10 May 2013 -- Tjada McKenna, Deputy Coordinator for Development for Feed the Future blog piece, USAID Impact
USAID's Feed the Future, the African Development Bank (AFDB) and the government of Sweden joined together to create Agriculture Fast Track. This encourages private sector investment in food security projects in Sub-Saharan Africa.
"The Agriculture Fast Track will encourage private sector investment in agricultural infrastructure projects to advance food security in Sub-Saharan Africa. In doing so, it supports Africa’s agriculture transformation agenda.
Incentivizing investment in agriculture
Historically, the private sector hesitated to invest in agriculture in Africa—and for good business reasons. Investing in agriculture has inherent risks, including drought, crop and livestock diseases and fluctuating crop prices. Agriculture projects can have high start-up costs because systems and facilities must be developed before they can begin making a profit. Given these challenges, it can be difficult for African countries and their development partners to create lasting improvements in food security.
That’s why we are so excited about renewed efforts to tackle these challenges in order to catalyze private investment that can spur economic growth while reducing hunger and undernutrition. Following the lead of African nations, efforts like the New Alliance for Food Security and Nutrition have coupled tough regulatory policy reforms with private investment commitments in agriculture. African leadership has driven these efforts forward, with governments undertaking transparent market-oriented reforms that encourage private investment and reduce barriers to agriculture-led economic growth."