Comercio y mercados

Expert meeting on international investment in the agricultural sector of developing countries

22-23 November 2011, FAO headquarters


The objectives of the meeting were to review the current state of knowledge including case studies, identify good practices, determine the areas where further research is needed and plan the next steps with a view to creating synergy among the various organization analyzing large-scale agricultural investment in developing countries. Although the focus of the meeting was on foreign investment, relevant large-scale agricultural investment projects by domestic investors were also examined. More specifically, the meeting:

• reviewed the case studies recently done for FAO and other organizations
• discussed the findings with some of the authors
• made a synthesis of the findings and highlighted examples of good practices
• determined the areas where further research is needed
• discussed possible collaborative activities in research, capacity development, dissemination of good practices and other areas relevant to FDI in agriculture
• discussed possible linkages with ongoing initiatives to promote responsible investment in agriculture


The meeting brought together experts from research and development organizations that have been analyzing the developmental aspects of agricultural investment in developing countries (including CIRAD, FAO, IFAD, IIED, ILC, KIT, ODI, UNCTAD and the World Bank).

Agenda and presentations 

Tuesday 22 November


Welcome and introduction to the objectives of the expert meeting
David Hallam, Director, Trade and Markets Division (EST), FAO


Studies on agricultural FDI undertaken by FAO


Pascal Liu, Team Leader, International Investment in Agriculture, EST, FAO


Study on Agricultural investment funds in developing countries
Calvin Miller, Senior Marketing Officer, Agriculture Department, FAO


FDI to Agriculture: Examples of inclusive models with Smallholders in Ghana
Roble Sabrie, Economist, Investment Center, FAO


Ensuring Inclusion of Smallholders in Global Bioenergy Value Chains and Certification – Results from Three Case Studies
Elizabeth Beall, Consultant, Bioenergy and Food Security Criteria and Indicators Project, FAO


IIED/FAO/IFAD case studies of agricultural investments in developing countries


Overview on case studies
Lorenzo Cotula, Senior Researcher, IIED


Coffee break


IIED/FAO/IFAD case studies of agricultural investments in developing countries (cont.)


Case studies in Ghana
John Bugri, Lecturer, Kwame Nkrumah University of Science & technology (KNUST), Ghana


Case studies in South Africa
Edward Lahiff, University College Cork, Ireland, formerly at PLAAS, University of Western Cape, South Africa


Discussion of findings


Lunch break


CDRI/FAO case study of agricultural investments in Cambodia
Chan Hang Saing, Research Associate, CDRI, Cambodia


Discussion of findings


Coffee break


Review of studies on agricultural investment in developing countries
Presentation of findings by other organizations, including:


- World Bank (Grahame Dixie, Agribusiness Unit Team Leader)
- UNCTAD (Hafiz Mirza, Chief, Investment Issues Section)
- CIRAD (Pierre-Marie Bosc)
- ODI (Anna Locke, Head of Programme - Agricultural Development and Policy)
- Other speakers TBC



Wednesday 23 November


Synthesis of evidence:
What are the good practices?
What recommendations for the various categories of actors?
Areas for further research


Coffee break


Planning further research on agricultural investment
Discussion of ongoing activities and possible collaboration
How to link up with existing initiatives


Lunch break


Planning further research on agricultural investment (continued)


Promotion of good practices, policy advice and capacity building
Discussion of possible collaborative activities
Sharing of roles and information


Coffee break


Conclusions – summary of findings and the next steps
David Hallam



(*) The views expressed in the presentations are the views of the authors only and do not necessarily reflect the views of FAO