This background study conducted by the Seas of Change Initiative has the objective of exploring how business, with the right support from government, donors, NGOs and research can scale up inclusive agri-food market development to ensure food security for 9 billion people and help to tackle poverty. After highlighting the current trends in the main agrifood commodities in terms of production, trade and consumption, this study looks at current unbalances in supply and demand of food, focusing on the region most reliant on food import, Africa.
The study also answers the questions: Which commodities exhibit the greatest growth potential in Africa? Which agri-food commodities will remain dependent on large numbers of producers for the production base and which will be dominated by large-scale, industrialised agriculture? Which is the rationale and incentive behind investing in inclusive markets? The study builds on a review of successful experiences in the literature, on case studies received by SoC partners and on insights emerged from ongoing interviews with experts and key players in the sector (IDH, IIED, SFL, Bunga, CGIAR, Cargill, Armajaro, Rabo Bank, Rabo foundation, Oxfam Novib, Nestlé, etc.).
A first overview is published by the Seas of Change Initiative on key lessons emerging in terms of what works when scaling up inclusive markets. The key lessons are based on findings from case studies and interviews from different commodities and can be found below. Another document is published on questions of scale, to understand inclusive business in agri-food markets. A third paper is prepared about the underlying dynamics of inclusive agri-food markets. It compiles some key data about the dynamics of global food systems and sets the scene for the commodity studies. A fourth paper, called ‘Raising the bar’ elaborates on what global food and agri-business are saying about their sustainability goals. The four papers can be downloaded through the links below.