In order to feed a population of 9 billion in 2050, the world will need a New Vision for Agriculture - delivering food security, environmental sustainability and economic opportunity through agriculture. This will require producing more food with fewer resources while reinvigorating rural economies. It can be achieved through collaboration, investment and innovation among all stakeholders.
The World Economic Forum’s New Vision for Agriculture initiative engages leaders of business, government, civil society, farmers organisations, development partners and other groups to work together to achieve sustainable agricultural growth. The initiative works at the global level with the G8 and G20, and facilitates national-level partnerships in 11 countries in Africa, Asia and Latin America. This includes seven African countries engaged in the Grow Africa partnership, jointly convened by the African Union, NEPAD and the World Economic Forum. The initiative has published a Roadmap to achieve the vision, and a Transformation Framework outlining steps toward national-level agriculture transformation
Over the past three years, food security and economic crises have highlighted both the urgent need and the potential for developing sustainable agricultural systems. Nearly one billion people – one out of six globally – lack access to adequate food and nutrition. By 2050, the global population will surpass 9 billion people, and demand for agricultural products is expected to double. At the same time, the world’s agricultural systems will be increasingly challenged by water scarcity, climate change and volatility, raising the risk of production shortfalls. Substantial gains in agricultural productivity can be realized through investment, innovation, policy and other improvements. However, realizing these gains will require an exceptional level of collaboration among stakeholders in the agricultural value chain, including governments, companies, multilateral and civil-society organizations, farmers, consumers and entrepreneurs. Stakeholder alignment around shared priorities and large-scale initiatives is therefore key to success.
A New Vision for Agriculture
The New Vision for Agriculture initiative, led by the Consumer Industries Community of the World Economic Forum, works to develop a shared agenda for action and foster multistakeholder collaboration to achieve sustainable agricultural growth through market-based solutions. The initiative has defined a vision that highlights agriculture’s potential as a positive driver of food security, environmental sustainability and economic opportunity worldwide. The group believes that achieving this vision will require the leadership and capacity of all stakeholders – government, business, civil society, academia, farmers and consumers.
The project is led by 29 global partner companies of the World Economic Forum who provide strategic leadership and championship of the initiative. These include: AGCO Corporation, A.P. Møller-Maersk A/S, BASF SE, Bayer CropScience AG, Bunge Limited, Cargill Incorporated, CF Industries Holdings Inc., Diageo Plc, DuPont, General Mills Inc., HEINEKEN, METRO AG, Mondelez International, Monsanto Company, Nestlé SA, Novozymes A/S , PepsiCo Inc., Rabobank International, Royal DSM NV, SABMiller Plc, Sinar Mas Agribusiness & Food, Swiss Reinsurance Company Ltd., Syngenta International AG, The Coca-Cola Company, The Mosaic Company, Unilever, United Phosphorus Ltd, Wal-Mart Stores Inc., and Yara International ASA.
A diverse network of global and local stakeholders are engaged in initiative activities, including governments, international organisations, civil society, farmers organisations, research and academia. The Forum’s Global Agenda Council on Food Security, a high-level multi-stakeholder group, provides advisory and leadership support to the initiative.
The initiative has catalysed four major public-private partnerships to date, including country-level initiatives in Mexico, Vietnam, Indonesia, and India, as well as a regional partnership platform called Grow Africa which engages seven countries.
At the country level, action-oriented partnership initiatives engage the private sector in active collaboration with governments, global organizations, farmers and other leading stakeholders to accelerate sustainable agricultural growth within specific regions or food value chains. The partnerships support countries in realizing their agriculture-sector goals by aligning investments, programmes and innovations around shared priorities for agricultural growth.
At the global level, the initiative facilitates public-private dialogue with the G20, through the B20 Food Security Tas Force, as well as through informal networks such as the Global Agenda Council on Food Security.
The New Vision for Agriculture initiative offers a platform through which stakeholders can create a shared agenda for action on sustainable agricultural development. It engages leaders in defining joint priorities, recommendations and opportunities for collaboration. Areas of focus include increasing investment, improving environmental sustainability, strengthening markets (particularly to expand opportunities for smallholder farmers), and improving access to nutritious food.
The Grow Africa partnership, convened jointly by the African Union, NEPAD and the World Economic Forum, works to accelerate sustainable investment in African agriculture to improve food security. The partnership collaborated with the G8 in 2012 to help mobilize agriculture-sector investment commitments by 49 companies, valued at over USD $3 billion, as part of the G8 New Alliance on Food Security and Nutrition. The G8 and Grow Africa have formed a Leadership Council to monitor and report progress of these commitments.