POLICY WHITE PAPER
Food systems transformation has played an increasingly visible role in international forums and commitments over the last 3 years, beginning with the UN Food Systems Summit (UNFSS) in 2021, COP26 and 27, and the G20 Summit in Indonesia.
The UNFSS set the stage with a global call to action on the need to unlock “levers of change” that would address long-standing challenges in the food system. This call was echoed at the COP26 when countries agreed on the need to transition towards sustainable and climate-resilient food systems and was crystalized at the B20 and G20 Summits in 2022, where leaders aligned on the importance of promoting sustainable and inclusive economic development by empowering Micro, Small, and Medium-sized Enterprises (MSMEs) through innovative and inclusive finance.
Following the G20 Summit and in preparation for the UNFSS Stocktake (July 2023) and the UN SDG Summit (September), Grow Asia built upon learnings from the B20 white paper on Unlocking Inclusive Finance for Agriculture-Based MSMEs in Southeast Asia and drove the conversation with policymakers, private sector, and civil society. The key question was: “How do we design and deploy blended finance models so that they are inclusive and accessible to MSMEs, are accessible and attractive to financial investors, and leverage the power of public-private partnerships?”
Grow Asia organized a series of sprints from April – May 2023, in an effort to design a solution that would bridge the gaps in the deployment of financial and technical assistance through effective multistakeholder action.
This White Paper highlighted the need for a "closed-loop" public-private partnership approach to bring together the right stakeholders in order to drive climate-practice transition. To support such action, Grow Asia recommended the following policy actions to regional policymakers to promote sustainable & inclusive investment for MSMEs in Southeast Asia:
Develop national and/or regional policy frameworks enabling access to finance for MSMEs in agriculture, particularly for women-led MSMEs
Create an enabling ecosystem for a public-private partnership model that drives food system transition towards climate change adaptation
Design a framework of South-South action to scale sustainable investments in the food and agriculture sector in ASEAN and beyond