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Green agribusiness development echoing food security and environmental protection demand

Green agribusiness development echoing food security and environmental protection demand

In response to the global issue of food security, in 2015, the International Cooperation and Development Fund (TaiwanICDF), together with the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (the EBRD), launched their first Agribusiness Fund – the Financial Intermediary and Private Enterprises Investment Special Fund-Agribusiness Account – a program that ensures that private agribusinesses will have access to financing for development in the EBRD region. Since then, the fund has successfully financed eight agribusinesses in Turkey, Moldova, Turkmenistan and Ukraine and assisted them in obtaining the finance for growth expansion. The successful implementation has brought the TaiwanICDF and the EBRD together again to plan the second-stage cooperation in the development of sustainable food value chain, fostering the development of a greener and more inclusive agribusiness.

In early June this year, the TaiwanICDF and Ministry of Foreign Affairs worked with the EBRD in organizing a business forum in Warsaw, Poland for major food retail companies of Europe, Asia and North Africa; the aim was to explore the issue related to the sustainability of retailers in the region. Ms. Cathy Chin, Chairperson of Taiwan International Logistics & Supply Chain Association, was one of the speakers invited to present Taiwan’s experience in technology and logistics development. Back in Taiwan, with support from the MOFA’s Taiwan Business-EBRD Technical Cooperation Fund (TWTC), a group composed of food and horticulture business representatives from Moldova and Romania came to Taiwan in mid-June and visited well-known Taiwanese food companies, as well as attended the “Moldova & East-Asian Horticulture Market Trend Conference” in Taipei. Alex L.J. Shyy, deputy secretary general of the TaiwanICDF, was invited to give a speech in the conference. He encouraged the participants to gain a deeper understanding of Taiwan’s competitive advantages in agribusiness and technology, as well as the resources provided by the TaiwanICDF and EBRD. It is also hoped that the visit will lead to more cross-country cooperation in the future.

According to the FAO’s 2017 report, global food production has to be increased by 50 percent by 2050 to feed 3 billion more people. The potential for improving the productivity and efficiency of the food sector in developing countries needs to be explored to fill the shortage. Besides the existing challenges, the agriculture sectors in central Asia, South and Eastern Mediterranean countries are facing more non-traditional challenges and increasingly complicated situations such as climate change and intensification of natural hazards, vulnerability to drought and water scarcity. Globalwide, agricultural production has accounted for 30 percent of energy consumption and 20 percent of greenhouse gas (GHG) emission. Without any effort to reduce them, emissions from agriculture, forestry and fisheries could increase an additional 30 percent by 2050.

In the next stage, the TaiwanICDF and EBRD will address the importance of applying innovation and technology to advance and raise competitiveness of agribusiness, and encourage the adoption of green and environmental friendly technology in food production. For example, a project in Ukraine will involve the commission of two biomass-fired grain dryers which utilize residues from sunflower, including husk, dust and broken kernels to generate energy for operation, and allow for more reduction in GHG emissions compared to natural gas. Another example is a Moldova company financing its investment into a new melting furnace, which will increase the quality of the final products as well as increase both production and energy efficiency. Agricultural development and Taiwan’s innovative agricultural technology either in food processing or in smart and green agriculture will continue to be the focus areas for us to share with our partner countries.

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  • Date:2019/6/28