Press Release: DFC to Invest $1 Billion in Food Security and Agriculture Projects
U.S. International Development Finance Corporation (DFC) today announced it seeks to invest $1 billion in food security and agriculture projects over five years, joining planned commitments from the U.S. Agency for International Development under Feed the Future, the U.S. Government’s global hunger and food security initiative. To reach this goal, DFC seeks to provide financing, technical assistance, and insurance to private sector projects in developing countries that advance agricultural production, irrigation, food processing, food storage, shipping and logistics, and fintech related to global food systems. DFC’s goal signals strong support for the Summit goals of accelerating progress towards ending hunger and malnutrition and building more sustainable, equitable, and resilient food systems.
“Food insecurity is one of the greatest challenges facing communities in developing countries around the world, and is linked to many other related development challenges,” said DFC’s Acting Chief Executive Officer Dev Jagadesan. “By targeting investments of $1 billion in food security, DFC can boost private sector action that will not only improve global agriculture and food systems, but also make progress toward mitigating climate change, migration, and more.”
Impactful investments in food security and agriculture advance DFC’s development strategy, the Roadmap for Impact, and can play a role in other DFC priority initiatives including DFC’s 2X Women’s Initiative, and Global Health and Prosperity Initiative. Agriculture is a crucial sector in developing economies and plays a fundamental role in promoting healthy populations. Agriculture is the main source of employment for communities in the developing world, yet many still struggle to earn enough to support their families. Additionally, weak global agriculture supply chains can result in significant waste before food produce reaches consumers. DFC’s food security investments aim to help mitigate these complex challenges while also introducing technology and innovation to strengthen long-term resiliency through improving food processing, storage, and delivery systems.
DFC financing for the agricultural and food sectors responds to multiple, overlapping global concerns including the impacts of climate change, the effects of Covid-19 and other health-related issues, water and sanitation needs and their effects on healthy food production, gender equity and the importance of providing funding to women who are farmers and food processors, the impact of food security on economic and political stability in low income countries (LICs) and lower middle income countries (LMICs) and fragile states, and the effects of food security on migration. Through its investments in food security, DFC looks forward to helping countries chart development paths that balance the economic, social, and environmental pillars of sustainable development.
The COVID-19 pandemic has had a particularly detrimental effect on agriculture and food security, with reportedly more than 100 million more people facing hunger now than in 2019. DFC’s new investment goal comes at a critical time when long-term investment will likely be imperative for the growth and stability of the global agricultural sector, particularly in LICs and LMICs.
Photo courtesy of 2010CIAT/NeilPalmer.