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Agrinvest update

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Agrinvest update 8 March 2019  


Investing in measures to enable young rural women to participate in rural transformation in East and Southern Africa

The benefits of rural transformation are often distributed unevenly. Efforts have to be made to ensure that marginalized groups can take advantage of opportunities that arise from rural transformation. The new FAO study Enabling young rural women to participate in rural transformation in East and Southern Africa  focuses on challenges facing rural adolescent girls and young women that hinder them from benefitting from rural transformation. The characteristics typically associated with rural transformation, such as increased agricultural productivity, diversification of livelihoods and better access to services, are in the early stages in East and Southern Africa. The reportproposes priority areas and key actions required to address challenges facing adolescent girls and young women in this context, including: freeing up women’s time by for example investing in rural infrastructure; investing in learning and skills development; broadening livelihood opportunities in agriculture and the non-farm economy; stimulating positive behaviour change at community, group, household and individual levels; and strengthening voice and representation of rural girls.

Consultation on experiences in the use and application of policy recommendations from the Committee on World Food Security, including on smallholder investment

The Committee on World Food Security (CFS) requests stakeholders to provide inputs on their experiences in applying any the following policy recommendations:

Investing in Smallholder Agriculture for Food Security and Nutrition

Connecting Smallholders to Markets

Sustainable Agricultural Development for Food Security and Nutrition: What Roles for Livestock?

All inputs received will contribute to monitoring progress on the use of these documents. The inputs will be compiled in a document made available for delegates at CFS 46 in October 2019. You can read more and submit your comments at the Global Forum on Food Security and Nutrition (FSN Forum)

New report examines how socio-legal empowerment can be used to support smallholders in relation to commercial agricultural investment

The report Rural producer agency and agricultural value chains: What role for socio-legal empowerment?  from the Institute for Environment and Development (IIED)inquires divergent interests and power imbalances of different actors in relation to policies and programmes that aim to integrate smallholders into agricultural value chains. Based on a review of trends in commercial agricultural investment and experience of supporting small-scale producers and rural communities, the report develops a conceptual framework to further understand, test and strengthen the contribution that socio-legal empowerment can make to enhance the agency of rural actors as they engage with, or are affected by, commercial agriculture.

The European Parliament has agreed on new rules on disclosure requirements related to sustainable investments and sustainability risks

The European Parliament has approved a new regulation on disclosure requirements related to sustainable investments and sustainability risks, according to a press release from the European Commission. The regulation sets out how financial market participants and financial advisors must integrate environmental, social or governance (ESG) risks and opportunities in their processes, as part of their duty to act in the best interest of clients. It also sets uniform rules on how those financial market participants should inform investors about their compliance with the integration of ESG risks and opportunities.

The regulation was first proposed by the European Commission as part of its Sustainable Finance Action Plan and the Capital Markets Union. As reported in a previous newsletter, the European Commission also aims to establish a unified EU classification system (“taxonomy”) of sustainable economic activities.

Call for submissions to the Land Portal’s Data Story Contest 

The Land Portal is organizing a “Data Story Contest” and calls for submissions of stories on the following themes: women’s land rights; land and investments; urban tenure; community and indigenous land rights; and/or international or regional initiatives, such as the Sustainable Development Goals and the Voluntary Guidelines on the Governance of Tenure. For more information see

New tool to assess the costs of tenure risks to agribusinesses     

The risk of disputes between external investors and local people over land or natural resource tenure is widespread in developing countries. Land and natural resource tenure disputes create undesirable outcomes for investors, local people, and national governments and undermine the developmental benefits of land-based investments. Many investors are unaware of tenure risks or lack the means to assess and address them. The Overseas Development Institute and TMP Systems have therefore published the “Tenure Risk Tool” to help investors assessing and managing tenure risks.

Improved access to land and inputs can include women and youth in investment in Uganda’s coffee industry

As in many countries in Africa, youth unemployment rates are high in Uganda, and unemployment among young women is higher than among young men. According to the feature article “Women and Youth Take on ‘Man’s Crop’ Coffee in Uganda” inFarming First, Uganda’s coffee industry can offer livelihood opportunities. However, limited access to land, inputs, and knowledge makes it difficult for young people and women to invest in coffee production. Coffee is often also seen as a man’s crop which is an additional barrier for women. An NGO has therefore launched a project to develop women’s and young people’s skills and help them to access land, inputs and market linkages.

Integration of small and medium enterprises in value chains can increase the benefits of foreign investment

The Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development and the United Nations Industrial Development Organization have published a report on Integrating Southeast Asian SMEs in global value chains: Enabling linkages with foreign investorsfrom the OECD and UNIDO presents findings from research on policies for ensuring that FDI contributing to opportunities for Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs) in member countries of the Association for Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN).

ASEAN countries have experienced a big increase in inward FDI during the last decades. However, the impacts of FDI between different countries have been varied. According to the report, one of the reasons for the different impacts of FDI is the degree and quality of linkages between Multinational Enterprises (MNEs) and domestic companies, in particular, SMEs. It is argued that countries that have been more successful in integrating domestic companies into the global value chains (GVCs) of MNEs have experienced more benefits from FDI. The report, therefore, recommends policies and interventions that can improve the capabilities of SMEs to participate in GVCs.

Gender research can help to make investments in the “blue economy” more sustainable

Aquatic eco-systems faces many threats including pollution, illegal fishing, and climate change. Development actors are therefore promoting a “blue economy” approach that aims to achieve both economic growth, social protection, food security and sustainable use of aquatic resources. In an interview in Fish Tank, the researcher Dr. Cynthia McDougall is reflecting over the importance of gender research for thecreation of science-based “blue economy” approaches.

A focus on growth, food security and conservation without an effective and equal commitment to social and gender issues may arguably create perverse outcomes, such as further marginalizing vulnerable groups. According to Dr. McDougall, investment towards “blue economy” must, therefore, involve marginalized groups and consider risk, challenges and reliable strategies for inclusion. She believes that specific gender research can help overcome gaps in gender analysis in terms of access to and control over assets and information.

Saudi Arabian agricultural investment firm reportedly negotiating a large-scale farmland deal in Australia

According to Agri Investor, the Saudi Agricultural Livestock Investment Company from the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia plans to acquire 200 000 hectares of cropping and grazing land in Western Australia. The acquisition is reportedly awaiting approval from the Australian Foreign Investment Review Board.





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