CUTS Weekly Bulletin #7 | October 13, 2023
The World Investment Forum, 2023 is being organised at Abu Dhabi on 16-20 October, 2023. To visit the website and access more details about the conference, interested individuals are encouraged to visit the WIF website.
For earlier bulletins, please click here
Programme at a Glance
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1. Introduction

In the realm of the Agri-Food System, the World Investment Forum (WIF) holds a special place, especially in the context of sustainable development. Addressing the challenges within this sector aligns with the objectives of SDG-2, aimed at achieving zero hunger by 2030. Many nations, primarily in the Global South, grapple with food security issues that have far-reaching implications for their people and economies. In the forthcoming G20 Summit in Brazil, President Lula has indicated that food security and hunger will be its focused theme.

That said, digital transformation is playing an increasingly pivotal role in enhancing food security, especially for marginalised communities in the Global South. Participating in the WIF offers a unique opportunity to engage with global leaders, experts, and policymakers in the quest for sustainable solutions to intricate food security challenges.

The WIF is anticipated to serve as a vital link, fostering connections between nations, international investors, development partners, and experts in the agri-food domain. It provides a platform to emphasise the pressing need for investments in agricultural infrastructure, research, and technology, particularly in regions where access to quality food remains a challenge.

2. WIF Sessions Spotlights

2.1: Opening of the Investment in Agrifood Systems Forum

Date: October 16, 2023
Time: 13:45 – 15:15

The Abu Dhabi session on October 16, 2023, stressed agrifood systems' vital role in addressing global challenges, including malnutrition, poverty, climate change, and biodiversity loss, worsened by the COVID-19 pandemic and the Ukraine conflict. Accessible financial resources, estimated at US$300bn - US$350bn annually for the next decade, are crucial to align investments with the SDGs and reduce food insecurity while fostering rural employment, especially for women and youth, and income generation. For more …

2.2: Strategic Foresight to Support Long-term Planning for Sustainable Agrifood Systems

Date: October 17, 2023
Time: 11:30 – 13:00


The challenges in agrifood systems demand innovative policies, focused investments, and effective governance. The FAO foresight approach is now crucial in long-term planning and policy shaping, addressing complex challenges and uncertainties. The session explores agrifood technology scenarios, shares FAO and partner foresight findings, and provides recommendations for resource allocation to enhance system sustainability and resilience. For more …

2.3: Technology and Innovation to Increase Resilience and Support Climate Change Adaptation and Mitigation

Date: October 17, 2023
Time: 14:30 – 16:00


The Arab region, already the world's most arid, faces increasing challenges due to climate change, with potential temperature rises of up to 4.8°C by the century's end. Drought and water scarcity will worsen, causing substantial economic losses, estimated at 6-14 percent of GDP by 2050, primarily affecting agriculture, livestock, fisheries, and forestry. To enhance resilience, there is a pressing need to redirect climate finance towards climate-smart agricultural solutions and adaptation actions, especially for the most vulnerable smallholder farmers in the Near East and North Africa. For more …

2.4: Innovative Finance to Unlock Investment in Sustainable Agrifood Systems

Date: October 18, 2023
Time: 11:00 – 12:30

Efforts to create healthier, equitable, and sustainable agrifood systems hinge on financing. While public finance, including Official Development Assistance (ODA) and development finance, plays a crucial role, it falls short in driving agrifood transformation. The private sector, due to perceived risks and transaction costs, often does not fully engage, leading to a funding gap, especially affecting small enterprises and small-scale producers. This session explores ways to unlock more investment, align public and private funding within the Addis Ababa Action Agenda framework, and leverage innovative solutions like blended finance to bolster agrifood systems. For more …

2.5: Forging the Path: Unveiling the Private Sector’s Agrifood Investment Journey

Date: October 18, 2023
Time: 14:30 – 17:30


This session emphasises the pivotal role of private sector investment in catalysing transformative change within agrifood systems. It will explore how the private sector can drive sustainable agriculture, enhance food security, and promote rural development through innovative business models, technologies, and collaborations. Stakeholders, including investors, agricultural entrepreneurs, policymakers, and experts, will collaborate to pinpoint actionable strategies for harnessing private sector investments to transform agrifood systems. For more …

2.6: Investing in Inclusive Agrifood Systems Transformation

Date: October 18, 2023
Time: 10:00 – 11:30

For inclusive agrifood system transformation, a focus on marginalised groups, such as smallholders, women, youth, and refugees, is essential. Smallholders lack access to resources and markets. Youth face employment and resource challenges. Women's contributions are hindered by workload and limited decision-making power. Refugees depend on agriculture but struggle to integrate into local food systems. The session emphasises investing in inclusive food systems for these groups to enhance their participation, create jobs, and improve market access. For more …

2.7: Food for thought: A Sustainable Agricultural Revolution

Date: October 19, 2023
Time: 14:45 – 15:30


Agriculture today is changing due to climate shifts, tech innovation, and urbanisation, impacting smallholders, agribusinesses, and consumers. Small farmers, around 600 million strong, face resource constraints, climate pressures, and sustainability demands. Food companies are adopting ethical practices and supply chain transparency, assisted by tech firms using data analytics and AI. The intersections of agriculture, agribusiness, and tech create entrepreneurial prospects that shape agrifood systems, affecting food security and rural development. This session explores partnerships for sustainable agriculture entrepreneurship, focusing on innovation, collaboration, and government support. For more …

2.8: Transforming Urban Food Systems

Date: October 19, 2023
Time: 16:30 – 18:00

Over half of the global population resides in urban areas, where most food consumption occurs. Cities consume most of the energy and generate a significant amount of waste. Increasing populations, economic challenges, and climate change strain resources and food systems in developing country cities. Local governments face growing difficulties ensuring access to nutritious, affordable diets, food safety, and waste management. This session focuses on innovative ways for local governments to address urban food system challenges, connecting national and local decision-makers, and emphasising the role of localised finance and investment in promoting healthy urban food systems. For more …

2.9: Investing in Mitigating Food Loss and Waste

Date: October 20, 2023
Time: 09:00 – 10:30


Food loss and waste (FLW) within agrifood systems is a sign of inefficiency, carrying adverse consequences for the economy, food security, nutrition, and the environment. Roughly 14 percent of produced food is lost along the supply chain, and 17 percent is wasted at the retail level, contributing significantly to greenhouse gas emissions. The session highlights the need for investments in rural market facilities and a holistic approach, emphasising the importance of an integrated environment to reduce FLW and align with sustainable food system goals. For more …

2.10: Investing in Sustainable Value Chain and Agribusiness Development

Date: October 20, 2023
Time: 10:30 – 12:00

Investing in sustainable agrifood value chains and agribusiness development is increasingly acknowledged to boost income, employment, food accessibility, community resilience, and natural resource optimisation. However, barriers like weak enabling environments, fragmented agribusinesses, and limited value addition capacity hamper access to finance and investment opportunities for value chain participants. The session explores reforms for a conducive business climate, effective incentive mechanisms, and the deployment of de-risking strategies and public-private partnerships to engage agribusinesses, particularly SMEs, in policy dialogue. For more …

3. Investment News Roundup

3.1 African countries calling for boosting Investment in Agrifood Systems

Sub-Saharan Africa has witnessed a distressing upward trend in hunger since 2010 due to combined challenges including climate change, conflicts, and economic conditions. Africa is home to the highest proportion of the population facing hunger compared to other regions of the world. Read more

For creating an enabling environment for investments that strengthen the integration of marginalised populations into food supply chains, creating more and better jobs, and providing smallholders with greater market access, a session at the WIF’23 “Investing in inclusive agrifood systems transformation” would highlight the need to invest in inclusive food systems to ensure that marginalised and vulnerable people get opportunities to get food at affordable prices.

3.2 Investments in Indian agri-food tech declined 33% to $2.4bn in 2022: AgFunder-Omnivore report

Investment into Indian agri-food tech declined by a third to $2.4bn during 2022 over the previous year’s $3.6bn tracking global trends of tightening capital availability, a report by AgFunder and Omnivore said. Read more

A session at WIF 23 titled- “Forging the Path: Unveiling the Private Sector's Agrifood Investment Journey” would explore the critical role of private sector investment in driving transformative change in the agrifood system. It will delve into how private sector players can contribute to sustainable agriculture, food security, and rural development through innovative business models, technologies, and partnerships.