2016 Conference: Rodrigo Ortiz


The Circular Economy to Food Security

29-30 August 2016, Canberra

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Mr Rodrigo Ortiz
Secretariat Lead, AgResults

OrtizRodrigo Ortiz is the Secretariat Lead for the AgResults Program that implements the Kenya On-Farm-Storage Pilot. He is a senior economic development advisor who specialises in private sector development in emerging markets, with experience in 74 countries, spanning 40 years. With a proven track record of developing organisations and leading and implementing large and complex technical assistance programs, he has advised economic development agencies, provincial and state governments, and international donor organizations including USAID and the World Bank as well as other public and private sector organisations.

Throughout his career, Dr Ortiz has created and managed world-class economic development, investment and export promotion agencies. These agencies focus on export, trade and investment services, logistics and special economic zones, and industrial, agricultural and service sector projects in Africa, the Middle East, North Africa, Latin American, the Caribbean, and East, Central and South East Asia. Prior to AgResults, Mr Ortiz was with the World Bank, where he headed a technical assistance unit that develop investment promotion capacity for member countries. He was the resident Program Manager for large projects in Jordan, South Africa, Bolivia, Cyprus, and Pakistan and he held strategic roles in technical engagements throughout the globe.

Bridging the Gap to On-Farm Storage:
Prize Mechanisms, the Private Sector & New Public Funding Mechanisms


Post-harvest losses of grain in the developing world lead to lower incomes among smallholder farmers and reduced farm-level food security. This problem is particularly acute in Sub-Saharan Africa where post-harvest losses are estimated at US$1.6 billion per year. Moreover, insufficient on-farm storage solutions often lead farmers to sell after harvest and receive lower prices when the market is flooded or even worse to buy back grain later in the season at a higher price.

Private sector solutions to post-harvest losses exist, but companies often see low-income farmers as a risky and unattractive market. Smallholders do not understand the benefits, nor feel they can afford the solutions. AgResults’ Kenya On-Farm Storage Project uses prize competitions to incentivize the private sector to bridge this gap and enter into the market.

This project is one of six innovative prize competitions of the AgResults Initiative, a partnership between the governments of Australia, Canada, the United Kingdom and the United States, and the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation. Prize competitions offer an innovative method for the public sector to use funds effectively and efficiently to engage the private sector. In the case of Kenya, the prize works to encourage companies to design, develop, market and sell new (or redesigned) on-farm storage devices to smallholder farmers.

This presentation will describe AgResults’ prize competitions, the Kenya On-Farm Storage Project, its impact and its sustainability. The presentation will conclude with a discussion on how prize competitions offer the development community an efficient and affordable mechanism to finance development programs in the future.