This discussion paper asks what is needed to unlock greater commercial investment into value chains that can improve access to nutritious foods among low-income consumers in developing and emerging markets, with a special focus on the small and medium enterprises that currently struggle the most to obtain it. For brevity, we will refer to “nutritious food value chains” and “SMEs that improve access to nutritious and safe foods.”
This discussion paper is based on a review of relevant literature and interviews with investors and experts at the intersection of business and nutrition. The objectives of this paper are to assess what is needed to unlock greater commercial investment into nutritious food value chains, from nutrition to agribusiness to SME finance and blended finance. This paper is intended to frame and contribute to the discussion among many stakeholders, including donors, development organizations, and government agencies with the mission to improve nutrition on one hand, and investors with the mandate to generate financial returns on the other hand.