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Latest News

“The Story of Agriculture and the Sustainable Development Goals”

April 22, 2015 – Farming First has produced an interactive essay explaining how and why agriculture will be central to achieving the Post-2015 Sustainable Development Goals. Farming First has explored the role of agriculture in relation to hunger and malnutrition, poverty reduction, gender equality, education, water, sustainable consumption and production, economic growth, and climate change.

The essay goes into particular depth on the links between agriculture and Goal 2, which calls for relevant actors to “end hunger, achieve food security and improved nutrition, and promote sustainable agriculture”. The interactive article uses easily shareable and digestible visual data to illustrate Goal 2 Targets relevant to hunger, malnutrition, sustainability, resilience, biodiversity, productivity, incomes, investment, trade, and markets. It is an excellent resource for those seeking a better understanding of these issues or a means of bringing them to life for a general audience.

Link: http://bit.ly/ff-sdg

Talent Development in Agriculture: A call to action

April 16, 2015 – The IAFN, YPARD and GFRAS are among the global actors spearheading a worldwide “Call to Action” that asks governments to promote and foster talent development, knowledge dissemination, and skill enhancement in the agricultural sector. The Call was jointly drafted by businesses, youth organizations, academia, and agricultural knowledge & extension bodies, and has been circulated to the member countries of the UN’s Committee on World Food Security (CFS).

In it’s official seat at the CFS, the private sector is highlighting the urgency of unified action on talent development in agriculture in order to make the sector more sustainable, competitive, productive, and efficient. Emerging trends, shifting global markets, climate change, and the ageing of the agricultural workforce underscore the importance of this issue. Now more than ever, development actors must highlight the opportunities and benefits of a career in agriculture. The private sector will be integral to these efforts.

The five key points of the Call ask development actors to:

1.  Create an enabling environment and incentives for private sector engagement in talent development to improve linkages between supply and demand of knowledge and skills;
2. Promote demand-driven and innovative agriculture education, training, and skills development programmes geared towards transformation and maintaining high performance culture at all levels;
3. Recruit and retain youth and women in agriculture through incentives and the promotion of conducive environments for equitable access to secure land tenure, inputs, financial services, knowledge, and markets;
4. Develop national agricultural plans and resource mobilisation strategies to enhance talent development in agriculture, food, and natural resources while including women and youth in the process;
5. Develop monitoring, learning, evaluation, and knowledge management systems for talent development
These measures will help to set agriculture on the path to a brighter future, for the sector and for the entire globe.

Agricultural businesses and farm groups are invited to join us in our debates, in Rome or virtually. Social media hashtag: #CallforAction

Kick-Start Meeting: CFS Principles on Responsible Agricultural Investment

March 20, 2015 – This week members of the Private Sector Mechanism (PSM) were at the UN FAO Head Quarters in Rome to give their views on how new Principles on Responsible Agricultural Investment can be used to respond to the urgent need to increase global investment in farm production. The ten Principles were endorsed by the UN Committee on World Food Security (CFS) in October 2014 and are designed to ‘provide a framework to rethink investment in agriculture and food systems’. The agri-business community was invited to help draft the Principles, which look at natural resource use, land rights, employment, empowerment of women, farm innovation, and more.

At this week’s meeting the PSM members highlighted that on average, businesses of all sizes provide 60% of GDP, 80% of capital flows and 90% of jobs in developing countries, and are the major source of the US$1 trillion a year needed to finance development. In the context of the CFS Principles, governments can leverage this potential by prioritizing stable, predictable and transparent regulatory frameworks and legal systems to attract sustainable investments in agriculture.

The Private Sector Mechanism speakers at the ‘Kick-Start’ meeting were:

  1. Barrie Bain, International Fertilizer Industry Association
  2. Natalia Federighi, Yara International
  3. Bernd Schanzenbacher, EBG Capital

The PSM official statement is here (PDF 352KB).

PSM Focal Point: Nominations open

Every two years, the Private Sector Mechanism elects a focal point (currently being filled by the International Agri-Food Network). The next election is at the annual meeting on May 12 in Rome. Organisations that wish to be nominated to be focal point for the Private Sector Mechanism should submit names by March 1, 2015 to Robynne Anderson.

Annual meeting: Register now

The PSM annual meeting will take place in Rome from May 12-13 and will be a key opportunity for business leaders to meet each other; set joint priorities for UN outreach; and hold bilateral meetings with countries and UN Agencies. We also plan to hold a meeting with IFAD on May 14th which is being confirmed.

Click here to register.

The Secretariat has block-booked a number of rooms at the Capo d’Africa Hotel at a special IAFN rate. To book, please email Liliana at McCord Travel Management.

Key Meetings

Annual meetings: International Agri-Food Network (IAFN) & the Private Sector Mechanism (PSM)
May 12-13 2015 | Rome, Italy
Click here to register


Open Ended Working Group: Agenda for Action for Addressing Food Insecurity in Protracted Crises
May 18-22 2015 | Rome, Italy
FAO Conference
June 6-12 2015 | Rome, Italy
High Level Forum: Connecting Smallholders to Markets
June 25, 2015 | Rome, Italy
CFS42: Plenary of the UN Committee on World Food Security
October 12-17 2015 | Rome, Italy
Click here to register

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Working Groups