By Laura Joffre | Pioneer Post
Bank of America last week announced it invested $5m in the Agri-Business Capital Fund (ABC Fund), an impact fund that invests in smallholder farmers and rural agri-businesses to support sustainable and inclusive agriculture in developing countries.
Since its launch in 2019, the ABC Fund has made more than 20 investments in nine countries, mostly in sub-Saharan Africa. It aims to improve the lives of 4m people by generating jobs for rural women and youth, as well as supporting sustainable agriculture initiatives, with a particular focus on climate change adaptation.
Thouraya Triki, chair of the board of the ABC Fund, said: “By bringing investments to promising and entrepreneurial agri-businesses and farmers’ cooperatives, the ABC Fund is not only building the sustainable value chains of today and tomorrow, but also making a real difference to the lives of thousands of rural families, women and young people.”
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The ABC fund provides loans or equity to smallholder farmers and small to medium-sized agri-businesses, as well as non-financial technical assistance. The fund uses public sector funding (from governments and development finance institutions) as first-loss capital to catalyse further investment from the private sector.
The Fund was initiated by the International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD) and has received investments from the European Union, the Organization of African, Caribbean and Pacific States (OACPS), the Luxembourg Government and the Alliance for a Green Revolution in Africa (AGRA), and IFAD. The Bank of America investment is the first the fund has received from the private sector so far.
Triki added: “Bank of America’s backing shows how public and private sector capital can come together to deliver additional impact. This is a first-of-a-kind investment in the ABC Fund and we hope it to be the first of many.”