Seminar & Lecture Series

ADB Sustainable Food Webinar Series Session 1: Financing Sustainable and Resilient Food Systems

7-9pm Beijing Time, 16 Mar 2021 Zoom

ADB launches its Sustainable Food Webinar series to discuss financing for sustainable and resilient food systems and multilateral development banks’ role. VP Bambang Susantono opens the series with China Agricultural UniversityIFADIFPRIOECDJohns Hopkins University, and the World Bank.


The COVID-19 pandemic highlighted disruptions to global food systems. The pandemic increased the risks to food insecurity and deterioration of nutritional status of vulnerable populations due to rising unemployment, restrictions on people’s movement, interruptions in food production and processing, and disruptions to supply chains and increasing international commodity price (i.e., the World Food Programme cited that the number of people in Asia and the Pacific region who are facing acute food insecurity will nearly double to 265 million by the end of 2020). It also emphasized the vulnerabilities of food supply chains as the pandemic revealed system-wide risks (e.g., logistical and trade disruptions, public health risks, etc.), highlighted the increasing occurrence of zoonotic diseases (i.e., diseases that spread between animals and humans which represented 75% of all the emerging infectious diseases during the past decade), and called for a shift in food production to systems that integrate sustainable natural resource management, nutrient rich diets, public health, and climate change adaptation and mitigation, among others.

At the same time, the COVID-19 pandemic highlighted the interlink between food systems and development challenges. The interrelationships of food systems among its subsystems (e.g., farming, waste management, input supply, food safety and others) and its interaction with other key systems (such as energy, trade, and health, etc.) calls for more holistic and integrated solutions to address challenges. The need to close the financing gap was also highlighted. Scaling up private and public investments is critical to promote sustainable and resilient food systems. 

The Rural Development and Food Security (Agriculture) Thematic Group of ADB’s Sustainable Development and Climate Change Department launches its Sustainable Food Webinar Series to continue discussions and collectively find integrated solutions on how to cope and recover from the impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic. The series will provide a platform to share knowledge, experiences, and best practices that can help developing members countries build sustainable and resilient food systems and enable them to recover from the impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic and future disruptions.

The series kicks off with discussions on Financing Sustainable and Resilient Food Systems in Asia and the Pacific.


This session aims to discuss ways to scale up private and public financing to close the large financing gap for food system transformation in the region and determine the role of multilateral development banks towards this transformation.

Target Participants

The event invites representatives from the following organizations engaged in agriculture, natural resources, and rural development:

  • government and intergovernmental organizations;
  • multilateral and bilateral development institutions;
  • private firms engaged in the agriculture and food business;
  • research and development institutions, think tanks, and centers of excellence; and
  • NGOs, civil society, and advocacy organizations other individuals and organizations interested and/or engaged in agriculture and natural resources.
Resource Speakers
  • Bambang Susantono, Vice-President, Knowledge Management and Sustainable Development, ADB.
  • Alvaro Lario, Associate Vice President, Financial Operations Department, International Fund for Agricultural Development.
  • Yasuyuki Sawada, Chief Economist and Director General of Economic Research and Regional Cooperation Department, ADB.
  • Dina Umali-Deininger, Agriculture Practice Manager, East Asia and the Pacific, World Bank
  • Lee Ann Jackson, Head of Division, Agro-food Trade and Markets, Trade and Agriculture Directorate, OECD.
  • Qingfeng Zhang, Chief, Rural Development and Food Security (Agriculture) Thematic Group.
  • Shingo Kimura, Senior Natural Resources and Agriculture Specialist, East Asia Department, ADB.
  • Kevin Chen, Qushi Chair Professor and International Dean, China Academy for Rural Development, Zhejiang University and Senior Research Fellow and Head of East and Central Asia Office, International Food Policy Research Institute.
  • Shenggen Fan, Chair Professor, China Agricultural University.
  • Martin Lemoine, Unit Head, Agribusiness, Private Sector Operations Department, ADB.
  • Jessica Fanzo, Bloomberg Distinguished Professor of Global Food Policy and Ethics at the Johns Hopkins University.
  • Suzanne Gaboury, Director General, Private Sector Operations Department, ADB.

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