Dr. Bart de Steenhuijsen Piters, Head of KIT Sustainable Economic Development: ‘we work with our clients to improve their performance and increase people’s access to healthy food and income from agriculture as part of the economic development. Even when economies are growing, parts of the population may still not have enough nutritious food to eat. To make agricultural development really inclusive, you need supportive policies but also strong civil society organizations an engaged private sector and effective service providers, all working together. There are many good intentions, but how to translate these into real impact?
That’s the question we try to answer. We are an international team with the knowledge and expertise to inform and advice on sustainable local economic development. We have chosen to focus on agricultural innovation, land governance and food value chains. Our recent experiences show that involvement of farmers and their organizations as active stakeholders in this process is key to success. For example, last year we worked with the Dutch spice industry, responsible for 70% of Europe’s import, to introduce a sustainability standard that really improves local farmers income. We also acts as an independent third party to ensure delivery against development goals, assess and measure impact of programs to inform funders, shareholders and the larger public. On demand by IFAD we are now measuring their impact of 500 million euro investments on agricultural development.’