The Dutch government and Rabobank have announced that they will invest $80 million in the AGRI3 Fund to support sustainable agriculture and accelerate forest protection.
Created in partnership by the UN Environment Programme and Rabobank with the aim of unlocking $1 billion in finance, the AGRI3 Fund will support deforestation-free, sustainable agriculture and land use.
Following the Dutch government’s announcement to contribute $40 million to the initiative, Rabobank decided to match this amount.
Due to the strain the growing demand for food is placing on land, the AGRI3 Fund will develop business models that include acceleration of sustainable management of forests and the implementation of innovative agricultural solutions.
Contributions to the forestry initiative will help provide additional de-risking financial instruments and grants for technical assistance for food value chain actors, and, particularly, farmers.
Inger Andersen, executive director of UN Environment Programme, said: “We are very grateful to the Dutch government for their crucial contribution to the AGRI3 Fund.
“It is time for banks, investors, governments and agribusinesses to join institutions like Rabobank in financing sustainable food and forestry value chains, to save the climate, protect biodiversity, and ensure sustainable development.”
With the Dutch government grant, Rabobank aims to unlock further resources from impact investors and financiers. Farmers and food producers who would not normally have access to these resources now have an alternative to finance their investments in sustainable food production.
“As a cooperative bank, we see it as our role to help our clients accomplish the required shift in the agricultural value chains,” says Wiebe Draijer, chairman of Rabobank.
Draijer added: “The Dutch government supporting our partnership is a more than welcome complement. Together with our contribution, I’m utterly convinced these combined contributions will spur this shift.”
During establishment, the fund also received support from partner IDH and FMO, the Dutch entrepreneurial development bank.
Following its latest investments, the AGRI3 Fund will be up and running in the first half of 2020 and open to participation by other banks and financial institutions to join.
© FoodBev Media Ltd 2019