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Private Sector Investment In SMEs, Food Value Chains Can Help Address Malnutrition In Africa

Devex: Opinion: Unlocking the potential of African food businesses to tackle malnutrition
Lawrence Haddad, executive director of GAIN, and Fokko Wientjes, vice president of nutrition in emerging markets and public-private partnerships at Royal DSM NV

“…[T]here is a central role for business — namely [micro, small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs)] in tackling malnutrition in Africa. … Emerging markets are the fastest urbanizing countries in the world — moving away from subsistence and smallholder farming and with that separating the producer from the consumer. We have a great opportunity to close that gap, creating a sustainable food value chain and work through local agrifood industry SMEs, to ensure that nutritious foods are more accessible, affordable, and aspirational. SMEs, along with smallholder farmers, make up the bulk of the actors in the food system in developing and emerging markets. … DSM, GAIN, and our partners aim to catalyze additional investment in food and nutrition for Africa. Encouraging private sector investment in SMEs and into food value chains more generally can help tackle a stubborn and damaging public health challenge that disproportionately affects the poor on the continent” (9/17).

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