The USD 1 billion sustainable agriculture and forestry initiative AGRI3 and its Technical Assistance facility are now officially up and running.
By providing guarantees, soft loans or grants, the AGRI3 Fund aims to act as a much-needed catalyst and 'de-risking' vehicle to switch towards more sustainable forms of food & commodity production, by positively contributing to a) avoided deforestation & restoration; b) switching to sustainable agricultural practices; c) improve rural livelihoods. See animated video.
AGRI3 Fund Technical Assistance facility officially launched
In addition to the AGRI3 Fund, a separate Technical Assistance (TA) facility has been established and is currently operational to ensure the scaling-up of innovative sustainable agricultural practices to farmers. The AGRI3 TA facility aims to help to develop an investment pipeline, support the enabling environment for investment, and accompany investments to reduce project risk and ensure environmental, social and governance impacts are maximized and monitored, in and beyond the supply chains and landscapes. The TA facility is managed by IDH.
GEF Council approved USD 13m investment in the AGRI3 Fund
The GEF Council approved an investment of USD 13 million in the AGRI3 Fund, which was part of a broader package of USD 700 million by the GEF for urgent environmental action.
With this investment, the GEF will become a participant in the AGRI3 Fund after the anchor investments by the Dutch Government and Rabobank (of each USD 40m). The target for the fund is to raise in total USD 146 million for the Finance Fund and USD 15 million for the Technical Assistance facility. By issuing (mostly) guarantees (e.g. in local currency), the fund aims to unlock USD 1 billion in senior debt from commercial and development banks (DFIs) to lend to farmers and agribusinesses as long as they positively contribute to improving rural livelihood (training, income), reduce emissions and protect forests.
The AGRI3 Consortium now consists of several partners, including Mirova/Althelia, FOUNT and Cardano Development acting as joint Investment Advisors for the fund. UNEP and FMO as partners, Rabobank as private sponsor and investor and IDH as manager of the Technical Assistance facility. The consortium would very much welcome investors - whether impact or institutions investors - to invest in the senior equity position of the fund, but also governments and foundations willing to provide junior equity or an unfunded risk participation, as well as commercial banks and DFIs that focus on originating deals.