Session 7.1 Optimizing national strategies and policy frameworks towards effective business models with smaller participants by Kueneman, FAO

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  • My short presentation is intended to set the stage for the technical paper of this session and for our discussions. There are the technical aspects and there are process components to appraise. This paper is mostly about process and about creating the vision and the enabling environment for the development to take place. My observations are very generic for sustainable agriculture and rural development. But I will attempt to put them in context of new programes on bioenergy and the possible use of cassava.
  • I will cover main issues of development planning and how ‘strategic planning’ is distinct from, though linked to, ‘policy decision-making’. The Policies support & enable the choice of the Strategy. In many cases these two steps (strategy choice/policy choice) should involve different persons. Many policies formulated outside a strategic plan are not helpful for development. The need during implementation to have all the required component parts of the strategy in place at the right time, and that they must all be functional. Missing elements in the “ development engine ” render it non-functional or at best, without power. Involving diverse stakeholders in the processes for strategic planning is of great importance, while the government must be “in the driver’s seat” when it comes to policy formulation I will touch on risk management, and elements for the way forward.
  • Strategic planning is about: Choices of land suitability and water access, and infrastructure, and famer organizations, and almost every technical details including appraisal of the entire production systems comes into consideration. The entry points for strategic planning may vary depending on 2ndary agenda. For example, IFAD might want to focus development interventions in semi-arid ecologies while private sector investors might be inclined to focus first on areas with more reliable rainfall to that risks, especially at the onset, are less threatening to the overall investment.
  • Policy is about enabling strategies and setting the rules; Although there is clearly overlap in Strategic Planning and Policy Decisions, it is important to distinguish the differences when they exist because the people to are needed to outline what might be done are not necessarily the same people who will set down the rules (the policies)
  • The technical input into the strategic plan was provided with respect to the production agronomy, input needs (seed, fertilizers, pesticides etc), economics of production for family farms by Embrapa and others. The choice of tax incentives to encourage the energy industry to engage purchase from small-holders involved discussions with private sector but the decision was by the government.
  • Innovation research for development is absolutely , needed but this alone, is generally not enough. Too many research projects do not provide the guidance on how to scale-up. If for example, we are sure that new high-sugar cassava’s have an enormous commercial value as a raw-product source. Will this alone lead to development of a cassava-based biofuel industry? Of course not. In some geographic location the entire value chain must be addressed and often this should be done on a farming systems basis. Farmers need to have a sustainable enterprise overall.


  • 1.  
  • 2. Optimizing National Strategies and Policies
    • Dr Eric A Kueneman
  • 3. Main Points
    • Strategic Planning vs Policy Decisions
    • The Development Engine Needs All Its Parts
    • The Right Stakeholders at the Right Time
    • Building in Risk Management
    • The Way Forward and the Need for Investment to Match the Strategy and Policy
  • 4. Strategic Planning vs Policy Strategic Planning is about:
    • what?
    • where ?
    • how? and How Much? Economics?
    • who?
    • when?
    • What is the needed enabling environment?
    • what other options
  • 5. Strategic Planning vs Policy Policy is about:
    • Rules and,
    • Setting the enabling environment to match the strategic plan
      • Might provide incentives for diverse stakeholders
      • Might set prices and or modify importation/exportation laws
      • Might be Regulatory
  • 6. Strategic Planning vs Policy The Brazil example: Bio-energy Crops and Family Farmers
    • Strategy: Encourage family farms to grow bioenegy crops such as Castor bean and Sunflower
    • Policy: Reduce drastically the taxes for processors on energy products derived from raw product coming from family farms.
  • 7. Holistic Business Plans
    • Most development opportunities will require strategies that include a full appraisal of needed infrastructure and inputs along the entire value chain .
    • Significant investment is nearly always required for scaling up.
    • Risk sharing is often necessary (policy considerations)
  • 8. Partnerships Alliance for Development
    • Governments need to harness the knowledge, skills and “development energy” of the Private Sector and Civil Society partners.
    • Institution-building including fora for dialog among stakeholdrs is important.
    • Chambers of Commerce or similar can be good for a
    • Regulation Policy must stay with Government
  • 9. Partnerships Alliance for Development
    • A Brazilian Example:
      • Government created a shared vision with private sector on bioenegry feed stocks from family farms.
      • Local development institutions (including NGOs)
      • Petrobras, Banco do Brasil
      • Embrapa
      • etc.
  • 10. Partnerships Alliance for Development
    • Sometimes the Private Sector is a main initiator of development innovations Yara in Beira Corridor Initiative
  • 11. Risk Managment
    • Risk sharing must be part of the strategic plan and the policy framework, but best when specific to the situation.
    • Will high sugar cassava’s add to risk?
  • 12. Some thoughts on The Way Forward
    • Cassava bioenergy system appraisals should look at the entire production system
    • Decentralized chipping and drying will be necessary; can this be done economically year round? Raw product transport –a challenge.
    • Research is a must, but must be followed with strategic plans and investment
    • Partnerships ...empowering the private sector
  • 13. Thank You
    • for your kind attention