Public Development Banks: the Answer to World Hunger?By Sofía Hanna | Wed, 10/20/2021 - 11:43
As new solutions and funds are being sought to provide better financing for sustainable agriculture, public development banks could become key players to consolidate the links between interested parties, said the UN Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) during the “Finance in Common” forum.
Public development banks could play an essential role in ending world hunger and improving agri-food systems, according to FAO. “There is still a long way to go to meet the basic financial needs of many players in the agri-food sector. Today, 80 percent of the demand for financing from small farmers in developing countries is not being met,” said FAO’s Director-General, QU Dongyu. As previously mentioned by MBN, world hunger has become one of the most severe problems affecting communities worldwide and threats that could increase the current levels of hunger, especially in rural areas, are increasing and becoming more complex.
At the FAO forum, more than 500 representatives and other stakeholders from public development banks met to strengthen the coordination and cohesion of these institutions at a time when they are changing investment patterns and activities to help achieve the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and the Paris Climate Agreement. The forum aims to promote financing for small farmers and small and medium agri-food companies, use combined funding to encourage greater private investment in sustainable agri-food systems and execute joint projects financed by the Green Climate Fund. The first agreement signed, which was between FAO and the Executive President of the Cassa Depositi e Prestiti, recognized the common purpose of transforming agri-food systems and of promoting rural development and the conservation of natural resources.
Dongyu stated that it is essential to find bankable projects that capitalize on the scalability of public development banks. While Mexico still has room for improvement in this area, the country was recently recognized for its contribution to agricultural projects that awarded it the “Nobel Prize of Food” in recognition of the efforts to improve agricultural food systems, as previously reported by MBN.