The fifth edition of the TCI Investment Days 2013 was held on 17 and 18 December 2013. Over 120 participants including partners from International Financing Institutions (IFIs), farmer organizations, the private sector, practitioners and colleagues from Decentralized Offices (DOs) came together to share information and experience over two days. The event took place at IFAD premises thanks to the generous hospitality of the Fund. The event successfully explored four major themes that emerged from a collection of ideas received during a three-month period earlier in 2013:
- How to enhance partnerships for investment in agriculture and food security;
- How to invest in climate-smart agriculture;
- How to invest in smallholder farmers and their organizations, and;
- How to invest in effective food value chains.
A bottom-up approach to innovative thinking and practices, the Investment Centre (TCI) began this experiment a few years ago when it realized that if a combination of knowledge and experience was brought into the same place, some very interesting conversations would happen. As TCI Senior Adviser, Mohamed Manssouri explained: “This event provides a forum to bring together people from all different spheres of expertise; we learn from each other, it is exciting because all this talk generates partnerships, innovative ideas and ultimately, improves our knowledge of what is really going on out there”, the role of TCI being to bring the best knowledge from FAO and other partners to bear on investments.
Representatives from FAO, IFAD, the World Bank (WB), the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD) and the International Finance Corporation (IFC) came together in a simulated talk show session to discuss ways to enhance their partnership with TCI and FAO at large. Emerging trends, strengths and expectations were discussed. The other themes were examined using concrete examples, drawing upon case studies and reviewing real experiences, action and comparative practices not only to share the knowledge but to instigate conversations on how things could be done better or differently. For example: as a prelude to the International Year of Family Farming, practical ways for unleashing the potential of producer organizations and leveraging farmer investments were discussed with representatives of African and Asian farmer organizations.
Closing the meeting, Dan Gustafson, Deputy Director-General, DDO, said: “These Investment Days have been a unique opportunity for strengthening FAO’s partnerships with its investment partners, especially the International Financing Institutions, and for learning together with a view to better serving our member countries”.