Oslo, February 12, 2011
Yara CEO and President Jørgen Haslestad played a vital role at several events at the annual World Economic Forum meeting in Davos, Switzerland, in January 2011. The United States Agency for International Development (USAID)’s pledge to support the Tanzanian agricultural growth corridor, given live on stage, illustrates the importance of this stakeholder arena.
Following up on commitments from WEF 2010, Yara, alongside President Jakaya Kikwete of the United Republic of Tanzania, championed the Investment Blueprint for the Southern Agricultural Growth Corridor of Tanzania (SAGCOT).
This blueprint was officially launched in Davos in January 2011, and it outlines how a 20-year, 3.4 billion USD investment plan can lift 2 million people out of poverty by providing opportunities for agricultural businesses in Tanzania. A vital point is to leverage a public-private partnership model and catalytic financing to induce targeted investments into a virtuous circle, creating inclusive growth.
A new vision
Yara had a board position in the creation of the new WEF strategy document, “New Vision for Agriculture,” which generated high levels of interest during the annual meeting.
At the document launch, CEO Haslestad used the SAGCOT as an example of the new, collaborative approaches that are needed to solve the big global issues of climate change, poverty and food security. He firmly believes the private sector simply must be engaged.
"In the years to come, similar efforts must be made throughout low-productive regions across the world. And no single sector - business, government, or donors - will be able to accomplish that alone. A coordinated approach to targeting and leveraging investments, such as the one we are initiating in Tanzania, will be needed," says Haslestad.
The “New Vision for Agriculture” was shaped by a group of 17 global companies, including Yara. In this document, the companies set out ambitious targets for the decades to come, committing to strive for a 20/20/20 goal:
Every decade, production shall increase by 20 percent while decreasing emissions by 20 percent and reducing the prevalence of rural poverty by 20 percent.
In addition to corridor related issues, Haslestad also co-chaired a session on sustainable land use, paving the way for a more comprehensive approach towards land use as one key element in the debates towards COP-17, the next United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change, in Durban in 2011.