The private sector has an important role to play in promoting sustainable agriculture and fighting poverty and hunger, according to Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) director-general José Graziano da Silva.
“The private sector has an important contribution to give to FAO. But this contribution has not always been recognized or valued. This is beginning to change,” he said in a meeting with private sector associations and federations on Friday.
“Many private companies already contribute financial resources to fight hunger and poverty. However, I want to say that it is a mistake to look at the private sector only as a source of funding for our programmes.
“There are many other ways the private sector can contribute to food security and, in many cases, already does,” he said. “My personal experience with the Zero Hunger Strategy in Brazil shows that perhaps the greatest contribution the private sector can give is something else: the political support to food security.”
Da Silva suggested that private companies could contribute to increased food security in many ways, including:
• providing in-kind contributions like agricultural inputs and logistical support;
• providing services and support to workers and the communities in which they are based;
• building capacity in rural communities, and
• sharing knowledge and experiences.