The Business Case for Land Rights: Private Sector Perspectives on Responsible Land-Based Investment Webinar
USAID LandLinks is working to support private sector partners to de-risk investments and secure legitimate land rights in order to improve livelihoods and other outcomes for communities affected by investments. LandLinks along with Agrilinks, Microlinks, and a panel of experts held an interactive online discussion on the Business Case for Land Rights: Private Sector Perspectives on Responsible Land-Based Investment.
Secure, clear land rights are critical for sustainable land-based investments. But in the developing world, where an estimated 70 percent of land is unregistered, it can be challenging to understand who has legitimate land and resource rights, and land grabs and land rights abuses are often associated with commercial investments.
Featuring USAID partners, The Hershey Company and ECOM Agroindustrial Corporation, this webinar explored how these companies think about and address land tenure risks in their supply chains. They also delved into why and how these two companies are working with USAID to mitigate land tenure risks for their suppliers and increase cocoa yields in Ghana. Olga Gormalova (ECOM) and Jeff King (Hershey’s) presented, with Sarah Lowery (USAID) moderating.
Lowery leads work on integrated finance for sustainable land use and responsible private sector investment. She focuses on the link between secure land tenure and inclusive economic growth and leads econometric and financial analysis related to strengthened land tenure and access to finance. Lowery brings over 12 years of experience at the intersection of business, finance, and the environment. Prior to joining USAID, Lowery managed the Public-Private Co-Finance Initiative at Forest Trends and has authored several papers and thought-pieces on climate finance innovations like REDD+ bonds and ways to utilize climate finance to unlock larger pools of capital-like domestic agricultural finance in the pursuit of conservation goals. Lowery holds an MBA and a master’s degree in Environmental Management from Yale University.
Olga Gormalova has overseen sustainability programs of ECOM in Ghana and Nigeria since 2
012. Olga comes from an international development background and has been working on health, education, and community development in the UK, India, Kenya, and Liberia since 2007. She is passionate about finding the most efficient and innovative solutions to deliver services to rural populations with an aim of improving their prosperity. In Ghana and Nigeria she has been overseeing a team of more than 160 staff, of which 130 are field based Agronomists. She holds an MSc in International Development from School of Oriental and African Studies (SOAS), University of London, UK.
Jeff King is responsible for Hershey’s sustainability and farmer livelihoods programming, philanth
ropic giving and community programs, as well as leading Hershey’s commitment to childhood nutrition programs and expanding economic development in underserved communities. Prior to this position, King was responsible for the strategic direction and regional execution for the Hershey Company’s two biggest franchises, as the Sr. Director Global Hershey and Reese’s. Additionally, he led Hershey’s new business model in Ghana that combines CSR activities with commercial development, specifically supporting the health and nutrition of Ghanaian children and the launching of a new, nutrition focused snacking brand in Africa. King has also been the Director of Disruptive Innovation for The Hershey Company, and Sr. Brand Manager for the U.S. Reese’s Franchise.