Agriculture and related sectors directly affect the lives of most of the world’s population. The sector employs over 40 percent of the population, including 70 percent of the “bottom billion”. Agriculture also accounts for more than 70 percent of the world’s fresh water consumption and contributes to around 30 percent of global greenhouse gas emissions. Developing adequate infrastructure and improving efficiency along the agriculture value-chain have a direct positive impact in the lives of the poor and help combat practices that perpetuate climate change. 

While the demand for food is expected to increase by 70 percent by 2050, supply is coming under pressure from shifting weather patterns and demands on land availability, poor productivity and alarming rates of losses or wastage. Roughly one-third of food produced for human consumption is lost or wasted globally.  In low-income countries, losses occur mostly during the early and middle stages of the food supply chain, as a result of poor harvesting techniques, storage and cooling facilities in difficult climatic conditions, and other infrastructure deficits.

About $83 billion additional annual investment is required to address these issues. Increases in productivity come primarily through improved farming techniques, such as agrochemicals, new seed varieties or improved irrigation methods.

Some of these technology transfers can come from the private sector alone, but in other cases public-private partnership (PPP) arrangements can make these advancements more widely available and encourage private sector involvement where risks would be otherwise too high.   


  • Grain Storage

    Grain Storage

    In the wake of the global financial crisis, attention focused on food  security . Some governments have responded to the unprecedented food price spikes of recent years by increasing the stocks of grain that they hold as strategic reserves. For such policy initiatives to best improve food  security , the expanded cereals stocks must be contained in modern bulk storage and handling systems that will minimize losses in storage, lower operating costs, and allow for efficient management of...

    Read More
  • Irrigation


    Over the last 50 years, the irrigation and drainage sector has played a vital role in food production, rural economies and in meeting the world’s fast-rising demand for food. But with population growth and water becoming an increasingly scarce resource, irrigated agriculture will need to continue to rapidly expand and become more productive and efficient to produce ‘more crop per drop’. Yet irrigation and drainage systems have seen a decline in investment since the 1980s and schemes...

    Read More


    • 2012
    • World Bank Group (WBG)

    Handshake Issue #5: Food & PPPs 

    Handshake Issue #5: Food & PPPs examines how public-private partnerships (PPPs) in agriculture can help governments feed generations to come.

    • 2013
    • World Bank Group (WBG)

    Turn Down the Heat

    Why a 4°C Warmer World Must be Avoided

    This report provides a snapshot of recent scientific literature and new analysis of likely impacts and risks that would be associated with a 4° Celsius warming within this century. It is a rigorous attempt to outline a range of risks, focusing on developing countries and especially the poor. A 4°C world would be one of unprecedented heat waves, severe drought, and major floods in many regions, with serious impacts on ecosystems and associated services. But with action, a 4°C world can be avoided and we can likely hold warming below 2°C. Without further commitments and action to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, the world is likely to warm by more than 3°C above the preindustrial...

    • IFC
    • International Finance Corporation (IFC)

    Sustain Magazine: Agribusiness

    It is a bleak statistic for an already overworked planet: a world that by 2050 will be bursting with over 9 billion people. That’s an additional two billion people that must be fed and clothed every day amid a growing scarcity of, and conflict over, land, water and energy resources. For those working in agriculture, the challenges have never been greater. These include the impacts of climate-related disasters such as droughts in Africa and Asia as well as increasing energy costs, growing waste and eco-system damage across the globe. Inefficient farming practices, including low-technology farming, complicate the picture. While these problems may seem intractable, many innovative business solutions — showcased in this magazine — are...

    • 2012
    • World Bank Group (WBG), International Finance Corporation (IFC)

    A Harvest of Practical Insights

    Lessons learned in agriculture, agribusiness, sustainable rural development, and climate change

    This SmartBook presents practical lessons learned by staff from across the IFC and the World Bank, on approaches for engaging in agriculture that have led to success (includes lesson on Punjab Silos PPP on page 24).

    • 2012
    • Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO)

    Voluntary Guidelines on the Responsible Governance of Tenure of Land, Fisheries and Forests in the Context of National Food Security

    The purpose of these Voluntary guidelines is to serve as a reference and to provide guidance to improve the governance of tenure of land, fisheries and forests with the overarching goal of achieving food security for all and to support the progressive realization of the right to adequate food in the context of national food security. These guidelines are intended to contribute to the global and national efforts towards the eradication of hunger and poverty, based on the principles of sustainable development and with the recognition of the centrality of land to development by promoting secure tenure rights and equitable access to land, fisheries and forests.  The eradication of hunger and poverty, and the sustainable use of the...

    • 2005
    • F. W. T. Penning de Vries, H. Sally and A. Inocencio
    • Consultative Group on International Agricultural Research, International Water Management Institute

    Opportunities for Private Sector Participation in Agricultural Water Development and Management

    This study examines ways to increase food security, reduce poverty and achieve economic growth in sub-Saharan Africa with ‘water’ through increased participation of the private sector and public-private partnerships. This report is a summary of the findings from a review of the literature and critical analysis thereof.

Explore Sectors