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From right:  Amb. Sheikh Mohammed Belal, Managing Director of the CFC, is seen with Ms. Mathilde Miedema (center) and Ms. Sayeda N. Nahar (left).

TNO and CFC on the lookout for partnership

29 August 2023, Amsterdam: Ambassador Sheikh Mohammed Belal, Managing Director of the Common Fund for Commodities (CFC) today received Ms. Mathilde Miedema, Programme Director, TNO Innovation for Development (I4D) and Ms. Sayeda N. Nahar, Researcher/Scientist Innovator, TNO Innovation for Life, Delft-Stieltjesweg, at the CFC Secretariat in Amsterdam. The purpose of the visit of the TNO delegation is to explore ways of cooperation between TNO and CFC. Mr. Michael van den Berg, Impact Investment Manager of the CFC, also present at the meeting to assist Ambassador Belal.  

Ms. Mathilde and Ms. Nahar, through a short presentation, highlighted TNO’s activities in the field of innovation and technologies.  With innovations as their core strategy, TNO have been able to work in different parts of the world and have been contributing to make sustainable development goals a reality. They expressed interests for possible partnership with the CFC in the commodity value chain. 

In response Ambassador Belal mentioned that CFC was committed to pursuing ininnovative approaches to extend its reach to the widest possible populace within commodity-dependent developing nations. TNO’s innovative works like protein from insects or biodegradable items of hygiene could be a precursor to our mutual synergies. 

Ambassador Belal also introduced CFC as he welcomed the TNO delegation. Highlighting  on how CFC is making use of its resources for a  technology enabled commodity transformation in the developing world, Ambassador Belal also elaborated on the unprecedented surge in the demand for CFC's services. He contextualized this surge in demand against the backdrop of the ongoing pandemic, the war in Ukraine, and the fluctuating US exchange rates. Ambassador Belal underscored the critical importance of bolstering support to effectively meet the expectations of member countries in these challenging times.

Moreover, Ambassador Belal discussed the Agricultural Commodity Transformation (ACT) Fund, previously known as CIIF. He shared the CFC's roadmap for poverty alleviation in the Least Developed Countries (LDCs), Land Locked Developed Countries (LLDCs), and beyond. Ambassador Belal noted that both CFC and TNO being based in the “innovation” rich Netherlands, owe it to each other to complement our mutual effort for a world with one less poor.

The meeting was concluded with the expression of mutual assurances of support to do the necessary follow up in the days to come.

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