Issue brief - By 2050 food products will need to reach 9 billion people

The Centre for Development Innovation (CDI) is the knowledge broker of Wageningen University & Research centre (Wageningen UR). We have built an extensive international track record on issues such as food and nutrition security; sustainable markets; adaptive agriculture; ecosystem governance; conflict, disaster and reconstruction; and innovation and change. In our experience, only an integrated approach leads to sustainable change. Our staff have a unique combination of substantive knowledge, an international network and excellent process management qualities. In this issue brief we would like to share how we engage with the private sector and illustrate this with a number of examples.

By 2050 there will be 9 billion to feed, which will require a 70% increase in agricultural production. We need to ensure this increase is achieved in a sustainable way. The challenges are enormous and can be tackled only through creating partnerships among knowledge institutes, development organizations, national governments and institutions, private sector, civil society and the farmers, who are at the forefront of global food security.

The private sector has emerged as an increasingly important element in stimulating economic growth in developing countries, in response to opportunities for investment and business innovation, created by globalization and technological advances.

Are you wondering how to

  • Ensure economically, environmentally and socially sustainable supply as food demand doubles and resources decline?
  • Enable small-scale farmers and local enterprises to be more productive, efficient and reliable players in the supply chain?
  • Enter into new markets?
  • Get engaged in sourcing from locations that have vibrant local economies and dynamic entrepreneurs?

If so, we could be your partner in finding and implementing solutions that meet your needs starting by identifying your reasons to engage in economic development.

Your incentives to engage

  • Enhance performance of your core business operations and value chains (producers, distributers, consumers, employees):
    • Gain more control over supply chain
    • Reduce costs
    • Increase food safety and quality
    • Gain access to public funding
    • Make the most of branding
  • Engage in or further strengthen your corporate social investment and strategic philanthropy:
    • Company reputation
    • Improved working environment
    • Credibility towards opinion leaders and policy makers
    • Increased knowledge base for internationalization
  • Contribute to improving the enabling environment so that you can operate more efficiently
    • Public advocacy, policy dialogue and institution building

Our offer

  • Sector specific knowledge: horticulture, dairy, edible oil, seed sector, fisheries, forest products, etc.
  • Experience in working with all actors in the marketing chain including private sector, public sector, civil society, NGOs, etc.
  • Extended network in agriculture on different continents: Europe, Africa, Asia, Central and South-America.
  • Knowledge of local context, political and business environment.

The knowledge and experience we have gained through our extensive experience enables us to quickly identify incentive mechanisms playing out in different contexts and thereby provide context specific solutions to your problems. We offer tailor-made packages depending on your needs in the following areas:

1. Capacity development trajectories for supply chain partners

Ethiopia: Support of soy platform development

Support of sectorial organization to enhance local entrepreneurship skills, contribute to solving sector wide issues such as ensuring supply and quality of inputs for processing, access to new technology, solving logistical challenges, and improving overall business climate to attract foreign and domestic investment

2. Action learning, applied research: paving the way for informed change

Rwanda: Increasing performance of the cassava sector

In 2009, the INGABO Farmers’ Union and the Wageningen UR Centre for Development Innovation started action research activities with focus on the question, ‘What are the opportunities to improve the performance of the cassava sub-sector and make it more profitable for producers and their agribusiness partners?’ During the action research process, the following areas have been addressed: production and productivity; value chains, commercial relations and price transmission; processing; cassava producers and their organization; rural finance; multi-stakeholder collaboration. A set of recommendations were drawn up for the key stakeholders in the sector, which contributed to enhancing sector performance.

3. Enhancing business linkages; Generation of local knowledge & information

Ethiopia: Soy sector development

Due to fragmented markets, producers of soy have not been able to find outlet to sell their products. At the same time, processors of animal feed and edible oil have been operating at 60-70% capacity due to insufficient amount of available soy. CDI has been involved in creating linkages among producers and processors, stabilising and increasing production levels and contributing to the enhancement of  sector performance by establishing the soy platform with the objectives of setting up a market information system, setting standards and lobbying on governmental level for introduction of an import duty on imported edible oil.


4. Multi-stakeholders engagements to ensure buy-in of key stakeholders

Global Consultation on Palm Oil Strategy

CDI supported the International Finance Corporation of the World Bank (IFC) through a major strategy review exercise of its activities and future direction in the palm oil sub-sector. CDI facilitated a global consultation process with multi- stakeholder meetings in the USA, Indonesia, Costa Rica, Ghana and Amsterdam. These consultation rounds were attended by 50-70 participants, each being representatives of a wide variety of stakeholders including the public sector, industry, financial institutions, civil society, and indigenous peoples' organizations. Besides those face-to-face meetings, there were parallel e-consultations online. Outcomes of the consultations lead to changes in IFC strategy on its landing policies.

Examples of our work linking Dutch private sector actors to emerging markets

  • Ethiopia: Creating access for Dutch seed companies to the local market.
  • Kenya: By removing legal import obstacles, providing access for Dutch seed potato company to Kenyan private seed potato production and multiplication.
  • Ethiopia: Exporting Dutch know-how and technology for the dairy sector.
  • Uganda, Kenya, Tanzania: African Agribusiness Academy is an entrepreneurial platform seeking to foster innovation and growth of small and medium-scale agri-food firms in Africa by connecting entrepreneurs within Africa and between Africa and the Netherlands.

5. Policy change: support & advice

South Africa: Enhancing the performance of small scale fisheries sector

A policy for the small scale fisheries sector is still lacking and as a consequence, the living conditions of the traditional fishermen are deteriorating. For the time being an ‘interim relief’ policy is in force, which gives these fishermen the right to catch a limited amount of various species. In agri-food chains, supply and demand of foods and goods are mostly governed by open market processes. Fisheries however is a form of speculative ‘hunting’, in which production levels cannot easily be adjusted to the changing market demand.

CDI has identified options and trade-offs between fisheries economics, the market demand and the marine environment. This is to achieve a better managed small-scale fisheries sector that takes account of environmental as well as economic factors.

6. Dialogue & debate: fostering critical thinking on key issues

Islands of Success, Seas of Change

CDI is a leading think tank on the issue of ‘What works when scaling inclusive agri-food markets?’ with the objective of developing a ‘state of the art’ perspective on innovative directions for scaling inclusive agri-food market development that is shared by key business and development players. Our key partners include, among others, Unilever, Ben & Jerry, Syngenta, SABMiller and Mars.