Director-General  QU Dongyu

FAO Investment Centre Transformation Plan launched to facilitate greater investment in sustainable agrifood systems


January 19, Rome The Director-General of the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO), QU Dongyu, today officially launched a plan to transform the FAO Investment Centre, which supports members to increase the quantity and quality of their investments. The changes include increasing the focus on working with regional and national development banks in order to better support FAO Members at country level. 

“Investment, science and innovation, enabling policies and commodity focus are key for the transformation of agrifood systems at country level,” Qu said in his opening remarks at a knowledge-sharing annual event, Investment Days 2021.

The Transformation Plan places a new and stronger emphasis on working with national development banks. It aims to consolidate FAO’s cooperation with traditional partners such as the World Bank, the International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD) and the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD), but also to strengthen the collaboration with new partners like the European Union, Rabobank, and Asian Development Bank (ADB).  

The Director-General pointed out that these collaborations would help in: boosting financing for smallholder farmers and small and medium-sized agrifood enterprises; using innovative blended finance to support greater private investment in sustainable agrifood systems; offering prospects for formulating and implementing joint projects financed by the Green Climate Fund (GCF).

Qu also said FAO’s work with longstanding international financing partners has continued to deliver impressive results:

  • In 2021, FAO supported the design of 40 public investment programmes with a total value of $7 billion.
  • The FAO-GCF portfolio has reached $500 million, with 11 pipeline projects in five regions, mostly supported by the FAO Investment Centre.
  • Additional GCF proposals designed for Member Nations, together with international financing institution (IFI) partners such as IFAD and Central American Bank for Economic Integration (CABEI), reached a further $300 million.
  • FAO contributed to over $1 billion of active GCF projects for its Members. 
  • Last year, FAO increased the Investment Centre’s Regular Programme resources by $8 million per biennium, bringing the total including External Budget to $80 million for the biennium.

Scaling-up investment is critical to achieving the objectives of FAO’s Strategic Framework, which supports the United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goals and aims to realize the Four Betters – better production, better nutrition, a better environment and a better life for all, leaving no one behind. To this end, the Director-General emphasized that the work of the Investment Centre was crucial for scaling-up impact at country level by localizing the Four Betters. 

In his remarks, Qu noted he had requested the Transformation Plan for the Investment Centre as a number of FAO’s flagship programmes were “now bearing fruit”, including the Hand-in-Hand Initiative, the 1000 Digital Villages Initiatives and the One Country One Priority Product programme, as well as to support the implementation of the FAO Strategic Framework (2022-2031).