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Public-private-sector Partnership or PPP has emerged as key mechanism for development, particularly in infrastructure, communications and transportation projects. PPP has also played an important role in delivery of health service and technology development, in both highly developed and developing countries. However, its applicability in the agriculture needs careful analysis.
While few countries have adopted the concept for setting up postharvest, cold storage, and irrigation facilities, not all PPPs in the agriculture sector have been successful. The reasons include unclear government policies, noncompliance with the conditions of the partnership by one or both parties, persistent negative perceptions and complexity of the division of tasks and profit sharing. Besides, PPP agriculture projects have also suffered due to insufficient skills of practitioners when adopting and scaling up the systems.
To address the issue, APO is organizing a Multicountry Observational Study Mission on Strengthening Public-private-sector Partnerships in Developing Competitive Agribusiness in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia. The study mission began today, 5 December 2016, with the address from the chief guest Abdur Rahim Yusoff, Deputy Director General of Malaysia Productivity Corporation. The five-day program aims to familiarize 20 participants from 15 APO member countries with model cases of PPPs in agribusiness and foster informed decision making on investment promotion and agriculture and food sector development.
It is important to note that PPP is being promoted in Malaysia as an important institutional mechanism for gaining access to additional financial resources, sharing risks, and addressing other constraints in the pursuit of sustainable, inclusive agricultural development. Considering the limited resources of the government to address the needs of many farmers, there appears to be good potential for PPPs as mechanisms for accelerating agribusiness investment.
The APO workshop is being organized in association with Malaysia’s Ministry of Agriculture and Agro-based Industry and the Malaysia Productivity Corporation. The workshop is being conducted by international expert Avinash K Srivastava, Secretary of Ministry of Food Processing Industries in India. The study mission comprises field visits to successful agricultural PPP project sites, case studies of PPPs in local economies in Malaysia and theme presentations. It will also focus on trends, key issues and challenges in developing and sustaining PPP projects in agricultural sector and reviews policies to create enabling environment for PPPs to create sustainable, competitive agribusinesses in member countries. The inaugural session also saw APO expert Srivastava and APO Representative Dr. Shaikh Tanveer Hossain delivering their opening speech.