The private sector in knowledge processes and partnerships for food and nutrition security in the Global South: a case study from the Dutch Food and Business Applied Research Fund programme
Keywords:For-profit actors, agribusiness, inclusive business, smallholders, agriculture, food systems, knowledge co-creation, knowledge management, sustainable development goals
Based on a recent outlook on the food and nutrition security, the zero-hunger goal is unlikely to be achieved by 2030. To improve the situation, there is a need for transformational changes not only by producing high-quality knowledge and innovations on food and nutrition security but also by ensuring their uptake and upscaling. On this challenge, the private sector is increasingly seen to play a critical role. However, the underlying factors and dynamics supporting such private sector mainstreaming in knowledge processes and partnerships are poorly known. This paper, therefore, contributes to the knowledge gap and learns from the Dutch Food and Business Applied Research Fund (ARF) programme to explore the role the private sector has played. We found that for-profit actors can bring value to research processes and knowledge development. However, the collaborations come with challenges related to goals and interests, implementation approach, and marketing strategies. The outcomes of such collaborations may be mixed and, in some cases, lead to results that are not inclusive for the most food insecure. Partnerships that include the private sector should be cognizant of the possible challenges and proactively define approaches that leverage the private sector to add value to food and nutrition security outcomes.
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Copyright (c) 2020 Frejus Thoto, Mawuna D. Houessou, Corinne Lamain, Rodrigue C. Gbedomon
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