Strengthened global partnerships needed to end hunger and malnutrition

FAO calls on countries to attract additional private funding, break investment gap to achieve sustainable development

15 May 2019, Rome – Eradicating hunger and malnutrition and achieving sustainable development requires strengthened global partnerships and sustainable investments to drive economic growth, FAO Deputy Director-General for Programmes, Daniel Gustafson, said today.

Achieving the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) requires more resources than the ones that have been currently made available, but moving towards more sustainable food systems also provides enormous opportunities for profitable new investments, he told participants gathered at the opening ceremony in Rome of EXCO2019, an international development cooperation fair. This year the event focuses  on job creation and innovation for sustainable development.

“Countries need to attract additional public and private finance through sustainable investments to drive economic growth as a basis for poverty reduction,” Gustafson stressed.

This is in line with the commitment made by the international community to SDG 17, which calls for strengthening global partnerships to support and achieve the ambitious targets of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, bringing together national governments, the international community, civil society and the private sector.

Creating enabling environments to foster SDG-compliant investments

“The overwhelming amount of investment in agriculture comes from farmers. Farmers and their decisions and ability to invest must be central to any strategy aimed at expanding investment in the sector,” Gustafson said. “There are more than 570 million farms in the world, of which more than 90 percent are run by an individual or a family and rely primarily on family labor. However, small-scale agriculture, especially in rain-fed areas, is a high-risk and low-return activity that does not easily attract private investment,” he added.

Gustafson noted that innovation is needed throughout the food systems and, equally important, investment in innovation in the food system can pay off very well in job creation, when considering the complete value chain, from production to the final consumer.

At the same time, he said, business opportunities in the implementation of the SDGs related to food, looking at the value chain, could be worth $ 2.3 trillion for the private sector by 2030.

This is why FAO supports the creation of enabling environments to foster SDG-compliant investments through the CFS Principles for Responsible Investment in Agriculture and Food Systems (CFS-RAI), which provide guidance to ensure investment in agriculture and food systems benefits local food security and workers’ rights
FAO, strongly committed to working in partnership with all actors, including the private sector.

Over the last eight years, FAO has partnered with over 150 actors from the private sector, civil society, research and academic institutions and foundations, resulting in a substantial improvement of the work of the Organization in the field and confirming its technical expertise.

Furthermore, FAO’s resource partners provide both financial support and information exchange in the framework of the newly revamped Office for South-South and Triangular Cooperation.

FAO’s participation at EXCO2019

Given the pivotal role played by FAO in the fields of agricultural innovation, standards for food safety, sustainability and rural development, the Organization has an active role in EXCO2019.

Several high-level FAO experts are scheduled to participate at the event, which will touch upon climate change, biodiversity, sustainable water management, South-South and Triangular Cooperation, financing for sustainable development, innovative ideas in agribusiness, and preventing food losses and reducing food waste, among others.

FAO is coordinating its participation in close collaboration with the International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD) and the World Food Programme (WFP). 

Photo: ©FAO/Alessia Pierdomenico
FAO Deputy Director-General for Programmes, Daniel Gustafson, speaking at the event.