Инвестиционный центр ФАО

FAO Investment Days explores innovative solutions for a more sustainable future


The FAO Investment Centre wrapped up two days of thought-provoking discussions on investing in food security and climate resilience during its annual Investment Days in mid-July.

The event, in its twelfth year, brought together 250 participants, including international financing institutions, development bankers, farmer organizations, private sector innovators, technical experts and thought-leaders to share the latest knowledge and best practices on investment, financing and innovations for a healthier, more sustainable future.

Among the guests were the Centre’s longstanding partners like the World Bank, the International Fund for Agricultural Development and the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development as well as new partners such as the European Investment Bank and Cassa Depositi e Prestiti.

In his opening video address, FAO Director-General Qu Dongyu acknowledged the massive development challenges the world faces, from rising poverty, hunger and debt distress to environmental disasters, supply chain disruptions and biodiversity loss.

Transforming agrifood systems to be more efficient, inclusive, resilient and sustainable calls for us to “do even more and even better” he said.

He added that “innovative financing instruments, diversified sources of funding and private sector involvement are crucial” for that transformation and that “we need to engage in a more ambitious and inclusive financial landscape.”

FAO Chief Economist Maximo Torero echoed that sentiment by saying that we need to “find win-win policy and investment solutions when it comes to food security and climate resilience,” urging everyone to “go further” in their discussions as “we don’t have much time to waste.”

The Investment Centre, which began its own transformation in 2022, acts as a bridge between Members and financing partners to scale up agrifood investments for greater impact at country level.

The Centre brings FAO’s comparative advantage – the convening power, knowledge and data, technical and policy expertise – to bear on the investment process.

Its new business model involves even greater country outreach, more diverse partnerships, stronger internal collaboration and adaptation to global trends.

Transforming agrifood systems

The challenges are massive. Agrifood systems need to be able to feed a growing global population with healthy, nutritious food, provide decent jobs, promote inclusive economic growth and greater equity and enable sustainable development. All without destroying the planet.

As FAO Investment Centre Director Mohamed Manssouri noted, “Investment Days is a chance for us to think big and to find new ways to help countries make the right investments at the right scale for transformative change.”

Julian Lampietti, Manager for Global Engagement for the World Bank’s Agriculture and Food Global Practice, spoke of how the Bank, through its nearly 60-year partnership with the Centre, has been able to rely on FAO’s “deep well of technical expertise.”

“Agriculture, which is both a victim and leading cause of climate change, produces 30 percent of emissions yet only receives 3 percent of climate financing,” he said. “It is exciting to see how we can use FAO’s knowledge and tools to help our countries capture more climate financing and use that to transform agrifood systems.”

Discussions over the two days ranged from greening agrifood systems to scaling up innovations to sustainability challenges, including digital innovations, to mobilizing greater public, private and blended financing.

Panellists from the public sector, for example, shared how they are integrating climate risks, adaptation and mitigation into their agrifood strategies, policies and investments to align with the Paris Agreement.

Shifting consumer demand, changing regulations and green trade policies are shaping investments and business strategies towards greener supply chains, from field to fork.

Representatives from the private sector, including a cocoa value chain expert, an avocado exporter and large agrifood companies, weighed in on the merits of regenerative agriculture, traceability systems, international certification standards and investments to support compliance at all stages.

Inclusive financial ecosystems

Many small-scale farmers and small and medium agricultural enterprises in developing countries lack adequate access to financing, due in part to the sector’s perceived high risk and low returns.

Panellists from various local financial institutions discussed how they manage risk in agrifood lending to reach underserved stakeholders, underscoring the importance of partnerships and technical assistance to de-risk investments.

Other sessions focused on how impact funds – funds that generate measurable social and environmental impacts alongside financial returns – can help bridge the funding gap, as well as the opportunities and challenges posed by carbon markets.

Raising our game

The Centre capped off the thematic discussions with two days of teambuilding exercises on how to take these ideas forward with partners and to support Members in meeting their sustainable development goal targets and climate commitments.

“We need to raise our game, as individuals, as teams, as institutions, and to have that entrepreneurial drive to come up with new agrifood investment and finance solutions,” said Manssouri.

Investment Days has become a much-anticipated annual event, bringing together diverse perspectives and voices from around the world to advance the sustainable agrifood systems agenda. The Centre is now gearing up for next year’s edition, which will also mark the 60th anniversary of its fruitful partnership with the World Bank.

Photo credit All images ©FAO/Giuseppe Carotenuto