The Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO) and Rabobank have formed a new partnership that will see the two organisations help targeted rural communities in creating more sustainable food systems.
FAO and Rabobank will work with key food and agriculture sectors on a series of projects and will explore the use of investments to help make food systems more sustainable in emerging markets.
The joint projects will aim to lower greenhouse gas emissions, improve land and water use, and empower smallholder farmers to reduce food losses and address climate change challenges.
Particular attention will be paid in ensuring the inclusion of poor, vulnerable and marginalised groups, including women and youth.
The collaboration will begin with a review of the dairy sector in two pilot countries, India and Kenya.
“The new partnership between FAO and Rabobank will serve to support our work to transform food systems so that they can become more inclusive and sustainable, especially within the context of the Covid-19 response and the need to build back, better,” said FAO director-general QU Dongyu.
He added: “In particular it will focus on improved land and water use, lowering greenhouse gas emissions and food loss while increasing the resilience of farmers and small-scale businesses.”
The partnership will also map agricultural supply chains to identify opportunities for green finance hotspots in emerging markets, and explore the possibility of environmental or climate finance programming incentives.
Berry Marttin, board member of Rabobank, said: “Covid-19 has shown us that our food systems need a ‘new normal’. We need to identify and analyse finance gaps and debate short and long supply chains.
“We must focus on innovative ways to reward sustainability investments, such as implementing ‘nature costing’, a pricing structure that reflects food’s environmental impact. By partnering with FAO, we can mobilise our complementary expertise and networks to contribute to real food system transformations.”
FAO has previously collaborated with the Rabobank Foundation, a corporate foundation funded by the bank, on projects aimed at improving the incomes of smallholder farmers in Ethiopia, Kenya and Tanzania through better access to financial tools and investments.
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