2024 Achieving Food Security Through Public Private Partnerships


Economic development is frequently dependent upon a strong and efficient agricultural sector. In this seminar participants will learn how to use public-private partnerships (PPPs) effectively to mobilize resources for improving agricultural productivity and strengthening the value chain. By examining a range of comparative case studies, participants will develop skills to recognize and address multiple challenges inherent in PPPs for their effective application in the agriculture and food sectors, to appreciate the value of multi-stakeholder engagement and participatory process in PPP design and implementation and to identify and cultivate potential partnerships. The seminar is designed specifically for the benefit of those actors in the public and private sectors and CSOs/NGOs who are engaged in agricultural development and food security programming as well as government officials responsible for the design and implementation of national policies for food security and/or in related ministries (agriculture, environment, health, etc.).

In the context of this seminar, the term PPPs is used to refer not only to the financing of physical infrastructure projects necessary to achieve food security (such as development of transportation networks (roads, ports, etc.), warehousing and storage, all of which contribute towards improved distribution networks) but also to a wider range of PPPs that may be considered unique and important to the food security community (such as value-chain development, innovation and technology transfer, delivery of nutrition programs and producer extension training, etc.).


The seminars are currently offered both in-person and online simultaneously, at the choice of the participant. This choice must be indicated at the time of registration. A small number of courses are scheduled to be delivered exclusively in person or online, and are indicated as such in the schedule. In-Person Only seminars usually start at 9:30 am Washington D.C. time. Daily sessions usually end at 4:00 pm. Breaks (including the lunch break) are allocated as appropriate. Online Only seminars will be delivered through five (for 1-week course) or ten (for 2-weeks course) live online sessions via videoconferencing platform. Each session will last approximately 3.5 hours and will be scheduled to start within a time window of 7:00 am – 8:30 am Washington D.C. time. Hybrid In-Person/Online seminars will start at a time most convenient to both in-person and online participants, and will generally follow the In-Person seminar format. We expect the classes to be highly interactive and can include presentations, case studies and exercises.

Course Outline


  • Deconstruction of the “four pillars of food security” discussed below
  • Overview of global food system
  • Underpinning legal frameworks (International and National levels)


  • Understanding PPPs – The Basics
  • Use of PPPs in the agriculture and food sectors

–  Differences, benefits and challenges
–  Role and contributions of private and public sector players and CSOs/NGOs
–  Types of agreements and financing

PRACTICAL APPLICATION OF PPPs (Corresponding with the “four pillars” – Availability, Access, Utilization and Stability):

PRODUCTION (Pillar 1 – “Availability”)

  • Physical Components

–  Natural resource management (soils, water, energy, renewable sources)
–  Geography and climate (change); climate-smart/sustainable agriculture
–  Biodiversity and use of technology (livestock and seed selection)
–  Environmental protection and Environmental Impact Assessment

  • Social Components:

–  Land ownership and tenure (including gender issues, traditional and indigenous rights)
–  Land use planning and zoning
–  Producer organizational structure (individual, cooperative associations)
–  Production types (e.g., contract farming)

  • Financial Components:

–  Financiers (commercial and development banks, leasing companies, etc.)
–  Financing instruments (secured transactions, negotiables, warehouse receipts, etc.)
–  Access to credit (including gender issues and access for MSMEs)
–  Insurance and risk management

  • PPP Applications (e.g., innovation and technology transfer, delivery of extension training, with emphasis on small holder farmers)


  • Physical infrastructure (roads, rail)
  • Supply chain management
  • Storage and processing facilities (e.g., warehouses, cold storage)
  • Value added and marketing
  • Reduction of post-harvest losses and food waste “from farm to fork”
  • PPP Applications (e.g., value chain development, physical infrastructure upgrades)

EXCHANGE AND TRADE (Pillar 1 – “Availability”)

  • International trade and special rules for agriculture (WTO Agreement and regional trade agreements)
  • Domestic policies (subsidies, price supports and other market interventions)
  • Domestic markets, investment and global competition
  • PPP Applications (e.g., business development, producer advisory services)

NUTRITION (Pillars 2 – “Access” and 3 – “Utilization”)

  • Nutritional challenges – reducing malnutrition and obesity
  • Maternal/child health and consumer education
  • Nutritional guidelines – “our food plate”
  • Alleviating malnutrition through biofortification
  • PPP Applications (e.g., program delivery – improved livelihoods, school feeding; technology transfer in bio-fortification)

QUALITY AND SAFETY (Pillars 1 – “Production” and 3 – “Utilization”)

  • Consumer protection and quality assurance
  • Food safety standards and implementation
  • PPP Applications (e.g., capacity-building in processing and handling)


  • Emergency preparedness, planning and disaster relief
  • PPP Applications (e.g., emergency relief)


  • Methodology for developing an effective national cross-sectoral plan
  • Participation and consultation with national and local stakeholders (small holders and farmer organizations, civil society, private sector, other groups)
  • Effective integration of the use of PPPs and engagement of private sector
  • Contributions of international and regional organizations (i.e., World Bank, United Nations, Food and Agriculture Organization, etc.)

Course Advisor

Jeannette Tramhel is an international lawyer with a special focus on issues concerning sustainable agriculture and food security. She has been involved in private international law, commercial, business and trade law for over 20 years with experience in the private and public sectors and International organizations. She most recently served as Senior Legal Officer with the Department of International Law of the Secretariat for Legal Affairs at the Organization of American States (OAS) and has also served with the UNCITRAL Secretariat. She holds an LL.B. from Queen’s University in Canada, an LL.M. from Georgetown University (with distinction) and is a member of the bar in Ontario and New York. She also holds degrees in agriculture and environmental design and has worked as an international development professional in partnership with communities in Southeast Asia, Africa, Central America and the Caribbean to orchestrate projects that address complex issues of food security and sustainable development.