13 October, 2017
Ahead of World Food Day on Monday 16 October, the EBRD – a leading financier and supporter of agriculture in its regions – has premiered a documentary film, “Food for the Future” (#Food4theFuture).
The film explores the food revolution which is happening around the world and some of the challenges in the sector.
The world’s agriculture produces as much greenhouse gas as the whole of the world’s transport. Sustainable food production is not a luxury but a necessity both to fight climate change and to stop soil erosion which is shrinking areas of arable land.
But by 2050 the global population is forecast to reach 10 billion people. So food production will need to rise substantially. At the same time, a third of the food made today is wasted, while hundreds of millions of people around the world are still malnourished.
How should we balance the need to produce enough nutritious and affordable food against the need to preserve the environment?
Efficient technologies, IT solutions for “smart” agriculture, know-how and a focus on sustainability are a big part of the answer, as the film explains, featuring food growers, experts and scientists from Morocco, the Netherlands, Ukraine, the United Kingdom and several other countries.
“Financial institutions – including development banks like the EBRD – also have a big role to play in supporting sustainable technologies and value chains,” says Victoria Zinchuk, Head of Agribusiness Advisory at the EBRD.
One of the themes of the film, and a topic of great interest to the EBRD, is a potential market for agriculture waste – such as straw or husk – which can be turned into bio-inputs (like natural fertilisers) and energy.
Existing EBRD studies and preliminary results from new research commissioned by the EBRD indicate promising investment opportunities: the global bio-inputs market is expected to grow at 14 percent on average per year and reach USD 10 billion in 2020, thanks to a transition to sustainable and organic farming and recognition of the downsides of conventional pesticides and fertilisers.
With a total of over EUR 10 billion of investment, the EBRD is one of the largest financiers and supporters of agriculture and food production in its regions, which now count 38 economies on three continents. The Bank provides debt, equity and mezzanine financing, business advice, policy engagement and support with legislative and regulatory reform.
The Bank’s Agribusiness Advisory, supported by international donors, is providing business advice to thousands of enterprises, mainly small and medium-sized, in a wide range of markets.
EBRD initiatives are often carried out in partnership with other international organisations and donors as well as governments and business associations.
World Food Day is held annually on 16 October, the day when the UN Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) was established in 1945. The organisation has been a partner of the EBRD in agriculture in the Bank’s regions for almost 20 years.
EastAgri is supported by: