Head, Global Agriculture and Food Security Porgram, International Finance Corporation
Worldwide, roughly 450 million smallholder farmers scrape out a living by working two hectares of land or less. Figuring out how to reliably get inputs and financing to farmers and make them more productive is essential for both eliminating poverty and for achieving food security.
It isn’t easy. Reaching farmers at scale requires convincing private investors to overlook weak institutions, inefficient financial markets, and economic and political instability, and make a bet on some of the world’s poorest and most vulnerable people. Fortunately, with the help of willing partners, we are starting to do it.
Blended finance, the mixing of public, philanthropic, and private capital in emerging and frontier markets, can bridge the gap between skeptical investors and financing needs in order to address global challenges like poverty, food security, and climate change.
Laura Mecagni heads the private sector window of the Global Agriculture and Food Security Program managed by IFC. This program makes available innovative financing solutions to support private companies engaged in agribusiness and agricultural programs that improve the livelihood of small hold farmers.