Centro de inversiones de la FAO

Hand-in-Hand Investment Forum 2023 in Rome: advancing public and private investments in strategic sectors


Under the umbrella of the World Food Forum (WFF), the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO) is honoured to host the second and more extensive edition of the Hand-in-Hand (HIH) Investment Forum, which will take place from 17 to 20 October 2023 in Rome, Italy. This event will provide a unique platform for 30 HIH member countries to present their impactful investment opportunities to businesses, multilateral development banks, donors, investors, and other key stakeholders. The Forum aims to foster international cooperation and generate constructive dialogue to promote economic development for sustainable food systems transformation in various regions of the world.

The Hand-in-Hand Initiative and its investment focus

The Hand-in-Hand initiative, launched globally in 2019 and currently being implemented in 66 countries, is a comprehensive initiative that seeks to promote sustainable investment, particularly in the agricultural, food, and rural sectors. It prioritizes countries and territories where poverty and hunger are most prevalent, national capacities are limited, or operational challenges are greater due to natural or human-induced crises.

Its main objective is to strengthen countries' ability to attract investment and mobilize financial resources in support of the development of their agrifood systems, poverty reduction, and inclusive economic growth with a territorial focus. The initiative is led and implemented by countries, recognizing that private investment and collaboration between the public and private sectors are crucial to achieving these goals.

According to Maximo Torero Cullen, Chief Economist of FAO, "the Hand-in-Hand initiative is a country led and country driven initiative that utilizes state-of-the-art geospatial tools, science-based solutions, and innovation to identify priority areas where concrete interventions seek to effectively improve farmers' incomes and reduce rural poverty sustainably."

The role of the Hand-in-Hand Investment Forum:

The Hand-in-Hand Investment Forum in Rome provides FAO Members that are part of the Hand-in-Hand with a unique opportunity to present their investment opportunities in the agrifood sector to a global audience composed of investors, entrepreneurs, donors, financial institutions, foundations and other stakeholders interested in sustainable development.

The event is a global meeting point for fostering investment promotion, forging strategic partnerships among nations and potential investors, and facilitating the exchange of knowledge. The first edition of the Forum, held in October 2022, successfully brought together delegations from 20 countries and representatives from three regional initiatives, resulting in the identification of around USD 3 billion in investment proposals that would benefit hundreds of thousands of families and farmers.

It is important to highlight that these investments are fully aligned with the plans and policies of the countries, supported not only by studies demonstrating their economic potential but also by their relevance for sustainable food systems transformation.

Benefits and objectives of the Forum:

• Promotion of investment opportunities:
 the Forum allows countries to highlight existing investment opportunities in various sectors, such as agriculture, food, fisheries, agribusiness, and rural tourism, among others. Country-specific investments will be presented that provide short and long-term economic returns and social benefits with a territorial focus.

• Access to investors and financing: the event brings together small and large investors and donors, including foundations and banks, who share an interest in sustainable agrifood systems investments. It provides an ideal space to establish contacts and facilitate the mobilization of the necessary support and financial resources required to implement the presented investments and initiatives.

• Fostering strategic partnerships: the Forum offers the opportunity to establish partnerships between member countries, investors, and key actors in the field of development, with an emphasis on agrifood systems. These alliances can generate greater impact and ensure the long-term sustainability of investments.

• Knowledge exchange and best practices: in addition to the presentation of investment opportunities, the Forum also promotes knowledge exchange and the dissemination of best practices among participating member countries. This facilitates learning from successful experiences of others and strengthens the technical and managerial capacities of countries in implementing sustainable development projects.

Participation and expected results:

The Hand-in-Hand Investment Forum 2023 will have a dynamic blend of in-person and virtual participation
, with contributions from heads of state and government from all five continents, ministers from around 30 countries, managers of international and regional development banks, and senior executives from global agrifood firms, worldwide foundations and other development partners.

By identifying investment opportunities and mobilizing financial and technical resources, this event will contribute to the promotion of sustainable investment, economic development, and poverty reduction in various regions of the world. As countries showcase their projects and forge strategic partnerships, the Forum is anticipated to accelerate agrifood systems transformation as a core driver of progress for the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development and achievement of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). This will drive inclusive and sustainable economic growth and promote a more prosperous future for countries, local communities and society as a whole.