January 22, 2016

Making progress in Davos

For the sixth time Yara is actively engaging at The World Economic Forum in Davos, co-chairing a session on sustainable rural development and participating in a new public and private sector partnership to support 1.5 million smallholder farmers.
Yara at WEF Davos
Yara at WEF Davos

From 20 to 23 January approximately 2.500 leaders from politics, business, NGOs and international organizations are gathered in Davos. Yara International has been an active participant on WEF for several years, working to put agriculture higher on the agenda – both when discussing solutions for combatting climate change and improving food security and rural development.

“The global challenges we are facing are so staggering that they cannot be solved by one player alone. They cannot even be solved by one sector alone. We have to work both within and across sectors,” says Svein Tore Holsether, CEO and President of Yara International.

Partnership to give farmers market access

On Wednesday Holsether signed a MoU on an initiative called The Patient Procurement Platform, aimed at supporting smallholder farmers with improved market access and the means to improve their yields.

“Half of the 795 million hungry people in the world today are family farmers,” said World Food Programme (WFP) Executive Director Ertharin Cousin in Davos. “The platform will enable some of the most marginalized farmers to access reliable markets for the first time. This will have a profound impact on food security and bring us closer to our Global Goal of zero hunger.”

In addition to The United Nations World Food Programme and Yara International, the participants in the partnership include Alliance for a Green Revolution in Africa (AGRA), Bayer CropScience, International Finance Corporation, Rabobank, Syngenta and World Economic Forum’s GrowAfrica.

“The goal is ultimately to aggregate 750 million dollars of purchasing power demand through engagement with approximately 1.5 million farmers in Africa, Asia and Latin-America. I believe this is the kind of collaboration that is needed to create an impact for the individual farmer,” says Holsether.

Cross sector discussions

The World Economic Forum has for years been a meeting place for some of the world’s most influential people, and Yara has sought to use it as an arena to put sustainable farming higher on the agenda. Each year we have co-hosted a Wednesday night dinner, and the theme this year was “Partnering for Sustainable Rural Development”. The other co-chairs were Anglo American and Rabobank, in collaboration with Grow Africa, Grow Asia and IDH Sustainable Trade Initiative.

Among the approximately 100 attendees were Her Majesty Queen Máxima of the Netherlands, who is also United Secretary-General’s Special Advocate for inclusive finance and Ertharin Cousin, Executive Director of United Nations World Food Programme.

Organized as an interactive dinner session, the participants discussed and shared ideas for rural development in smaller table discussions before sharing their conclusions.

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