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Principles for responsible agricultural investment that respects rights, livelihoods, and resources : extended version (English)

Many studies show that investment to increase productivity of owner-operated smallholder agriculture has a very large impact on growth and poverty reduction. A host of factors has recently prompted a sharp increase in investment involving significant use of agricultural land, water, grassland, and forested areas in developing and emerging countries. The range of actors includes agro-enterprises in agri-food, biofuels, and extractive industries, private equity and other financial institutions, government-linked companies including sovereign funds, and individual entrepreneurs. Private investment in the agricultural sector offers significant potential to complement public resources. To better spread the benefits and balance opportunities with risks in major investment programs, industry initiatives, such as the extractive industry transparency initiative (EITI), the equator principles, and the Santiago principles, have formulated standards for specific subsectors or investor categories, and many institutions and large enterprises have made efforts at formulating internal codes of their own. World Bank Group, including Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO), International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD), the United Nations Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD) joined together to recommend the following principles: principle 1: existing rights to land and associated natural resources are recognized and respected; principle 2: investments do not jeopardize food security but rather strengthen it; principle 3: processes for accessing land and other resources and then making associated investments are transparent, monitored, and ensure accountability by all stakeholders, within a proper business, legal, and regulatory environment; principle 4: all those materially affected are consulted, and agreements from consultations are recorded and enforced; principle 5: investors ensure that projects respect the rule of law, reflect industry best practice, are viable economically, and result in durable shared value; principle 6: investments generate desirable social and distributional impacts and do not increase vulnerability; and principle 7: environmental impacts due to a project are quantified and measures taken to encourage sustainable resource use while minimizing the risk and magnitude of negative impacts and mitigating them. The document concludes with anticipated next steps, which point toward a toolkit of best practices, guidelines, governance frameworks, and possibly codes of practice by the major sets of private actors.


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    Principles for responsible agricultural investment that respects rights, livelihoods, and resources : extended version

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Principles for responsible agricultural investment that respects rights, livelihoods, and resources : extended version (English). Washington, D.C. : World Bank Group.