Exploring Market-driven Solutions to Post-harvest Loss

By Daniel Runde, Michael Levett, and Caitlin Allmaier

Produce sale at local market in Malawi. Photo courtesy of the International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI).

Produce sale at local market in Malawi. Photo courtesy of the International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI).

CSIS and the Rockefeller Foundation recently facilitated a multi-day dialogue at the Rockefeller Foundation’s Bellagio Center on Lake Como, Italy, which focused on the vital, unmatched role the private sector can and should play in creating and sustaining market-driven solutions to the wide-ranging problem of post-harvest loss, particularly in sub-Saharan Africa. The Convening’s participants clarified the role post-harvest loss (PHL) currently plays in the planning and decision-making processes of most of agriculture’s global and regional private sector: reducing food loss and spoilage is rarely if ever a specific focus of most companies participating in food product supply chains; rather, PHL is seen as an element or an outcome of strategies, practices, and initiatives adopted in pursuit of effective and sustainable supply chains. Continue reading

The Indian Diaspora Investment Initiative: Leveraging Remittances for Development

By Simone Schenkel

President Barack Obama and Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi greet attendees of the U.S.-India CEO Forum  in New Delhi, India. Photo Courtesy of the White House Photo via Pete Souza.

In a recent trip to India, President Obama announced the creation of the Indian Diaspora Investment Initiative, a U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) and Calvert Foundation partnership that allows Indian-Americans to use would-be remittances to support key sectors such as financial inclusion, health, education, and agriculture.

While remittances have long been viewed as critical to supporting low-income countries, most funds are transmitted directly to households rather than to community resources. Through this public-private partnership, investors large and small will be able purchase Community Investment Notes later this year through the Calvert Foundation to fund a variety of social enterprise projects. Continue reading

A New Start for Sri Lanka: Implementing Reform

By Milos Purkovic

The new Sri Lanka President Mithripala Sirisena has a tough job ahead. Having defeated the Mahinda Rajapaksa in a dramatic snap election in January, the former cabinet member now has the task of leading one of South Asia’s most corrupt countries; Sri Lanka has long struggled with governance and investment climate and continues to sit at the lower half of the World Bank’s Doing Business index. However, Sirisena’s 100-day reform program provides an opportunity to address these issues by emphasizing good governance and rule of law, investing in basic public institutions, judicial reform, and catalyzing press freedom.

Assistant Secretary of State for South and Central Asia, Mrs. Nisha Biswal, with newly elected President Sirisena

Assistant Secretary of State for South and Central Asia, Mrs. Nisha Biswal, with newly elected President Mithripala Sirisena

As a first step, on January 21 the new parliament introduced legislation to repeal a 2010 constitutional amendment which discontinued the Constitutional Council, empowered the president to dismiss or appoint members of the judiciary, and allowed for a third presidential term.  The 2010 amendment was widely viewed as the previous administration’s attempt to consolidate power, and The United Nations Human Rights Committee had made numerous requests to repeal the amendment since its passage. The new legislation will likely reinstate the Constitutional Council meant to safeguard the Constitution, set a two-time term limit, and introduce checks and balances to the executive. Continue reading

Emerging Development Donor Profile: South Korea

By Samantha Prior

South Korea is often viewed as a developmental success story; over the last fifty years it has been successfully transitioning from aid recipient to aid donor. In 2010 South Korea became a member of OECD, marking a significant step in its efforts towards becoming a major aid donor. Here are some notable statistics that give a sense of Korea’s evolution from recipient to donor:

Overall growth is stunning:  In the post-war period South Korea was one of the world’s poorest countries with a per capita income of $64, and received large amounts of aid, specifically from the U.S. (12.7 billion between 1945 and the late 1990s, according to the Korean government), to repair its broken economy. The South Korean economy has steadily improved over the last 50+ years (it is currently the world’s 12th largest economy), which enabled it to start giving aid in the end of the 20th century. The Korea Eximbank’s Economic Development and Co-operation Fund (EDCF) was created in 1987, followed by the Korea International Co-operation Agency (KOICA) in 1991.

GDP growth Continue reading