Innovations to Boost Investment in Healthy Soils



The World Bank

Time: Wednesday, 26. January 2022, 3:00 p.m. – 4:00 p.m. (CET), subsequent deep dive 4:00 p.m. – 4:30 p.m.

Languages: English, German

The objective of this session is to explore innovations in financing models and partnerships required to engage the private sector and close the gap in investment in healthier soils. Investing in soil health can provide social, financial and environmental benefits. Healthy soils build drought resilience, increase yield stability, reduce nutrient loss and increase carbon sequestration. These multiple benefits make soils one of the most cost-effective ways to achieve food systems transformation. Yet, investments in soils remain meagre. To harness the nearly $600 billion in public support and trillions in private investment in agriculture and food towards new investments in soil protection and restoration, innovations in financing and partnerships are required to bridge the gap between the substantial economic and environmental benefits to society and the frequent perception of limited financial incentives for producers.

This session will highlight the challenges from the perspective of private sector producers, and the innovations in financing (e.g. outcome-based financing linked to technology-based soil carbon MRV systems) and partnerships (e.g. private companies and farmer groups through the Food Systems, Land Use and Restoration (FOLUR) Impact Program) whose wider application could drive soil protection and restoration at the scale needed to benefit of farmers, business and the environment and create healthy people, a healthy planet and healthy economies.


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Lystra is the former CEO of the Global Food Safety Partnership.  Over her more than 20 years at the World Bank, she worked in several regions, including South Asia, Africa, Europe and Central Asia, and East Asia. Lystra spent her entire career dedicated to results-driven strategies to improve the human condition, whether from the public or the private sector.  For four years prior to 2016 when she began leading the Global Food Safety Partnership, she was the Global Director for Agriculture Development at DuPont, a Fortune 500 company that employed over 60,000 people. Lystra holds an MBA from SUNY, Buffalo, and a Juris Doctor from Georgetown University Law Center.

Panel Guests

IFA represents over 440 members worldwide, encompassing the entire fertilizer value chain, promotes the responsible and efficient production, distribution and use of plant nutrients to enable sustainable agricultural systems. Alzbeta was formerly with the International Finance Corporation (IFC) / World Bank Group, and through her numerous board-level positions, which included the Chief of Staff to the CEO of IFC, Global Co-Head of Industrials and Agribusiness, Global Head of Climate Business and other appointments, both at the headquarters in Washington DC and overseas. She served on several corporate and advisory boards of leading agribusiness companies such as Hans Merensky Holdings headquartered in South Africa, Grupo Los Grobo in Argentina, and on advisory sustainability boards of Nespresso and the New York University Stern School of Business. A citizen of Canada and Slovakia, Ms. Klein worked in all emerging market regions throughout her career. She holds an engineering degree from Prague University, Czech Republic, a Masters’ degree in Economics from the University of Ottawa, Canada, and is a Chartered Financial Analyst. She also completed her executive education at Harvard Business School and INSEAD.

Leads SACAU, a farmers’ organisation representing the common interests of farmers in 12 countries in southern Africa. Ishmael has spearheaded the organisation’s work in relation to digital solutions; climate change; the development of a new generation of farmers and farmers’ organisations; multi-stakeholder platforms; systems thinking; and the governance of value chains. His wide-ranging experience and thought leadership has seen him serving a range of organisations, including the United Nations Food Systems Summit, the World Economic Forum, African Union/NEPAD, AGRA, Montpellier Malabo Panel of Experts, Food and Land Use Coalition (FOLU), CGIAR Research Program on Climate Change, Agriculture and Food Security (CCAFS), Generation Africa and the Commission on Sustainable Agriculture Intensification. Mr. Ishmael Sunga holds a BSc (Economics) from the University of Zimbabwe and an MSc (Strategic Management) from the University of Derby, UK. He is also a holder of other post-graduate qualifications and has wide-ranging experience, with more than 30 years’ in the development sector.

ReNature is a Dutch organization with extensive knowledge & experience in Regenerative Agriculture around the globe. Felipe has been Lead Author at UN Environment for their GEO for Business brief on “The changing role of Business in Transforming Food Systems” and part of the Leadership Team at UN Food Systems Summit 2021. Felipe’s work and ambition is to engage international corporations to make a transition in their agricultural practises using successful regenerative agriculture showcases that ensures economic viability and farmers resilience.

He provides leadership to the formulation and implementation of the Bank’s strategy and knowledge in agriculture and food, oversees the operationalization of the Bank’s vision on agriculture and food in regional and country programs, acts as senior spokesperson for agriculture and food Bank-wide and globally and manages the Agriculture and Food Global Practice. Before taking this position, Martien served as Practice Director of the World Bank’s Agriculture Global Practice, and Practice Manager for Agriculture in the South-Asia Region (2015-2017).  Prior to joining the Bank, he worked at the International Maize and Wheat Improvement Center in Mexico from 1991. He holds a Doctorate in Development Economics from Wageningen Agricultural University.

Andrew has previously served as sspecial assistant on projects to the former Minister of Agriculture and the senior technical adviser on policy and projects to the honorable Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development, during which period the Agriculture Promotion Policy (APP) was formulated as the sectoral policy for the period 2016 to 2020. He led the development of the Nigeria-Brazil Bilateral Agriculture Development Programme, the Green Imperative which seeks to modernize agriculture practices by linking private sector-led mechanization and agro processing with smallholder farmers to address the key constraints to small holder farmer productivity enhancement, postharvest losses, while creating linkage to finance and market. He also served as the Senior Technical Adviser to the Vice President on Agriculture Interventions Coordination responsible for the Secretariat of the National Economic Council Subcommittee on Farmer-Herder crises that produced the 10-year National Livestock Transformation Plan strategy to holistically address the resource-based farmer-herder conflicts as well as modernize livestock production in Nigeria, in order to address the constraints of obsolete husbandry practices with attendant low milk and beef yields. Andrew has over 10 years of private sector experience with multinational corporates in designing and implementation of turnkey agriculture commercial projects as well as smallholder farmers.

Timothee is a sustainability leader with 15 years of international experience developing and financing new business models, impact investments and inclusive growth strategies in the food, agriculture and water industries. As global director smart & sustainable farming for McCain, he is in charge of driving and financing the transition to regenerative agriculture for 3,500+ potato farmers working with McCain across the world. Building sustainable agricultural value chains and food systems calls for innovative and local approaches in partnership with committed farmers, private, public and non-profit stakeholders. Together we can generate impact at scale, and make businesses more competitive, and communities and territories more resilient.


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