Need stressed for investments in agri sector

KARACHI: An Agriculture Investment Symposium was held to bring together key stakeholders, including investors, policymakers, farmers, development partners, and researchers to exchange ideas, knowledge and experiences to drive investment in the agriculture sector.

Attended by more than 300 participants, the symposium provided a platform for matchmaking and exploring opportunities for private investors and financial institutions to invest in the agricultural sector.

Booths for B2B meetings were setup, which served as an avenue for investors to connect with agriculture companies to exchange knowledge and access to available options related to technologies and bankable products. Several memorandums of understanding were signed or pledged at the B2B meetings.

Jointly organized by the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO), International Finance Corporation (IFC), Asian Development Bank (ABD) and Federal and Provincial Boards of Investment (BOI), the symposium catalyzed investments, partnerships, and collaborations for sustainable and inclusive growth in the sector, leveraging digitalization while managing the adverse impacts of climate change.

Professor Ahsan Iqbal, Federal Minister for Planning, urged private investors and financial and government institutions to collaborate and work together in the agriculture sector, which has a high potential of economic returns and poverty alleviation. Appreciating the efforts of FAO, he highlighted that the cluster-based development was part of the government’s Vision 2025 to maximize agriculture and termed this approach as a key to our future influenced by Michael Porter’s landmark work on “The Competitive Advantage of Nations.”

FAO’s Investment Centre also works with private sector partners through financial institutions to attract greater and more responsible private agri-food investment, said Mohamed Manssouri, Director of FAO Investment Centre.

Other speakers at the inaugural session, including FAO Representative Florence Rolle, Khalid Gardezi, Additional Secretary, Ministry of National Food Security & Research, Zeeshan Sheikh, Country Manager, IFC, Mohammad Farooq, Joint Secretary, Ministry of Climate Change, Yasmin Siddiqi, Director ADB, and Aamer Irshad, Head of Program, emphasized the challenges faced by the agriculture sector and proposed various reforms, policy actions and identified investment potential for the sustainable management of the agriculture sector of Pakistan under high climatic risk vulnerability.

Copyright Business Recorder, 2023