EBRD and FAO are organizing a forum focused on responsible private sector investment and improved public-private policy dialogue in the Egyptian agriculture sector. The forum will explore ways to unleash Egypt’s agricultural potential by increasing private sector investments in food production, improving agrifood trade logistics, promoting exports and addressing import inefficiencies.
Given Egypt’s dependence on international food commodity markets and its susceptibility to food supply shocks, active dialogue between the public and private sectors is key to ensuring a sustainable long-term approach to tackling food security concerns.
Following the success of the high-level inter-regional conference Private Sector for Food Security held in Istanbul in 2012, the EBRD/FAO forum in Cairo will be an exceptional opportunity to strengthen public-private sector dialogue on the development of more efficient and inclusive agrifood systems in the country and to identify the role that International Financing Institutions (IFIs) like EBRD can play in supporting responsible agricultural investment in Egypt.
The forum aims to identify ways to make the agribusiness investment climate in Egypt more attractive, in particular through policy improvements that could unlock private investment opportunities, and investment areas that would enhance Egypt’s food security situation. Investment opportunities will be assessed from the angle of making Egypt’s agrifood systems more efficient and inclusive.
Public and private sector participants will have a unique occasion to debate how Egypt’s agriculture value chain could become more efficient and inclusive. They will be acquainted with the role that IFIs – such as EBRD – can play in supporting responsible agrifood investments and policy reforms. The intention of the organizers is to create a standing platform for public-private policy dialogue on the development of Egypt’s agriculture sector.
Private Sector for Food Security, Istanbul 2012
In September 2012, EBRD and FAO held the high-level inter-regional conference Private Sector for Food Security in Istanbul. The conference, co-chaired by FAO’s Director-General and EBRD’s President, brought together approximately 100 leading regional and global agribusiness companies including, among others, the CEOs/CFOs of Louis Dreyfus, Bunge, Olam, Saipol, Tereos, Astarta, Nibulon, Aston, Razgulay, Yug Rusi, and Tiryaki.
The goal of the Istanbul conference was to promote responsible private sector investments in agrifood chains and to foster the role of the private sector in addressing global food security. It was a unique occasion for private sector executives to discuss key issues with policymakers, including the Ministers of Agriculture of Egypt and Turkey and the Deputy/Assistant Ministers of Agriculture of Bulgaria, the Russian Federation and Serbia. This experience demonstrated that a proactive approach to policy dialogue can lead to improved business conditions for all players in the agrifood chain, from farmers to agro-processors and retailers. For example, a direct consequence of the conference was the intention declared by three participating countries to introduce or reinforce pre-harvest financing instruments to facilitate local farmers’ access to short-term credit, with the support of FAO and EBRD.