The European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD) launched the 2019 – 2023 strategy for the agribusiness sector in its regions of operation, according to a press statement on Wednesday.
Population growth and shifting dietary requirements are expected to cause a 50% increase in food demand by 2050, which will have a clear impact on finite natural resources and the environment, noted the statement.
The EBRD’s new agribusiness strategy recognises the diversity of economies in which the bank invests, and responds to a changing environment by adopting a responsible, sustainable, and innovative approach. The EBRD is ready to support its approach with providing funds, technical cooperation, and policy engagement, said the statement, adding that the bank’s involvement in the sector extends from primary agriculture, to the entire value chain.
Natalya Zhukova, EBRD’s director and head of agribusiness, welcomed the bank’s Board of Directors’ approval of the strategy, saying, “The EBRD is the largest financer of the agribusiness sector in its regions of operation. Food plays a fundamental role in our lives, and an innovative mind set is needed to move towards a sustainable future in this sector.”
The strategy recognises the need to find a balance between demand for agricultural produce, and the impact that production processes often have on the environment. The strategy will be implemented with a tailored approach, along the entire value chain to efficiently increase food production, and preserve natural resources, while reducing the environmental, and social impact of agribusiness.
The EBRD is the most active multilateral institution in the agribusiness sector of the economies in which it invests. The bank’s strategy will be implemented with an approach that will tailored to each of these economies.
Between 2010 and 2017, the bank invested €6.7bn in 447 projects across the agribusiness sector, which represents 8% of the EBRD’s cumulative annual investment over that period.