European Bank for Reconstruction and Development President Suma Chakrabarti and Food and Agriculture Organization Director-General José Graziano da Silva. Chakrabarti photo by: U.K. Ministry of Justice; da Silva photo by: Dilma Rousseff / CC BY-SA

What does the private sector need to do to feed the world’s growing population? The heads of the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development and the Food and Agriculture Organization list a few.

“Agribusiness in transition countries can be tricky — but also profitable,” Suma Chakrabarti and José Graziano da Silva write in an opinion piece for The Wall Street Journal. “But the industry’s success means more than just profit,” they argue.

The private sector needs to double its investment in land, machinery and seeds. It should also invest in storage, transport and trading infrastructure, which, according to the two, are “key not only to ensure that food reaches its intended destination but also to build buffers against adverse shocks and droughts.”

The battle against hunger, however, does not rest on the private sector alone. Governments should also work on a policy framework that fosters a welcoming environment for private sector investment; promote market transparency and better risk management; and boost public-private sector dialogue, Chakrabarti and da Silva said.

EBRD and FAO will be conducting a one-day conference on the private sector’s role in tackling food security on Sept. 13 in Istanbul, Turkey.

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About the author

  • Jenny Lei Ravelo

    Jenny Lei Ravelo is a Devex Senior Reporter based in Manila. She covers global health, with a particular focus on the World Health Organization, and other development and humanitarian aid trends in Asia Pacific. Prior to Devex, she wrote for ABS-CBN, one of the largest broadcasting networks in the Philippines, and was a copy editor for various international scientific journals. She received her journalism degree from the University of Santo Tomas.

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