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Disruptive Innovations in the Agriculture Value Chain

June 13, 2018

Preston Auditorium, World Bank Group Headquarters

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The ICABR Conference on “Disruptive Innovations, Value Chains, and Rural Development” organized in partnership with the World Bank, is a multidisciplinary forum of discussion to facilitate interactions between leading academics, World Bank staff, policymakers, government experts, civil society organizations, private-sector representatives, and representatives of other international organizations to showcase the present frontier knowledge on these issues.

Multiple changes in the structure of the food system and agriculture raise new opportunities and challenges for the agricultural sector. In the developing world, these changes started in Asia and Latin America, and are rapidly emerging in Africa. Urbanization and increased urban demand for food, fiber, and fuel present new market opportunities for farmers, entrepreneurs, and agribusiness in the developing world.

Adapting to these changes requires a rapid transformation of all segments of the agricultural supply chain: the farms (upstream), the processing, storage and wholesaling (midstream) and retailing and delivery to consumers (downstream). Decision-makers who are not aware of these institutional changes and technological opportunities — and do not have the information systems that monitor them — will slow economic development. There is a need to understand and rethink governance, policies and regulations under this changing reality. Governments, donors, the private sector should target their interventions towards a more inclusive value chain approach to support smallholders and local enterprises to effectively participate in all segments of the value chain to ensure that farmers and rural economies can benefit — rather than be excluded—from this transformation through increased productivity, increased incomes, and improved nutrition.

The Disruptive Plenary Session at ICABR 2018 will focus on the impact of new value chains and technology on agribusiness and farmers and their capacity to implement innovation, and the policy and institutional implications of transforming value chain and the agri-food system.


Professor, Michigan State University

Executive Director for Argentina, Bolivia, Chile Paraguay, Peru and Uruguay, World Bank Group

Professor, KU Leuven