Global Forum on Food Security and Nutrition (FSN Forum)


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

You are cordially invited to participate in this online consultation on agricultural Public Private Partnerships (agri-PPPs). We would appreciate your comments on the draft ‘Guidelines for the design and implementation of effective Public Private Partnerships in the agriculture sector (agri-PPPs)’.  The guiding questions below provide an outline for the type of information we would like to gather.  

This online consultation jointly moderated by FAO and AUC, will allow a broad range of stakeholders to provide their experiences and insights on the development of agri-PPPs in Africa. The consultation will serve to enrich the PPP roundtable dialogues which will be held in selected African countries, provide additional insights for policy makers and expand the inclusiveness of the exercise.  It will also inform the finalization of the PPP guidelines. 

The consultation is open from 5 – 19 June. We look forward to receiving your comments.


Unleashing the potential for inclusive agricultural growth and transformation in Africa requires coordinated and strategic public and private investment in the sector. Against a background of limited government resources and expertise, public-private partnerships (PPPs) are increasingly being promoted around the world as a mechanism to pool resources, reduce risk, improve productivity and drive growth in the agriculture and food sectors. In line with this trend, many African countries have recently expressed an interest in further understanding the potential for PPPs in the agriculture sector (agri-PPPs) to deliver on these transformative goals. This interest is also reflected in the Sustaining Comprehensive Africa Agriculture Development Programme (CAADP) Momentum Results Framework 2015-2025. Pillar 4 of the Malabo Declaration of 2014 aims to halve poverty by 2025 through inclusive agricultural growth and transformation and foresees a clear role for agri-PPPs to contribute towards the achievement of this objective. By 2025, African Union (AU) member states have committed to “establishing and/or strengthening inclusive public-private partnerships for at least 5 priority agriculture commodity value chains with strong linkage to smallholder agriculture”[1].

During 2011 – 2013, FAO initiated a series of appraisals of agricultural Public Private Partnerships (agri-PPPs) in 15 African, Asian and Latin American countries. Experiences from these appraisals formed the basis of a synthesis report, launched in 2016, with the primary objective to draw lessons that could provide guidance to FAO member countries on how to partner effectively with the private sector to mobilize resources for agribusiness development. In 2016, during the 29th FAO Africa Regional Conference, member states requested documentation of additional case studies to improve understanding of agri-PPPs on the African continent and inform their agri-PPP policies, given that the 2025 CAADP growth goals aim to establish PPPs for at least five priority agricultural commodity value chains in each country.

It is within this context that the AUC partnered with FAO to work on improving understanding about the design, implementation and impact of agri-PPPs. The work involved an analysis of 24 agri-PPP case studies from eight African countries (Ethiopia, Rwanda, Uganda, Kenya, Ghana, Cote d’Ivoire, Zambia and South Africa). The findings from these studies were validated in a workshop in May 2018 in Nairobi, Kenya[2].

Complementary to this, the African Union Commission (AUC) and the African Union Development Agency (AUDA-NEPAD) have fostered engagement with the private sector and agribusiness stakeholders to identify ways through which the contribution of this critical stakeholder group could be expanded and made more effective in contributing to the agricultural development agenda on the continent.  A framework for engagement of the private sector in agriculture and agribusiness, called the Country Agribusiness Partnership Framework (CAP-F) was subsequently developed which aims to stimulate private investments.

It is important that the knowledge from these exercises informs policy-makers to design and implement effective agri-PPPs in Africa.  In this regard, roundtables will be convened with identified policy makers, private sector entities and other stakeholders in selected countries – Ghana, Cote d’Ivoire, Uganda and Zambia - to discuss the country context, and opportunities for promotion of agri-PPPs. The draft guidelines for structuring effective agri-PPPs will also be discussed. The engagement with the countries will provide additional insights, which will inform the finalization of a set of guidelines for design of successful agri-PPPs in Africa. The work will complement ongoing efforts by AUC/AUDA-NEPAD and Grow Africa in rolling out the CAP-F in a number of countries in Africa (currently ongoing in Ghana, Kenya, Malawi, Nigeria, Senegal, Tanzania and Uganda).

Guiding Questions

  1. What is your understanding of Public Private Partnership in agribusiness (agri-PPPs)?
  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?
  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?
  4. Which policy changes/reforms are required to improve private investment for agribusiness in Ghana through PPPs?
  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?
  6. How should support for increased private investment in agribusiness through PPPs be coordinated in Ghana?
  7. How should progress on agri-PPPs implementation in Ghana be documented and reported?
  8. Who are the main stakeholders for effective design, implementation and reporting on agri-PPPs in Ghana?

Stephanie Gallatova, Agribusiness Officer, FAO
Mark Kofi Fynn, CAADP Advisor Agribusiness, African Union Commission

This activity is now closed. Please contact [email protected] for any further information.

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My name is Joromana Phiri, I am a female Zambian and an Agroforester working in the public sector.

1. My understanding on Public Private Partnership in agribusiness is that these are long-term collaborative agreements where the public and private sector actors sign memorandums of understanding in order to provide value addition to effective and efficient service delivery.

PPPs are a tool that is being used to gather scarce resources in one basket to reduce risks, improve productivity and drive sustainable growth in the agriculture/food sector. With so many challenges and constraints facing the public sector, resources are limited so PPPs avail these resources in order for agribusiness advancement and other crosscutting issues of gender, health and environmental sustainability to be achieved.

PPPs also endeavor to enhance better operations and benefits along the agribusiness marketing chain.

2. Agri-PPPs in the Ghanaian context enhance productivity and revenues thereby fostering improved socioeconomic conditions for smallholder farmers.

- they enhance soil fertility and rehabilitate degraded lands

- contribute to infrastructure development especially for provision of accessible road networks for input and market delivery.

- they help in sound policy decision making for the benefit of the agriculture sector creating an enabling environment for all parties involved.

- agri-PPPs facilitate the reduction on imports for raw materials hence decrease production costs for agro-processing industries as they begin to buy more materials locally

- farmer employment is enhanced as well as youth and women participation in agricultural ventures

- they also enhance supply chains for countries like Ghana.

Examples are some of the experiences from past and present projects in Ghana such as:

A. Buabin Oil Palm Out grower Project (BOPOP)

B. Cadbury Cocoa Partnership (CCP)

C. The Rubber Project (Agricultural Development

Bank of Ghana & AFD of France)

D. Sorghum Value Chain Development Project

(source: FAO. 2013. Agribusiness public-private partnerships – A country report of Ghana.)

3. Smallholder farmers can be protected and agri-PPP still be attractive to private investors through conducive working environments. The providers of services and the beneficiaries alike must operate in an atmosphere of enhanced collaboration as well as that of good governance and political will.

Capacity building in sustainable agricultural production by incorporating Agroforestry activities in production systems is ideal. Climate smart mitigation and adaptation is necessary to reduce Climate change impacts and counter risks of crop failure or loss of profits.

Development of a knowledge based economy will call for stimulated community participation of small & medium enterprises (SMEs) who in the long run are more proactive to make informed decisions thereby improving their entrepreneurial activities.

In order to fully protect smallholder farmers it is also important that there is a concrete action based exit mechanism in place for government participation. Abrupt stoppage of programs should by all means be discouraged (OECD, 2004).

5. A multi-sectoral approach would be more effective for private sector engagement and investment in agribusiness in Ghana. Commitments must be kept in the dual process of PPPs. Transparency and accountability should be the norm at all stages.

A broader analysis should be promoted in the context of the organizational and socioeconomic benefits for all involved in the innovation system inclusive of indigenous smallholder especially women and youth.

Limiting urbanization by improving social amenities and youth opportunities in the rural areas. Youth agriculture should be promoted and incentives provided for innovative systems thinking. Risk and uncertainty assessments must be done well in advance of project implementation and strategies for coping well tabulated (Akullo et al, 2018).

6. Coordination of investments in agribusiness through PPP should involve assessment of the knowledge base of farmers in order to ascertain capacity building gaps and needs.

- issues of Land ownership should be addressed in order to secure land tenure rights of beneficiaries.

- Bureaucracy in the public sector must be curtailed in order to secure investment. Incentives must be provided to workers in the civil service to enhance service delivery.

- Internal and external meetings/workshops should integrate case studies on good practices in PPP around the world for better project implementation.

- enhanced collaboration between actors to foster job satisfaction

- tailoring subsidiaries to attract private investment.

7. Progress on agri-PPPs implementation in Ghana should be documented and reported by involving all stakeholders in publication reviews especially at the stages of data collection and analysis.

- Reputable media and organisations should be involved in ICT development

- enhancing research and development

- creation of platforms and networks for mass advocacy as well as effective upscaling and out scaling of agribusiness activities. Community radio groups similar to those used by PANOS could be formed.

- Providing reflexible but reliable mechanisms for monitoring, reporting and verification for effective documentation.

8. In order to come up with stakeholders list a major stakeholder analysis can be done. These could include National Planning departments of the Ministry of Finance and Agriculture and other line departments dealing in agricultural related activities.

- Indigenous people's ( local rural chiefs/authority)

- media institutions both public and private

- universities both public and private

- research institutions both public and private

- NGOs

- Agribusiness industries/ Agro-dealers

- Youth groups

- Certification and Regulatory bodies

According to USAID, a PPP involves agreement between multiple actors “to work together to achieve a common objective” and involves shared contribution of resources.

PPPs should “achieve a common good” of value to both public and private actors; include contributions by the private sector partner go “beyond the private sector partner's immediate commercial interests”; and utilize resources from the private sector actor that would not otherwise be contributed and leverage financial, human, or in-kind resources from the public sector actor. Agri-PPPs in Ghana are mostly developed between a market or business driver of a particular commodity chain with various partners and actors coming together to form a partnership where the objectives of the partnership are clearly spelt out within a particular time frame. A partnership agreement is then developed to set out the framework of objectives, measurable indicators, budgets, timelines and partnership governance mechanisms.

Full post can be accessed in the attachment below

Consultation Forum FSN

Thème : Un dialogue et une collaboration multipartites efficaces pour améliorer la conception, la mise en œuvre et l'impact des partenariats public-privé dans le secteur agricole africain

Réponses aux questions

Commentaire introductif :

Un débat sur le PPP agricole en Afrique n’est pas inutile. Cela peut permettre de voir les forces et les faiblesses des expériences passées et en cours sur les autres continents (Amérique, Europe, Asie, Océanie). Tirer leçons de leurs approches sera utile.

Ma première remarque est que les études de cas évoquées dans les documents de FAO et de l’Union africaine pour nourrir le débat sur ce forum ne nous éclairent pas sur les expériences concrètes des continents qui sont passés maîtres en matière de PPP. Combien de PPP agricoles réussis en Europe, en Amériques… ?

Aussi voudrais-je faire remarquer que les deux fonctionnaires qui animent ce débat sur le PPP agricole en Afrique sont malheureusement tous des spécialistes de l’agro-industrie. Ce sont donc des champions et des carrés de l’agro-industrie. C’est dire que ceux-ci auront assez de difficultés à prendre en compte des arguments allant dans le sens d’une autre forme d’agriculture en Afrique.

De même, les questions guide du débat sont pour la plupart tournées vers le Ghana. Là-dessus, je voudrais faire remarquer que les questions liées au Ghana sont certainement posées aux ghanéens ou aux fonctionnaires de FAO travaillant au siège Afrique. Beaucoup de personnes comme moi se sentiront exclus des ces questions. En tout cas moi je le suis.

De toutes les façons, ces points de remarques peuvent biaiser le débat et la compréhension et même affaiblir l’engouement pour le débat.

Question N°1 : Qu'entendez-vous par partenariat public-privé dans l'agro-industrie (PPP agricole) ?

Réponse 1 : Le PPP est un instrument utilisé par la puissance publique pour assurer et rendre des services publics à ses citoyens. Il y a plusieurs types de PPP. Les plus courants sont les contrats de partenariat et la délégation de services publics.

Le PPP fait intervenir deux parties : l’Etat et/ou ses collectivités décentralisées, puis le secteur privé.

Le PPP fait recours à des montages qui amènent les acteurs en partenariat à définir les risques du projet et à identifier la personne à même de les supporter.

Qui dit agriculture dit d’abord produits destinés à l’alimentation puis produits de rente. Dans le texte liminaire soumis à notre attention pour appuyer cette discussion, tantôt il question de « croissance dans le secteur agricole et alimentaire », tantôt c’est « l’agro-industrie » qui est à l’honneur. Or le droit à l’alimentation est l’un des droits fondamentaux de l’homme. De ce fait, quand on aborde l’agriculture pour l’alimentation, on se sent dans un domaine sensible assimilable à un service public que l’Etat doit rendre. C’est-à-dire fournir ou faciliter la fourniture et l’accès de l’aliment à tous.

De tout ce qui précède, je comprends le PPP agricole sous deux angles.

Premièrement, il y a le PPP qui promeut au profit des agriculteurs familiaux l’accès aux ressources diverses. C’est-à-dire que l’Etat signe des conventions de PPP avec des privés pour le financement d’infrastructures ou de matériels au profit des petites exploitations agricoles et garantit ces financements rien que pour assurer la sécurité et la démocratie alimentaire. Ici, les agro-industriels ne sont pas concernés, car eux, ils ont les surfaces financières et les garanties nécessaires pour capter des financements par eux-mêmes. Si le PPP est à la fois pour eux et pour les petites exploitations, il y a de bonnes raisons que les petites exploitations n’en tirent aucuns profits. Là l’Etat aura pris une convention de PPP au profit des agro-industriels. Je ne dis pas que les agro-industriels n’ont pas besoin du soutien de l’Etat. Mais un autre cadre pour leur appui doit être défini.

Deuxièmement, il y a le PPP pour drainer le financement pour les produits de rente. Là aussi, les secteurs concernés doivent être organisés en chaine définissant le rôle de chaque acteur dans la filière. De ce fait l’Etat comprendra le segment de la chaine à appuyer pour faciliter la ruée du financement privé.

Autrement, toute convention de PPP qui ne prend pas en compte cela est un PPP pour nourrir les grands groupes agro-industriels et appauvrir les plus faibles.

Question N°2 : Quelle est l'utilité des PPP agricoles dans le contexte ghanéen? Veuillez donner des exemples. D'après votre expérience, quels sont les facteurs clés pour une mise en œuvre réussie des PPP agricoles ?

Réponse 2 : Je me garde de répondre aux questions liées au Ghana car quoique j’ai lu des documents sur le pays, il est risqué d’opiner si je ne touche pas du doigt la réalité de terrain.

Question N°3 : Comment pouvons-nous protéger les petits exploitants et partager équitablement les risques, tout en veillant à ce que le PPP agricole soit attrayant pour les investisseurs privés ?

Réponse 3 : Il y a lieu de scruter parmi les formes de PPP surtout dans sa version délégation de service public (DSP) l’outil qui peut être à même d’assurer l’attrait des privés dans le financement des petits exploitants. Il faut alors cartographier ces exploitants et analyser leur capacité et leur solvabilité. Les résultats de ce travail permettront aux décideurs étatiques de proposer l’outil adapté à chaque catégorie. Par exemple nous rencontrons des infrastructures réalisées en PPP mais qui sont à péage virtuel qui au finish remboursé par l’Etat. Aucun risque en matière de PPP ne peut véritablement être équitablement partagés par les partenaires privés et publics. Il est analysé celui d’entre les deux qui peut supporter le plus gros risque. Aucun privé d’ailleurs ne peut supporter des risques dans un PPP s’il n’a pas son compte à tirer.

Question N°4 : Quels changements/réformes politiques faut-il appliquer pour améliorer l'investissement privé dans l'agro-industrie au Ghana dans le cadre des PPP ?

Réponse N°4 : Je ne suis pas au courant de toutes les politiques agricoles au Ghana pour pouvoir émettre de commentaires encore moins de propositions relatifs aux changements et réformes à induire.

Question N°5 : Quels arrangements institutionnels sont nécessaires pour promouvoir les PPP agricoles au Ghana pour assurer un engagement et un investissement efficaces du secteur privé dans l'agro-industrie au Ghana ?

Réponse N°5 : Je n’ai aucune information sérieuse à ma disposition pour aborder cette question.

Question N°6 : Comment coordonner le soutien à un accroissement des investissements privés dans l'agro-industrie par le biais des PPP ?

Réponse N°6 : L’Etat peut garantir ces agro-industriels auprès des banques de développement après avoir étudié leurs dossiers sur la base de critères et de textes de lois préalablement définis

Question N°7 : Comment les progrès dans la mise en œuvre des PPP agricoles au Ghana devraient-ils être documentés et notifiés?

Réponse N°7 : Il faut procéder en début de tous les projets à la mise en place d’unité de capitalisation. Ces unités de capitalisation devront assurer un suivi documenté des projets de PPP dans le domaine. Cette capitalisation permettra de lire le parcours de chaque projet et d’en tirer des leçons.

Question N°8 : Qui sont les principales parties prenantes pour concevoir, mettre en œuvre et rendre compte efficacement des PPP agricoles au Ghana ?

Réponse N°8 : Quoique je me suis déclaré très incompétent pour parler du Ghana, sur la présente question, je peux faire quelques propositions. Il y a lieu donc de prendre des textes de lois qui vont définir les acteurs et le rôle de chacun. Pour ma petite expérience en tant que spécialiste de la commande publique et particulièrement du PPP, il faut d’abord l’Etat à travers une structure d’expression des besoins en PPP agricole, puis une autre pour les évaluations préalables des projets en PPP agricole et une autre chargée de choisir le type de PPP à appliquer. Une structure de recherche de partenaires fiables et capable sera installée. Après la conclusion du contrat, une autre structure de suivi doit être prévue. Mais pour assurer le contrôle citoyen de des conventions, il faudra prévoir la place de la société civile spécialisée, à toutes les étapes du PPP.

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@John: Thank you for raising the important issue of involvement of local community actors for successful implementation of agri-PPPs   

@Joy: A shared understanding among partners in agri-PPPs  - of objectives, roles and outcomes - is indeed key

@Jean: Yes, a key objective of agri-PPPs could be to incentivise and/or create the environment for private actors to invest, make profit and contribute to development outcomes. 

@Leon: Yes, the importantce of having the right policy, regulatory, and institutional environment for effective implementation of agri-PPPs cannot be overemphasized. I also share the view that even if the very poor are not targeted by agri-PPPs, there are indirect benefits they could accrue to them.  

I see there are various types of PPPs, however the core of any possible PPP is business, otherwise the private sector would not get involved. Hence in most cases the very poor cannot be targeted directly by a PPP program, otherwise the program will fail.

So, how can the poor and the vulnerable take advantage from a PPP initiative ?

I think the very poor can actually get big advantages from PPP programs, although indirectly.

For instance : let’s imagine that in a certain place a PPP program creates an export trade channel for local agricultural produce. Of course that PPP program must follow the international trading rules, otherwise it is doomed to fail, but once the trading channel is there, the humanitarian projects - separately and independently from the PPP scheme - can organize the poorest smallholders in order to make them able to confer to the trade scheme some produce of suitable quality and at the right time. Furthermore, we can also reasonably imagine that after an export trade channel is open, more money circulates in the concerned area, so eventually a local bank decides to open several mobile tellers within the area. Of course the bank must follow the normal banking rules, otherwise it is doomed to fail, however also the rural poor and the humanitarian projects can take advantage of proximity banking services for financial inclusion and saving & credit schemes.

More in general, also the poor benefits from economic development, although he cannot participate immediately and directly in it.

Coming back to PPPs, I think what is really key is the decision-making process and the procedural rules. It is therefore important that a proper legislation exists in the concerned countries concerning PPPs, also by setting a specific Authority in charge of arbitrating, negotiating and controlling all the rules and procedures.

Que pensez-vous du partenariat public-privé dans l'agro-industrie (agro-PPP)?

Rien puisque ce sont deux entités diamétralement opposées. Une est d'ordre privative, l'autre est administrative et aucune des deux ne peut interférer sur l'autre.

Dans quelle mesure les PPP agricoles sont-ils utiles dans le contexte ghanéen? S'il vous plaît fournir des exemples? D'après votre expérience, quels sont les facteurs clés de la mise en œuvre réussie des PPP agricoles?

L'exploitant privé demande simplement qu'on le laisse travailler correctement

Comment protéger les petits exploitants et partager équitablement les risques, tout en veillant à ce que l'agri-PPP soit attrayant pour les investisseurs privés?

Les PPT favorisent les grands exploitants en tuant les petits exploitants. Un grand exploitant présentera plus de garanties financières mais produira plus de produit sans gout et chimique. le petit exploitant produira avec du gout et sans produit chimpique.

Là est toute la question

Quels changements/réformes politiques sont nécessaires pour améliorer l'investissement privé pour l'agro-industrie au Ghana par le biais de PPP?

la recherche systèmatique non pas d'une surproduction chimique, mais de multiples productions biologiques

Quels arrangements institutionnels sont nécessaires pour promouvoir les PPP agri-au Ghana pour un engagement et un investissement efficaces du secteur privé dans l'agro-industrie au Ghana?

Interdire l'engrais chimique par un texte de loi qui définit que tout exploitant doit garantir une performance de production basée sur la quantité biologique et non plus sur la quantité contenant du chimique. il en va de la santé publqiue et de la salubrité publique

Comment coordonner au Ghana le soutien à l'augmentation des investissements privés dans l'agro-industrie par le biais des PPP?

Les investisseurs privés sont là au porte du Ghana mais il faut définir la qualtié de la production.

Comment les progrès réalisés dans la mise en œuvre des PPP agri au Ghana devraient-ils être documentés et signalés?

les post ci dessus répondent à celui-ci

Qui sont les principales parties prenantes pour une conception, une mise en œuvre et des rapports efficaces sur les PPP agri-gouvernementaux au Ghana?

les post ci dessus répondent à celui-ci

From a background of public administration, I could comment from a generalist points of view based on my experience working in humanitarian, development (nexus) and academic fields.

For PPP to function, it needs to be based on a common ground.  It means, with common understanding across sector -- the public sector, agriculture sector, and the private sector -- on the basic, also on the outcome to be achieved through PPP.

It may sound easy, but very often a diversity of understanding exist and it could hinder the result of partnership and reduce the its impact.

For instance, strengthening the 'resilience' and being 'accountable towards populations' are an increasingly shared agenda.  Yet, these terms hide a variety of definitions, understanding, use, and interpretations.  As a case in point, no less than 63 different definitions of 'resilience' have been identified across the humanitarian sector according to a research conducted by the Geneva Centre for Education and Research in Humanitarian Action.  At the operational level, this can create confusion and miscommunication. From a policy-making and implementation perspectives, using the same word to refer to different concepts and realities, practitioners send blurred messages to decision makers.


Firstly in parts of Nigeria where the bulk of the food is being produced, there is an upsurge in farmers/herders, clashes, some areas are seeing banditry and insurgency which will lead to hunger and malnutrition. 

 We are building a public-private partnership in Agriculture by working with local private business owners to mobilize material support and support of local traditional and religious leaders to open up the communities to external services. 

Because the majority of the farmers are afraid to travel a long distance to the farms, we are engaging with security agencies and vigilante groups for security surveillance as a proactive measure to ensure to forestall breakdown of law and order in the farming communities. 

Private business owners and non-state funded research groups are the main players in the agricultural business in Nigeria, including the supply of fertilizer and other hybrids products. 

There is a need for greater participation and collaboration between local actors and farmers to increase PPP in Agrio-business

Noel Templer

The Alliance of Bioversity International and CIAT

Great that both FAO and AUC re-looking at this. My few cents...

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

Agricultural transformation plans will require a re-look with an investor mindset. The strategic planning components to ensure effective PPPs will include:

1. Identify public investments that complement likely private sector investments

2. Identify public investments with an inentional design to catalyze additional private sector engagements i.e. cost shares, risk guarantees, subsidies or innovation

3. Anticipate changes in the enabling environment that will be necessary to support increasing private sector engagement

That said, both private and public sector should identify/prioritize goals in a limited number of crop and livestock value chains, with cross cutting agricultural sector enablers like lower transportation costs or access to irrigation being drivers to high growth