Towards a global research&learning agenda for Inclusive Agribusiness

  • 08th March 2017
  • by secretary

7 – 8 March 2017. Brighton, UK.Towards a global research and learning agenda for Inclusive Agribusiness.

The Global Donor Platform, the Wageningen Center for Development Innovation (CDI) on behalf of the Seas of Change community and the BEAM Exchange organised this workshop to foster strategic action in the field of inclusive agribusiness.

It discussed a possible joint knowledge and learning agenda for the coming years, as well as the collaborative structure (i.e. an alliance or other arrangement) necessary to implement this agenda.

  • Despite the strongly growing number of inclusive agribusiness initiatives in past years, individual efforts rarely inform and influence new efforts and investments. Important evidence gaps and poor exchange restricts willingness to invest in inclusive agribusiness and the replication or adaptation of useful experiences. 
  • Information generated is not being synthesised to understand how these initiatives do or do not contribute to major goals of food and nutrition security. 
  • A coherent global agenda and a clear collaboration structure on inclusive agribusiness are needed to make sure we effectively apply what we DO know, and we figure out what we do not.


BACKGROUND WORKING PAPER. Prepared for the Global Donor Platform for Rural Development.
Jim Woodhill, September 2016, 62 pages

An inclusive business benefits poor producers and/or consumers by providing access to markets, services and products in ways that improve their livelihoods, while at the same time being a profitable commercial venture

Inclusive agribusiness provides a perspective that can contribute to a deeper understanding of how to align public and private interests and investments in pursuit of the Sustainable Development Goals. 

There is a vast body of experience and knowledge about how agricultural markets can help to tackle poverty and encourage sustainable practices. However, this has not been fully tapped, synthesised and communicated in ways that can help to tackle the ongoing structural barriers of taking inclusive agribusiness initiatives to scale. 
Consequently, inclusive agribusiness is a field where the GDPRD can potentially make a significant contribution through its knowledge sharing, advocacy and networking functions.

The paper provides an initial mapping of this work and identifies emerging issues and opportunities. The paper also highlights a weak and fragmented evidence base regarding impact, which risks undermining the case for the much needed investment to take promising example to scale. Critics note that few inclusive business models have gone beyond pilot stage and reached scale.