The Private Sector and Hunger Initiatives

Over 1.2 billion people living in poverty depend on agriculture for their livelihoods. Many live in areas hit hard by rapidly deteriorating conditions associated with climate change. Oxfam has joined with Swiss Re and the United Nations World Food Programme (WFP) to create a dynamic public-private-people-partnership we call the Rural Resilience Initiative, or R4—a joint effort to help rural families build resilience against climate-related risk (Offenheiser, 2016).

R4 was launched in 2010 to respond to this growing problem, building on the success of an earlier Oxfam program in Ethiopia. R4 combines Oxfam’s experience with community participation and local savings groups, Swiss Re’s innovative risk transfer solutions, and WFP’s global capacity, to offer four risk management approaches in combination: community risk reduction and natural resource management; livelihoods diversification and microcredit; savings; and micro insurance (Offenheiser, 2016).
This is a good example of the private sector taking initiative to help the hunger problems in this country. The core innovation of R4 is that it provides cash-poor farmers the option to work for their insurance premiums on projects that reduce risk and build climate resilience (Offenheiser, 2016).

R4 Information Graphic

Another program is the Global Oceans Action Summit for Food Security and Blue Growth provided a platform for engagement to occur and to help bridge gaps between fish farming industry growth and sustainability. Similarly, to the New Vision for Agriculture and other cross-sector initiatives and conferences, there is agreement among stakeholders that if farmers, markets, governments and civil society join forces we might be able to maximize seafood yields while protecting our ocean’s biodiversity and generating regional economic growth (Rojas-Ruiz, 2013).

Arizona Food Dessert Map (2016)

In Arizona the Arizonan’s Preventing Hunger Action Plan the state is working towards working with the private sector to help in the farming, agriculture, stores giving their extra food to shelters and food organization. The interim action goals needed to achieve the long-term goals include:

• Increase the number of food hubs statewide.

• Increase the number of incubator farms for training new farmers and ranchers.

• Increase the number of new farmers and ranchers trained in hands-on farming/ ranching (Arizonan’s Preventing Hunger Action Plan, 2017). \


The Arizona Hunger Advisory Council. (2017). Arizonans preventing hunger action plan 2017. Retrieved from The Arizona Hunger Advisory Council website:

Offenheiser, R. (2016). Ending global hunger through private sector, civil society and government collaboration. Retrieved from

Rojas-Ruiz, J. (2014). Aquaculture: Enabling food security, oceanic sustainability and economic growth in the future. Retrieved from


3 thoughts on “The Private Sector and Hunger Initiatives

  1. This is a very interesting topic. I find it heartbreaking that the people who provide needs (food) to the country are living in poverty. The R4 is an interesting concept. I have heard of government subsidizes and looked more into them after reading your post. I found that in 2017 there was a 7.2 billion dollar budget from the government. The Balance (2019) states that the government only subsidizes corn, soybeans, wheat, cotton, and rice. Texas, Nebraska, Kansas, Arkansas, and Illinois are the top 5 states receiving 38.5% of that 7.2 billion. I wonder if the companies you discussed focus on farmers who grow other crops than the ones subsidized by the government. Or if they focus on the states who do not get the majority of help from the government. Thank you for brining this topic to light.


  2. Thank you for the review of private sector initiatives as it relates to hunger. I didn’t know that Arizona specifically had a comprehensive action plan to address hunger; I had always thought it was a less organized effort of individual institutions, rather that such a comprehensive and inclusive endeavor to approach hunger from a multifaceted aspect. One of the central goals of the Arizonans Preventing Hunger Action Plan is to increase the economic security of Arizonans, one strategy that centers around the Raise Arizona Project. I first came to hear of Raise Arizona at the Arizona Health Equity Conference last year. It’s a partnership with business leaders in Arizona to agree to pay a livable wage to their employees, and also a partnership with patrons who agree to support those businesses that offer livable wages to their employees. It’s a really promising strategy, and I was impressed with the amount of thought and statistical analysis that went into calculating what a livable wage means from county to county. In terms of addressing hunger, it truly is one of the foundational elements of ensuring families can resolve – in a more permanent way – food insecurity. I appreciate that this action plan includes strategies such as this to address hunger in a way that not only speaks to food itself and the distribution of it, but also speaks to the issues that the “working poor” face on a daily basis as they have to continually make choices between fixing their car, purchasing necessary medications, or affording groceries. And, as it relates to policy, I am now quite interested in better understanding the decision-making behind the legislation that mandates a minimum wage, as opposed to a livable wage. Where does the number for a minimum wage come from? Might this be an area where evidence-based policy making would be of significant value?

    The Arizona Hunger Advisory Council. (2017). Arizonans preventing hunger action plan 2017. Retrieved from The Arizona Hunger Advisory Council website:


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