Global Forum on Food Security and Nutrition (FSN Forum)

This topic is timely, especially as the world faces a dilemma of climate change and Agenda 2030. Development partners and other stakeholders have recently raised funds to support various projects, particularly in the agribusiness sector. It is a commonplace that this sector needs substantial financial and other logistical support. A large part of the population, particularly in the developing world, depends on the industry for survival. However, all the efforts mentioned above are bound to fail for the following reasons:

1. The resources raised are never enough to equal the challenges facing the agribusiness sector;

2. In the case of the developing world, the monitoring and evaluation mechanisms are ineffective. In other words, the value-for-money is always never achieved;

3. The socio-political setup in most developing regions dictates the direction of the funding opportunities, which in most cases fall into the political other than socio-economic objectives;

4. Lastly, most developing partners wish to deal or transact business with the central government other than with other stakeholders such as NGOs, multilateral corporations, and other stakeholders.

This commentary highlights that, given the above, the agribusiness sector suffocates as it has to depend on the investment interests of the central authorities substantially. Thus, there is an urgent need to rethink the traditional approaches by the development partners such as FAO to diversify their policies, for instance, to start engaging with other players. This will substantially enhance the agility of investments in agribusiness and other sectors that the communities in the developing countries highly depend on for basic needs. At the same time, involving different stakeholders can bolster the agribusiness sector at the community level by supporting such businesses at that level other than starting at the national level, where bureaucracy tends to pull down the decision-making processes. Lastly, the need to invest more in capacity building at the local level is critical for an effective paradigm shift.