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Debates about the role of private sector in development have been growing internationally in recent years. In Italy, new Law no.125/2014 encourages private sector actors to increase their involvement. What needs to be further clarified is how this role should be played out, and based on which development objectives. The debate on the potential benefits of a greater involvement of the private sector in sustainable development in ODA-recipient countries relies on a small number of cases and on insufficient data.

This paper looks at the information available on the role of the Italian private sector in participating in and implementing development programmes funded through Italian ODA in one of the key sectors of Italian development cooperation policy: sustainable agriculture and rural development. It gives recommendations for secondary laws that will determine the action of these players in the Italian development cooperation system.

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