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Agriculture and Food Security

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A key target for the first Millennium Development Goal it halving the proportion of people who suffer from hunger. According to the United Nations:

  • Hunger may have spiked in 2009, one of the many dire consequences of the global food and financial crises
  • Progress to end hunger has been stymied in most regions
  • Despite some progress, one in four children in the developing world are still underweight
  • Children in rural areas are nearly twice as likely to be underweight as those in urban areas
  • In some regions, the prevalence of underweight children is dramatically higher among the poor
  • Over 42 million people have been uprooted by conflict or persecution

PSD works in support of this goal and has as a priority to improve agriculture and food security in the developing world.  We take a regional value chain approach to food security issues. This approach allows us to consider both the traditional model of food security (i.e., is there food available) as well as considering ways to help individuals and families earn more income to increase their food security and nutrition level through supplementary food purchases. By taking a regional perspective, we look not only at whether a single nation has sufficient food, but also whether the region as a whole is food secure, and how interregional trade can improve the food security of several nations at once.

Agriculture and agribusiness are basic to the livelihoods and food security of populations worldwide. They are the engines of economic growth of many developing countries, often accounting for a significant percentage of employment and a substantial portion of the value of goods and services produced in a country.

PSD’s associates have deep roots in agricultural development and agribusiness, and have provided impactful, innovative, market-directed services to improve the competitiveness of clients’ agricultural sectors and agribusiness. They have provided a wide range of technical, facilitation, training, policy and advisory services to a wide range of organizations and stakeholders in this arena worldwide.

PSD can identify the productive and competitive potential inherent in the agricultural sector and develop and implement strategies to achieve this potential. This includes targeting high-potential sectors, assisting value chain actors to realize their competitive opportunities, identifying and removing policy and regulatory barriers, and improving the investment and business environment for agriculture and agribusiness. Our approach is focused on helping producers achieve the scale and productivity to engage with the market; it is enterprise-driven to encourage investment, innovation and a business outlook; and it is market focused, helping value chain stakeholders to understand market opportunities and needs, and to respond to those needs.

PSD associates have developed new tools and approaches: replicable business models, competitive positioning, comparative benchmarking, decentralized economic drivers, entry point targeting, and value chain based investment identification are but a few examples of their innovations. PSD experts are thought leaders who have authored strategic publications in the field, including Building Competitiveness in Africa’s Agriculture: A Guide to Value Chain Concepts and Applications, prepared for the World Bank as its guide for implementing value chain concepts.