"The world needs a strong, efficient and dynamic FAO. And FAO needs strong reliable partnerships with you," FAO director-general Qu Dongyu told private sector representatives at a meeting on the margins of the 74th session of the UN General Assembly.
The meeting provided a platform to discuss and strengthen partnerships for realising the much-needed transformation in food systems, and mobilising all available technologies, innovations, knowledge and expertise to achieve positive impact at scale in the agriculture sectors.
FAO presented the new Hand-in-Hand Initiative to representatives of the private sector and foundations, including the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation and Danone, as well as UN entities and other institutions, with the aim of garnering support and feedback.
The initiative looks at bringing countries with the highest poverty and hunger rates together with developed countries to support development efforts in the Least Landlocked Developing Countries, Least Developed Small Island Developing States, and countries affected by food crises.
In its next phase, the initiative will support highly-populated, less developed countries.
Overall, FAO works to make private sector investments compliant with the Sustainable Development Goals across the agricultural value chain.
For example, FAO's AgrInvest is a programme being implemented in Uganda, Kenya, Ethiopia, Niger, and Burkina Faso that leverages development funding to unlock private investments for the agri-food sector.