Ben Valk - Head - Food & Agri Partnerships

Ben Valk

Food & Agri Partnerships

Executive Director, Sustain Africa

Panelist at:

  • Session 3: Low Carbon Ammonia: A Reality in Africa

Ben Valk is Executive Director of Sustain Africa and Head Strategic Alliances and Transition Finance for Rabobank.

Rabobank’s international mission is to be the globally leading Food and Agri bank. Based on our “Banking for Food” strategy, we provide access to finance, knowledge and network, to establish ecologically, socially and economically sustainable food systems.

Based on his previous roles in domestic and international banking and development of the agricultural sector, Ben maintains high level networks from which partnerships, aiming at Food System Transformation, are derived. As an example, Rabobank launched the AGRI3 Fund, a US$ 1 bln initiative for forest conservation and sustainable agriculture. Ben managed the AGRI3 investor relations and realised the first 60% of investment in the Fund. Ben co-founded the Farm to Market Alliance (CFRO 2015 – 2018) and the Food Action Alliance and was a member of the Finance Lever of the UN Food Systems Summit 2021.

Before this, Ben headed Rabobank’s Multilateral Development Banking team, was Regional Manager for Rabo Development in Asia and South America and served in various senior management functions in the domestic banking network of Rabobank.

Mid 2022, Ben was appointed Executive Director for Sustain Africa, a crisis response and resilience initiative aiming at reducing hunger and introduction of sustainable agricultural practices to farmers in SSA. Sustain Africa is an initiative of IFA, AFAP, AGRA, BMGF, IFDC and Rabobank and enjoys widespread support from industry players and public sector.

Sustain Africa has developed on-the-ground farm support programs in 10 countries and executes government advisory programs in 2 countries in Sub-Saharan Africa. It has unlocked almost 200,000 mTons of fertilizer to 2 mln smallholder farmers growing food crops for local markets. It also executes a learning and research agenda and prepares to launch the Sustain Africa Fertilizer Monitor in 2024H2.

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