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Global Forum on Food Security and Nutrition • FSN Forum

Re: Effective multi-stakeholder dialogue and collaboration to improve the design, implementation and impact of Public-Private Partnerships in Africa’s agricultural sector

Jessica Bridgers
Jessica BridgersWorld Animal NetUnited States of America

1- What is your understanding of Public Private Partnership in agribusiness (agri-PPPs)?

FAO has considerable experience of PPPs in agriculture. For example, see here.

PPPs can involve public entities, financial institutions, non-governmental organizations (NGOs), agricultural companies (preferably small and medium agro-enterprises (SMAEs)), farmer organizations (FOs) and individual farmers.

Ideally, PPPs should seek to ensure that the projects they work on meet local development needs, and sustainability criteria (not involving detrimental social and environmental impacts).

Any PPPs should have clear Memorandums of Understanding, including criteria for engagement. Terms should be open and transparent, and clearly indicate public good criteria.

2- How useful are agri-PPPs in the Ghanaian context? Please provide examples? From your experience, what are the factors key to the successful implementation of agri-PPPs?

PPPs could be useful in the Ghanaian context, if they are well motivated, organized and respectful of local culture and development needs. Again, we stress the need for PPPs to ensure that the projects they work on meet local development needs, and sustainability criteria (not involving detrimental social, environmental and animal welfare impacts).

3- How can we protect smallholders and share risks fairly, while at the same time ensuring that the agri-PPP is attractive to private investors?

Here it should be remembered that there is a widening pool of investment opportunities, not just for commercial companies and lenders seeking to maximise profits. There are also charitable foundations and trusts, individual philanthropists, crowdfunding, seed funding, NGO funding (especially for replicable pilot projects), international development funding etc... The primary aim of development projects should be established first – using sound development and sustainability criteria – and then funding should be sought from appropriate sources. Funding sources should not be allowed to dictate the nature of projects – as often this leads to benefits for private investors/corporations, but costs for the country and local producers – for example, unfair competition, loss of local employment and livelihoods, resource use and environmental degradation (not factored into prices, externalised and paid for by countries and taxpayers).

4- Which policy changes/reforms are required to improve private investment for agribusiness in Ghana through PPPs?

Firstly, the range of investors need to be considered, and not just in terms of corporations and investment banks. Then a clear and sustainable policy environment needs to be put in place. Terms of investment need to explicitly take into account environmental, social and animal welfare safeguards, and bring clear benefits to the country and local communities.

5- Which institutional arrangements are required to promote agri-PPPs in Ghana for effective engagement and investment of the private sector in agribusiness in Ghana?

This would be best achieved around specific projects, with clear objectives and action plans. Potential investors do not want to sign blank cheques. They need to know what they are signing up for. Similarly, governments can only ensure that projects are in the country’s development interests if given the full details of individual projects.

6- How should support for increased private investment in agribusiness through PPPs be coordinated in Ghana?

There needs to be an overarching policy framework, which protects both investors and the development and sustainability needs of the country.

7- How should progress on agri-PPPs implementation in Ghana be documented and reported?

Clear objectives and indicators are needed. These should be aligned to the SDGs and other international standards and environmental, social and animal welfare safeguards.

For example, if we take an issue such as animal welfare, then all the internationally-agreed OIE animal welfare standards should be included, as well as other internationally or regionally-agreed animal welfare criteria such as:

- International Finance Corporation Good Practice Note for Animal Welfare,

- EU Animal Welfare Regulations

- World Bank – Animal Welfare Good Practice in Agricultural Development for the Successful Implementation of the 2030 Agenda (currently being developed under the Wageningen process).

Environmental, social and animal welfare impact assessment should be included. Analysis to protect against any unsustainable projects as well – including:

  • SDG 1 Poverty – especially protect local jobs and livelihoods.
  • SDG 2 Hunger – especially contributing to sustainable local food security/sovereignty.
  • SDG 3 Health and Well-Being – especially healthy food systems, without use of chemical inputs and antibiotics, and avoiding close-confinement systems which spread disease.
  • SDG 4 Education – especially local research, training and capacity building.
  • SDG 5 Gender Equality – especially inclusion of support for female farmers/producers.
  • SDG 6 Clean Water and Sanitation – especially avoiding excessive water usage and pollution of waterways and oceans.
  • SDG 7 Affordable and Clean Energy – especially ensuring energy efficiency and use of renewables.
  • SDG 8 Work and Growth – especially protecting local jobs, livelihoods and flourishing local economies.
  • SDG 12 Responsible Consumption and Production – especially ensuring that projects produce healthy and nutritious food in ways that minimise resource use and are sustainable and environmentally friendly.
  • SDG 13 Climate Action – especially ensuring that productions systems and products do not exacerbate climate change, but build in positive contributions to lowering climate impacts (for example, agro-forestry, silvo-pastoral systems etc.).
  • SDG 14 Life below Water – especially protecting marine life, water quality, preventing agricultural run-offs, dead zones in the oceans, polluted waterways etc.
  • SDG 15 Life on Land – especially preventing biodiversity and habitat loss.
  • SDG 17 Partnership for the Goals – especially ensuring that PPPs support the achievement of the SDGs across all areas.

8- Who are the main stakeholders for effective design, implementation and reporting on agri-PPPs in Ghana?

Government, financial institutions, international development organisations, non-governmental organizations.