Platform for African – European Partnership in Agricultural Research for Development

Friday, May 27, 2011

Leveraging Private Sector Investment in Developing Country Agrifood Systems

Title: Leveraging Private Sector Investment in Developing Country Agrifood Systems
Authors: International Food & Agricultural Trade Policy Council (IPC Study commissioned by the Global Agricultural Development Initiative)

The research for this paper (May 2011, 73 pages) involved a myriad of discussions on Transnational Corporations’ involvement in the food and agricultural sectors of developing countries.

This policy paper consists of four sections.
  1. The first reiterates the benefits of sound private-sector investment in sustainable food security; it also explains the paper’s primary focus on investments from transnational corporations (TNCs) and describes how TNCs approach decisions on investment allocations.
  2. The second section highlights examples of TNC investments that have simultaneously benefited smallholders in developing countries while creating profits—or the potential for profits—for the investors.
  3. The third section explores how the US government engages with TNCs and incentivizes investments. 
  4. The final section concludes with recommendations for TNCs, governments, and other players, with a view towards increasing TNC investments that both strengthen agricultural development and offer profits to TNCs.

PepsiCo is investing in research to identify key nutrient-dense staple crops, which can be used in locally produced nutritious foods and snacks that it wants to sell to underserved and low-income communities in Sub-Saharan Africa. Increases in agricultural output do not always lead to better nutrition. An example of this is Malawi, where farmers managed to dramatically increase their grain yields, moving the country from a grain importer to exporter. This has, however, not significantly improved the nutritional status of many Malawians.The increased food is clearly not reaching the people who need it most.

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