Global Agriculture Fund Taps NGOs in Steering Body

A man inspects rice grains. The Global Agriculture and Food Security Program allocates three seats for civil society organizations. Photo by: Neil Palmer / CIAT / CC BY-SA CIATCC BY-SA

The steering committee of the Global Agriculture and Food Security Program includes three seats for civil society organizations, according to the World Bank, which manages the fund.

The 22-member steering committee allocates one seat for non-governmental organizations based in the north and two seats for southern-based groups.

“We welcome the GAFSP’s willingness to include civil society representatives in its governance structure,” said Neil Watkins, the director of policy and campaigns for ActionAid USA. “In the coming months, we will be working to ensure that fund-supported projects benefit smallholder farmers and meaningfully involve national farmers’ organizations and civil society in their development and implementation.”

ActionAID USA is filling in for northern NGOs, which are in the process of selecting a more permanent representative to the steering committee. Meanwhile, one of the seats reserved for southern NGOs is held by the Pan African Farmers Platform, an association of African small farmers. The representative for the second seat is still being decided by Asia-based NGOs.

The GAFSP steering committee has allocated USD224 million for country-led agricultural development plans to date. This assistance includes USD50 million for Bangladesh, USD35 million for Haiti, USD50 million for Rwanda, USD50 million for Sierra Leone, and USD39 million for Togo.

GAFSP was launched April 22 with an initial fund of USD900 million. The funding includes investments from Canada, Spain, South Korea and the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, among other donors.

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    Ivy Mungcal

    As former senior staff writer, Ivy Mungcal contributed to several Devex publications. Her focus is on breaking news, and in particular on global aid reform and trends in the United States, Europe, the Caribbean, and the Americas. Before joining Devex in 2009, Ivy produced specialized content for U.S. and U.K.-based business websites.