August 20, 2015
“Helping farmers in the developing world to become as productive as those in the developed world is the best way to reduce rural poverty and create inclusive economic growth,” Bernhard Fonseka, who heads Yara’s African business unit, told a business forum at the UN Conference on July 14.
Agriculture is the world’s largest provider of jobs, representing close to 40 percent of the global workforce. In developing countries, yields are often lower because farmers lack technology and knowledge and they face dysfunctional input and output markets. The UN Conference on Finance for Development sought to mobilize all available resources to support development until 2030 and improve people's lives while protecting the planet.
“Giving farmers access to knowledge, infrastructure and well-functioning markets, will raise yields and will help them improve their livelihood. To achieve this, farming needs to be considered a viable business, not only a development issue,” said Yara’s Bernhard Fonseka. “Attracting responsible investments in infrastructure, such as irrigation, storage facilities, railways, roads and ports, is crucial. However, investments must be made in a concerted manner to promote inclusive growth, while serving agricultural and food markets, not just on the national level but also regionally,” he added.
World leaders at the UN Conference, which included UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon, reached an agreement on an economic framework to support the sustainable development agenda. As a result, the countries´ capacity to mobilize domestic revenue, financial flows and different types of private capital to cover their own development, should become stronger.
“The results here in Addis Ababa can give us the foundation of a revitalized global partnership for sustainable development that should leave no one behind,” Mr. Ban said, according to the UN’s website (read the story on UN’s website).
“Yara´s participation in the Addis Ababa Conference clearly demonstrates our commitment to business that promotes sustainability and inclusiveness,” says Natalia Federighi, Yara’s Director Public Affairs and Institutional Relations. “Sustainable business models are now perceived by the international community as a driving force for social and economic growth given their contribution to employment and productivity,” she adds. “The Addis Ababa Conference was a major step into the 21st century.”
Yara’s unique farmer-centric approach is deeply embedded in our strategy. We share with them our knowledge about fertilizers, soil management and the environmental impact of farming practices. This way farmers reach a higher yield per hectare in a sustainable way, which increases their income and boosts the profitability.
“Yara works with distributors to ensure they are equipped with the right agronomical knowledge and have access to a steady supply of the right quality products,” says Yara’s Natalia Federighi. “Overcoming market weaknesses can forge commercially productive value chains and viable agricultural markets that help raise income, create jobs and facilitate access to affordable food. As a private sector company, Yara is ready to continue its efforts and play a catalytic role in establishing partnerships and initiatives,” she adds.
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