Agriculture and related sectors directly affect the lives of most of the world’s population. The sector employs over 40 percent of the population, including 70 percent of the “bottom billion”. Agriculture also accounts for more than 70 percent of the world’s fresh water consumption and contributes to around 30 percent of global greenhouse gas emissions. Developing adequate infrastructure and improving efficiency along the agriculture value-chain have a direct positive impact in the lives of the poor and help combat practices that perpetuate climate change.
While the demand for food is expected to increase by 70 percent by 2050, supply is coming under pressure from shifting weather patterns and demands on land availability, poor productivity and alarming rates of losses or wastage. Roughly one-third of food produced for human consumption is lost or wasted globally. In low-income countries, losses occur mostly during the early and middle stages of the food supply chain, as a result of poor harvesting techniques, storage and cooling facilities in difficult climatic conditions, and other infrastructure deficits.
About $83 billion additional annual investment is required to address these issues. Increases in productivity come primarily through improved farming techniques, such as agrochemicals, new seed varieties or improved irrigation methods.
Some of these technology transfers can come from the private sector alone, but in other cases public-private partnership (PPP) arrangements can make these advancements more widely available and encourage private sector involvement where risks would be otherwise too high.