The EBRD and the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO) are leading workshops in how to stimulate private sector investment in agribusiness.
In June 2013 the EBRD and the FAO led the joint workshop “Private Sector for Food Security: Improving the Investment Climate in Egypt’s Agribusiness Sector”, funded by the SEMED Multi-Donor Account*. Industry leaders and Egyptian government representatives met in Cairo to identify key policy improvements that would stimulate private sector investments.
Participants highlighted the necessity to improve logistics to minimise food losses along the value chain. As a result, trade financing, import, domestic storage and transportation infrastructure were identified as the main investment priorities.
On the policy side, participants recognised the importance of building trust between the public and the private sector and of progressively reducing the government’s heavy involvement in trade, which creates uncertainties for investors.
The EBRD, FAO and the Minister of Agriculture formalised their commitment to foster a transparent public-private policy dialogue and jointly to identify key areas for improvement in order to boost agricultural production and trade. Future steps in investment and policy dialogue will be instrumental in addressing Egypt’s food security challenges in light of the country’s reliance on imports.
A portal for knowledge-sharing
The workshop in Egypt also celebrated the launch of a standing platform for public-private policy dialogue, the MedAgri Network, a portal for knowledge-sharing on agricultural investment in the southern and eastern Mediterranean (SEMED) region. The MedAgri Network will increase visibility, mobilisation and coordination among international investors and local agricultural producers to meet the growing global food demand and nutrition requirements.
A promising indication of the future success of MedAgri is the popularity of the online hub EastAgri, which has facilitated collaboration and exchange of expertise within the agricultural sector in Eastern Europe, Central Asia and the Caucasus for over nine years.
*SEMED MDA donors are: Australia, Finland, France, Germany, Italy, the Netherlands, Norway, Sweden, and the United Kingdom.