An update and briefing on the global agriculture and food security program (GAFSP)

19 April 2013 | Minutes


Geeta Sethi, GAFSP program manager
Laura Mecagni, head, IFC global agriculture and food security program
Soc Banzuela, GAFSP CSO steering committee member



Geeta Sethi



  • CSO been fantastic support in GAFSP, including to ensure adequate funding and improve quality of implementation
  • GAFSP is a multilateral trust fund, financing from host of donors and foundation, incl US, UK, Australia, Dutch and Gates Foundation
  • Scale up assistance to LICs on agriculture and food production
  • Unique partnership, governance structure, with CSOs, multilaterals, donors and recipient structures having equal voices
  • IDA countries eligible, then countries with high pockets of poverty
  • 18 countries, 25 projects, both public and private
  • 25 million beneficiaries, 40% women
  • two windows – public sector, administered by WB with close to $1bn
  • funding directly to recipient countries, country led programme
  • seven supervision entities – WB, ADB, IDB, AfDB, IFAD, FAO, WFP
  • private sector window at IFC under Laura, $300m, five funders including Netherlands, UK, Japan
  • public sector window: largest proportion going to Africa, most IDA countries
  • large proportion going to agriculture productivity, but GAFSP has five pillars, now encouraging countries to come up with more comprehensive strategy, incl climate smart agriculture
  • two calls for proposals to date, has has disbursed $65 million so far
  • have early results of June 2010 awards of funds
  • programmes have no earmarks, but lets the countries to lead the discussions and design on how to address food security
  • in the fundraising strategy, donors wanting for the programmes to have windows of earmarks for activities such as climate smart agriculture
  • forced us to do a review of the portfolio, conclusion narrative not been able to pick up what the programmes have been doing on the ground
  • came up with e.g. 40% direct beneficiaries are women, in Rwanda there have been increased incomes – have a robust M&E system that picks this up, so the programme is beginning to bloom
  • third call for proposals open
  • weighting criteria are assessed by independent advisors


Laura Mecagni



  • have been at IFC for 15 years on advisory services, took over GAFSP one year ago
  • got extensive amount of funding, with five donors NL, US, CA, JP, UK
  • most agriculture is delivered by private sector
  • Objectives:
    • Increase commercial potential of SME agribusiness and farmers, bringing them into local, national and global value chains
    • Improve market access
    • Support innovation and development in financing and technology
    • Support projects that demonstrate higher productivity, lower use of water resources and inputs
  • improve livelihoods of SME and small hold farmers through: improved access of finance, access to markets, access to inputs

Root capital video

  • too big for micro finance, to small for financial markets
  • first under new model of blended finance





  • blended finance solutions, different type of interventions in agriculture
  • from public sector to fully commercial activities: GAFSP aims for projects in the middle, either to move them into a commercial space, or that the risks are so high for commercial terms
  • concessional lending available to de risk project
  • objective to lead to greater development impacts
  • careful about subsidies, don’t want to distort markets, but at times small subsidies
  • principles for blended finance:
    • Moves beyond IFC additionality
    • Avoid market distortion by minimising conditionality
    • Leads to sustainability
    • Upholds transparency
  • Root capital – a great partner, sustainable finance award some years ago
  • it’s an NGO relying on foundation money, not the typical type of IFC client
  • part of business doing farmer financing, aim to become self sustaining rather than relying on foundation money
  • IFC can improve their risk management system, capital management, so that they can raise commercial money
  • reaches 500,000 farmers
  • global warehouse finance program – $20 million to help the program where it’s too risky, starting to look at projects in Africa
  • private sector window just started so not many projects, but coffee exporter case in Honduras and Nicaragua – a 7 year loan, part IFC (7m) on commercial terms, part GAFSP (3m)
  • IFC doesn’t normally do calls for proposal, but GAFSP does
  • First round most looked for grants so only 8 of 44 met criteria, second call 73 out of 89
  • Also lends to partnerships, MOU with FAO to bring complementary skill sets
  • Two projects started, one diagnostic study of irrigation in Africa, forerunner to larger global irrigation programme
  • June roundtable with FAO on grain storage
  • M&E framework: primary indicators to be tracked by all investment projects
  • Secondary indicators


Soc Banzuela



  •  Philippines farmers confederation in 10 countries, 3 regions
  • not many outcomes yet, still very young programme, but would like to show potential of our 18 years experience and how we engage the government
  • important for farmers to have control, and access to land, seeds, agroecological production technology, strong cooperatives
  • project development is a key challenge, access to land is foundation for getting more input and resources
  • most projects agroecological approaches, higher level interventions, incl value addition and governance
  • GAFSP multi stakeholder approach
  • Quite a challenge to organise IDA countries, governments, etc
  • Once a project is funded, should insist being part of the steering committee
  • GAFSP governance, one of the most innovative structures, with inclusivity, tradition of consensus decision making
  • Cohesion of private and public window, loan vs grant component and CSO participation in the private sector window
  • What can be done for the private sector window to provide concessional funding, things to be discussed at the forthcoming meeting on Monday
  • Synergy and responsibility, GAFSP born out of 2008 global food crisis
  • GAFSP can provide global standards and leadership, but barely reached original funding target for the facility
  • Need to continue to improve ourselves, this is an imperative, not a choice