity assessment events FAO has developed a needs-driven Umbrella Programme to support all actors. This programme, designed to apply the CFS Principles for Responsible Investment in Agriculture and Food Systems (CFS-RAI), will be strategically interlinked with the implementation processes of the Voluntary Guidelines on Responsible Governance of Tenure (VGGT) and other instruments in order to increase efficiency and uptake of these tools in legal frameworks, policies and practices.

Benefits of Implementing the Umbrella Programme

  • Strengthened awareness of stakeholders and promotion of joint action
  • More inclusive and efficient governance systems and processes
  • Empowered rural communities that can participate in governance processes
  • Policies and incentives that enhance responsible investment
  • Strengthened capacities of small and large investors to invest responsibly
  • Better information through more transparent processes and improved monitoring

FAO will focus initial support on selected ‘champion countries’. Extra budgetary resources are needed to ensure the success of the programme and to reach as many stakeholders as possible in a broad range of countries.

The launch of the Umbrella Programme will take place on 19 October from 14:30 to 14:55 in the Sheikh Zayed Centre during the 43rd meeting of the Committee on World Food Security (CFS).

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