New Approach to Financing Innovations in Food Security and Agricultural Development Unveiled at G20 Summit in Mexico
AgResults: Innovation in Research and Delivery
LOS CABOS, Mexico (June 18, 2012) – An innovative initiative that will enhance global food security and improve the livelihoods of developing country farmers through prizes and other market-based incentives was announced today by G20 Leaders. With a results-driven funding model that rewards innovators for tackling some of the biggest problems in food security and agricultural development, AgResults addresses global challenges in food security and agriculture by generating market-oriented solutions. The initiative aims to achieve significant improvements in the wellbeing of the poor and vulnerable in developing countries with a fund of up to $100 million, to be administered by the World Bank. The governments of Australia, Canada, Italy, the United Kingdom, the United States, as well as the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, are supporting this effort.
AgResults uses pull mechanisms to encourage innovation through results-based payments such as prizes that are typically paid out when certain objectives or milestones have been met. Such financing mechanisms have seen success in generating innovation and market-oriented solutions in other domains such as healthcare, and AgResults aims to deliver similar gains in global food security and agricultural development.
AgResults was born out of the realization that there is a great need for increased investment in global food security and agriculture, in particular from the private sector. The FAO estimates that world food production must double by 2050 to feed a growing world population, while nearly a billion people suffer from a lack of crucial micronutrients in their diet—a hidden hunger that inhibits the development of children and reduces adult productivity. Recognizing these gaps, leaders at the June 2010 G20 Summit in Toronto committed to exploring innovative, results-focused ways of harnessing private sector innovations in food security and agricultural development in developing countries. This commitment involved a two-year effort by committed partners to develop AgResults, culminating in today’s launch of the initiative in support of the Summit priority of enhancing global food security. AgResults addresses this priority directly through new funding and a focus on bringing new, innovative approaches to bear on global food security issues.
In the coming years, AgResults will launch a series of pilots that address some of the biggest problems in global food security and agricultural development. The initiative’s portfolio of pilots will represent a diverse mix of agriculture and food security issues, testing different types of pull mechanisms in different regions globally. The initial set of pilots, focusing on maize production in Sub-Saharan Africa, include:
- Incentivizing the adoption of on-farm storage technology for smallholder farmers;
- Encouraging innovative distribution of a breakthrough technology to reduce aflatoxin contamination; and
- Building a market for new vitamin A-enhanced varieties of maize.
Additional pilots will be explored in the coming years, potentially including livestock vaccines and fertilizer innovation as well as new ideas related to increasing crop yields, decreasing post-harvest losses, increasing livestock productivity and improving nutrition.