Developing an investment case for inclusive food system transformation

Developing an investment case for inclusive food system transformation

General - 27 October, 2021

How international finance can better meet local needs and aspirations will be the central topic during a session on the GLF Climate: Forests, Food and Finance – Frontiers of Change (5 – 7 November 2021) on the sidelines of the COP26.

Here you can find more information on the session and the GLF Climate

Smallholder communities, cooperatives and small enterprises produce up to 60% of the world’s food. They also meet their own demands for fuelwood, fodder and other tree and forest products, and trade surpluses locally and beyond. However, smallholders are rarely consulted when designing value chain or conservation driven investment initiatives, and such investments tend to benefit only those who directly contribute to company or donor goals. And though the local economy is stimulated, limited attention is given to the ‘the bigger picture’, including the need to move towards social equity and sustainable landscape management. Farmers also have limited access to finance for improving and diversifying their production, and which would discourage the need to move to frontier areas.

Landscape analysis of financial flows have confirmed that landscape level investments do improve average income, but they rarely contribute to maintaining or enhancing essential ecosystem services on which communities directly depend, and do little to enhancing food security or the capacity to adapt to climate change. In a study in 2019, barriers were identified that restrict smallholder access to finance and hinder food system transformation, but few successful examples were documented.

Now, after coordinating seven case studies of locally led initiatives in 2021, we are able to see how locally driven initiatives have been able to overcome challenges of risk, scale, locally appropriate financial and non-financial services, etc. To better address how both local needs and international objectives can be achieved, results from selected case studies are used in this session to answer two key questions.

  • How to make local innovations complementary to internationally driven initiatives?
  • What investment mechanisms address the finance needs of all actors at landscape level?

Join us to learn the answers to these questions, jointly discuss lessons to be learned and the way forward for a framework for locally led, inclusive financing mechanisms that enable inclusive transformation of the food systems.

The session is organized by Tropenbos International together with the CGIAR research programme on Forests, Trees and Agroforestry (FTA) in the framework of the Mobilizing more for climate (MoMo4C) programme