EBRD charts direction of its new agribusiness sector strategy to meet tomorrow’s challenges

FAO supported consultation with diverse stakeholders for insights

Rome – Tackling the challenges that the world’s agrifood systems face today – from climate change and biodiversity loss to supply chain disruptions, volatility and other shocks – calls for new approaches of action.

The European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD) organized, with FAO Investment Centre’s technical support a first-hand consultation meeting in Rome today to identify the priorities for the Bank’s new five-year agribusiness sector strategy 2024-2028, and to get insights on how it can contribute to greener and more inclusive agrifood systems.

The event brought together more than 50 experts from the two institutions, from agribusiness companies, civil society organizations, development institutions and other Rome-based UN agencies to share ideas and knowledge.

Following an overview of the general direction of the new strategy – including the social, financial and environmental context – discussions focused on four key topics.

Those ranged from integrating nature-based solutions into the EBRD’s business model and promoting low carbon livestock and dairy sector investments to incentivising innovation and promoting new ways to reach out to private sector companies including small and medium enterprises.

In preparation for the consultation, FAO produced a series of technical briefs for the strategy on high-level issues to deepen the conversation, including on decarbonization, regenerative agriculture, food loss and waste, export diversification and sustainability-linked loans, among others.

For Natalia Zhukova, Director of Agribusiness at the EBRD, the consultation was an invaluable exercise.

“This is one of several consultations we’re having within FAO as a platform for partnership building, to ensure that our new strategy reflects the challenging and changing environment we are living in and promotes a responsible, innovative and sustainable approach to building a greener, more resilient and inclusive agribusiness sector,” she said.

For over 25 years, FAO and the EBRD have worked together to help countries unlock their agricultural potential by combining the EBRD’s investment capacity with FAO’s technical expertise and policy facilitation.

FAO Investment Centre Director Mohamed Manssouri noted that the consultation spoke to the depth of this partnership.

“We’re honoured to continue being closely involved in EBRD’s strategic consultations and pleased to be able to bring in different perspectives and voices that can help strengthen the strategy even further and ensure it is aligned with our collective goal of transforming agrifood systems for a healthier, more sustainable future for all,” he said.

The event was also an opportunity to introduce Agtivate – a platform created by the EBRD with FAO’s technical support to share knowledge and stimulate dialogue around the broad themes of food security, green agrifood systems, social inclusion, digital agriculture and the COVID-19 response.

The site features innovations and lessons from the two institutions’ cooperation on sustainable agrifood investment in Eastern Europe, Central Asia, Türkiye, and the Southern and Eastern Mediterranean, along with interviews with industry and technical experts.

Together, these efforts stem from the two institutions’ shared vision that private investment, enabling policies, knowledge sharing, and targeted technical assistance can change lives for the better.


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