Food security is at the heart of the Sustainable Development Goals. The availability of affordable and nutritious food to everyone is important in the fight against poverty and inequality. Today, smallholder farmers largely dominate agriculture in developing countries. Unfortunately, these farmers lack the financial capacity to undertake sustainable agricultural practices. This makes it imperative for private funds to be mobilized to support the sector. Therefore, the CTA Blending4AG Conference scheduled for 7-8 November 2016 could not have come at a better time because it brings key stakeholders to discuss how private finance can be leveraged to address the funding gap in the smallholder sector.
In 2015, the World Bank reported that public finance alone is inadequate in the implementation of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). Aside, the inadequacy of public funds, mobilisation of public funds is characterised by inefficiency in some developing countries. For more public resources to be mobilized for development, the tax administration systems of developing countries need to be reformed to make them effective and efficient. A robust tax system will generate more revenue for governments to finance agriculture and other sectors.
Commercial banks and lending companies should also see investment in the agriculture sector as viable as any other sector. Over the years, the perception of investment in the agricultural sector as risky needs to be brought on board if the SDGs are to be successfully achieved. It is based on this that the CTA Blending for Agriculture Conference 2016 is bringing relevant stakeholders from the private and public sectors to dialogue on better ways private finance can be leveraged to support agriculture ACP countries.
Therefore, the conference will explore issues related to how domestic resources can be used efficiently to crowd in private funds to support agriculture. More importantly, the conference will highlight how public finance can be leveraged to reduce the perceived risk of the agricultural sector.