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Private Sector Partners to Strengthen Food Systems

A partnership to strengthen agri-food systems in the Pacific by supporting agribusiness development and transformative partnerships has been formed. This was done so between the Pacific Island Private Sector Organisation
02 Sep 2014 21:34
Private Sector Partners to Strengthen Food Systems

A partnership to strengthen agri-food systems in the Pacific by supporting agribusiness development and transformative partnerships has been formed.

This was done so between the Pacific Island Private Sector Organisation (PIPSO) and the Technical Centre for Agricultural and Rural Cooperation (CTA).

The Technical Centre for Agricultural and Rural Cooperation (CTA) is a joint international institution of the African, Caribbean and Pacific (ACP) Group of States and the European Union (EU). Its mission is described as to advance food and nutritional security, increase prosperity and encourage sound natural resource management in ACP countries.

Many Pacific countries have a narrow agricultural production base and are vulnerable to external shocks, such as changes in global trade and loss of preferential market access for traditional products.

This results in high levels of food imports, lack of agricultural investment and weak producers’ and exporters’ organisations.

To move from this position of vulnerabilityPacific island economies must explore new areas of economic development.

It includes strengthening diversification strategies and exploit the interlinkages between sectors such as agriculture, tourism, industry, information and communication technologies (ICTs) and finance.

A robust and innovative agribusiness sector is essential to create economic growth, enhance competitiveness and generate employment and income opportunities that underpin sustainable livelihoods.

This cannot be achieved at a significant scale without increasing regional productive and trade capacities, easing access to finance and building transformative partnerships.

 

Different roles

Achieving this requires interventions in both the public and the private sector. In the public sector, governments must make strategic investments in institutions and infrastructure that will bolster the potential of the agricultural sector and assist with its transformation.

The private sector in its turn must strengthen and link the various actors in the agri-food chains, and in particular small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) and producers’ and entrepreneurs’ organisations, including those supporting women and youth entrepreneurs.

This is where the partnership between PIPSO and CTA will add value.

The envisaged partnership will start in 2015 with a five year programme that will address strategic areas supporting the Pacific agri-food sector, including policies, value-chain development, ICTs and knowledge management.

One of the flagship activities will be an annual joint agribusiness forum. This would bring together key actors in agri-food chains.

This is to ensure that best practices on innovative, inclusive and sustainable models, address existing gaps in data generation and provide capacity building to key private and public organisations.

 

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