The Global Environment Facility (GEF) has confirmed a $13.5 million equity investment in the AGRI3 Fund. This funding mechanism supports the development of sustainable agriculture and forest conservation.

The Global Environment Facility’s (GEF) $13.5 million investment is being made through Conservation International, one of its partner agencies. This equity investment will enable the AGRI3 Fund to leverage additional funding for its missions around the world, particularly in Africa, Asia and Latin America. This financing mechanism, launched by the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) and Rabobank, supports the development of sustainable agriculture and the preservation of forests.

The fund aims to mobilize 1 billion dollars over the next few years. Through these investments, AGRI3 provides loans and guarantees to commercial banks and other financial institutions to mobilize capital by reducing risk and catalyzing investment proposals.

“The financial sector is hard pressed to provide the solutions farmers need to adopt more sustainable practices. Long-term investments are often needed to change key elements of agriculture, such as irrigation, replanting, soil quality, forest and ecosystem protection, nature-friendly farming, new farm equipment, or training,” says AGRI3.

The GEF’s support has been noted in a global context marked by the growth of democracy, which is leading to an increase in agricultural production. Cash crops are the cause of deforestation in the world’s largest forest basins. In Ivory Coast, for example, unbridled cocoa production has led to a rapid reduction in its forest cover. According to Global Forest Watch, from 2001 to 2021, Ivory Coast has lost 3.46 million hectares of vegetation cover, which is equivalent to a 23% decrease since 2000.

AGRI3 is expected to support the development of agroforestry, which integrates agricultural production and forest preservation. The fund is also supported by the Sustainable Trade Initiative (STI) and the Netherlands Development Finance Corporation (FMO). Investment firms FOUNT and Cardano Development are the fund’s investment advisors.

Jean Marie Takouleu

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