Towards a greener agrifood sector

Towards a greener agrifood sector

Preliminary assessment of investment opportunities in EBRD’s countries of operation

Green growth is a strategy that encourages economic development and enhances productivity while considering natural resources and the environment as indispensable factors. This FAO/EBRD note describes the major issues to be addressed in the ECA region and analyzes the respective roles of the private and public sectors.

The growth in world population and incomes is increasing the demand for food and raw materials. The agrifood sector, which is heavily dependent on scarce energy, water, and land as it faces the challenges of climate change, needs to reduce its environmental footprint while also meeting global demand.The authors selected five non-OECD countries -- Kazakhstan, Russian Federation, Serbia, Turkey and Ukraine -- and identified their key sustainability issues and opportunities for investment in green growth. Among them are the linkages within the agrifood supply chain and the need to focus on all downstream and upstream industries; inefficiency in water and energy resources use; water pollution and soil erosion. These countries are interesting cases as they show variations across the region in terms of agricultural employment, competitiveness, productivity, pollution, domestic and trade policies. The main opportunities for investment proved to be infrastructure (transport, irrigation and storage facilities); resource efficiency (i.e. through yield-increasing technologies); promotion and marketing strategies for green, environmentally friendly food products; and tracking of green growth performance by developing indicators and evaluation tools.

The note also provides comparisons with OECD countries, especially in Europe, where the contribution of primary agriculture to gross domestic product (GDP) is slightly lower but where productivity is higher and green growth issues are more integrated into food supply chains and national strategies.

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EastAgri is supported by FAO, EBRD, and The World Bank