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More biodiversity in agri-food value chains for resilient production and food systems

Scaling up innovative agricultural solutions

Wednesday, 12 June 2019 | 9:30 - 12:45
Bioversity International HQs - Maccarese, Rome


The private sector plays a key role in food systems transformation. Bioversity International can leverage the impact of the private sector’s know-how, experience and reach to scale up innovative solutions arising from our research to benefit more people. In turn, agrobiodiversity-rich approaches mainstreamed through the private sector’s business models help enhance sustainability.

Private companies can unlock new market opportunities for traditional, under-utilized crop-based products in response to increasing demand for healthy food. Getting more crop diversity on the plate not only expands consumer choice but also ensures the production system is managed for biodiversity, enhancing value chain development and generating income at farm and enterprise level.

Other shared objectives of both research-for-development organizations and private sector are job creation, retention of young people in the food production system, and ensuring that women – as consumers and guardians of important local crop diversity – get a better say about which food crops are grown and how. In this context, upscaling successful projects requires an enabling policy environment as well as innovative financial mechanisms that facilitate private investments and reach wider impact.

Objectives and structure

The workshop Biodiversity and agri-food value chains - Scaling up innovative solutions for sustainable food systems is part of the Eastern Africa Business Forum, organized by the UNIDO Investment and Technology Promotion Office in Italy. 

The objective of the workshop is to create a space for multi-stakeholderdialogue with private companies and other enabling actors from Eastern Africa around the role of agrobiodiversity, solution-based science, and partnerships with the private sector in achieving an impactful systemic change in agriculture and food systems.

Bioversity International and its partners will showcase examples of how agrobiodiversity benefits local communities and value chain actors, including consumers, with a special focus on Eastern Africa. These contributions will be integrated with reflections from national and finance institutions engaged in mobilizing investments for more productive farming and successful business activities. 

An open discussion will elicit inputs from participants on how to strengthen cooperation with the private sector for more resilient production and food systems.

9.30 - 9.45 

Arrival ad registration

9.45 - 10.00                

Opening remarks


  • Stephan Weise, Deputy Director General, Bioversity International
  • Andrea Carapellese, Investment Promotion Expert, United Nations Industrial Development Organization (UNIDO)
  • Biagio Di Terlizzi, Deputy Director, International Center for Advanced Mediterranean Agronomic Studies (CIHEAM-Bari, Italy)
Session 1
Setting the scene

15' Q&A           

Improving agri-food systems with agrobiodiversity and role of private sector

  • Devra Jarvis, Principal Scientist, Bioversity International
Session 2
Working in Easter Africa

10' + 5' Q&A

Marketing diversity: A holistic approach to bring forgotten foods back to the table

  • Stefano Padulosi, Senior Scientist, Integrated Conservation and Use, Bioversity International
  • Gennifer Meldrum, Programme Specialist, Rural Urban Agri-Food Systems, Bioversity International

10' + 5' Q&A

Healthy innovation through local snacks: Promoting local consumption of locally produced foods to end hunger and malnutrition in Africa

  • Nahomi Nishio, United Nations Industrial Development Organization (UNIDO) 
  • Harry Shaw-Beachcroft, United Nations Industrial Development Organization (UNIDO)

10.45 - 11.05

Networking coffee & group photo

10' + 5' Q&A

Greening the public plate: Schools as platforms to improve diets and livelihoods in East Africa

  • Teresa Borelli - Programme Specialist, Rural Urban Agri-Food Systems, Bioversity International

10' + 5' Q&A   

Unleashing diversity in bananas for better diets: experiences from Uganda, Burundi, Tanzania and DRC

  • Beatrice Ekesa, Nutritionist, Bioversity International (Uganda)    
Session 3
Financial sector in support of sustainable food systems


The role of private investments in agriculture: Some considerations

  • Gianpiero Menza, Private Sector Engagement Coordinator, Bioversity International


The Agri-Business Capital (ABC) Fund

  • Juergen Siemer, International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD)


The business case for gender lens investments in agriculture

  • Armando Antonio Cortez Tellez, Member of the Investment Committee, LadyAgri Impact Investment Hub
Session 4          
Discussion: Innovative ways for strengthening partnerships and scaling
  • Moderator: Claire Vukcevic, Strategic Partnership Team, Bioversity International




Partnerships to market diversity

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