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Food Policies and Development Finance Institutions: Toward a New Development Paradigm?

Africa
Development
European Union
Globalisation
Policy Analysis
Political Economy
Investment

Abstract

Development Finance Institutions (DFI) are public institutions engaged in development policies, under the supervision of public agencies or ministries, either at the national or transnational levels. They are dedicated to private sector support through a large range of financial products (e.g. loans, equities, guarantees) and technical assistance programs. Since the Busan partnership in 2011, and even more with the adoption of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDG), the mobilization of the private sector became a strategic issue in the mainstream global cooperation for development (OECD, 2016). As such, DFIs tend to be promoted as key players to achieve SDGs, including Goal 2 aiming at eradicating hunger. The promotion of these institutions raise several issues regarding the underlying agricultural development model especially regarding the role of private companies. This presentation analyses DFIs involvement and strategies in agricultural and food policies in sub-Saharan Africa through three case studies: Proparco (France), European Bank of Investment and the Industrial Development Corporation (South Africa). Through these institutions, the presentation focuses on the reconfiguration of public-private interactions and balance of power in the global agro-food system and analyses the concrete mechanisms of the food governance’s financialization. Firstly, the presentation will carefully scrutinize these institutions’ agricultural and agro-food operations in the last decades in order to get a long-term perspective on their involvement in the sector. Secondly, the presentation will focus on particular agro-food companies in which DFs invested to better understand what kind of development and governance transformations they promote at ground level. Finally, it will analyse the contestations mushrooming in the framework of these new development strategies. Indeed, the latter raise new challenges and social mobilizations from advocacy organisations both at enterprise level -from employees and rural communities, and at DFI level. Therefore, while a financialised development model tends to emerge, transnational coalitions contest it, developing new arenas in the global food governance sphere.