Swiss impact investor responsAbility has raised $106 million for its climate-smart agriculture and food fund that will invest in Asia Pacific, Latin America and Africa.

ResponsAbility said in a statement on Tuesday that Global Affairs Canada, the Dutch Entrepreneurial Development Bank (FMO), the Danish Investment Fund for Developing Countries (IFU), Visa Foundation, Calvert Impact Capital, Bank of America and Ceniarth have committed to the fund.

This private debt strategy was launched by responsAbility in partnership with CGIAR (Consultative Group for International Agricultural Research) and with KfW (Kreditanstalt für Wiederaufbau) as anchor investor and the U.S. International Development Finance Corporation (DFC) as guarantee provider.

In response to the annually needed $350 billion to transform food systems as well as investor interest, responsAbility said this investment solution aims to provide long-term financing to innovative agribusinesses in Asia Pacific, Latin America and Africa with the goal of mitigating climate change, reducing food loss and promoting climate change resilience in their value chains.

Investor interest for such a solution is clearly reflected by the additional capital raised from public and private sector investors.

These commitments are part of a blended finance structure and aim at providing long-term expansion debt and technical assistance to growing agribusinesses.

“Business as usual is no longer possible as emissions from the global food system alone could raise global temperatures by 1.5°C by 2050 and climate change puts the global food security at risk,

“Therefore, it is an absolute priority to transition to low-carbon and climate-resilient food systems,” said Suhasini Singh, Head of Sustainable Food Debt at responsAbility.

According to her, the firm has an opportunity to showcase that there are investable projects in this grossly unfunded space, leveraging responsibility’s experience of 20 years in this sector.

Harjit S. Sajjan, Minister for International Development at Global Affairs Canada, said that Canada has committed to working with developing countries to support smallholder farmers and food value-chain actors, especially women, to better adapt to climate change, reduce their greenhouse gas emissions, and adopt climate-smart agriculture and food system practices.

“Our investment of $36.8 million to the Climate Smart Food Systems Fund will provide loans and technical assistance for up to 30 agricultural small and medium enterprises to support climate-smart interventions, help them adapt to climate change, and make food systems more resilient to crises,

“It also aligns with Canada’s International Assistance Innovation Program investment objectives: market-building for investments, gender equality, and mobilizing public and private finance for the poor,” he added.

Anton Timpers, Agribusiness, Food, and Water Manager at FMO, said that Climate Smart Agriculture “CSA” is and will remain a key topic for public and private investors as it targets two of the main global challenges: feeding the world’s population and climate change.

“The intersection of climate action and food security in this Climate Smart Agriculture & Food Systems investment strategy aligns perfectly with FMO’s broader mandate, as we seek to improve the livelihoods of smallholder farmers and their communities,” he said.

Otto Vinther Christensen, Senior Vice President and Head of Sustainable Food Systems at Danish Investment Fund for Developing Countries, said that Climate Smart Food Systems Fund is a perfect match with the fund’s impact ambition to create green, just and inclusive societies.

“Therefore we are pleased to commit $15 million to the new fund. And we are looking forward to seeing responsAbility as fund manager promote and finance agribusiness solutions that can meet future food demands in a sustainable and climate resilient manner,” he said.

Najada Kumbuli, Head of Investments, Visa Foundation, said that the foundation she believes thefFund’s investments, together with the technical assistance programs, will help create more inclusive, climate-resilient food systems in communities around the world.

Daniel Ford, Director, Investments, Calvert Impact, said the fund hopes that this innovative fund can serve as a template for addressing the financing needs required to create a more productive, sustainable food systems around the world.

Amy Brusiloff, community development executive at Bank of America, said the bank’s participation will leverage additional capital to help create a more sustainable food system, reduce greenhouse gas emissions and food waste, and increase economic opportunity for farmers and others in the food distribution sector.

Stefan Freeman, Head of Investments for Ceniarth, said the firm believes the fund holds potential to deliver meaningful impact and to prove-out the benefits of innovative financing for vulnerable farmers.

ResponsAbility is an impact asset manager specializing in private market investments across three investment themes to directly contribute to the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs): financial Inclusion, to finance the growth of micro and small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs); climate Finance, to contribute to a net zero pathway; and sustainable food, to sustainably feed an ever-growing population.

Since its inception in 2003, responsAbility has deployed over $13 billion in impact investments.

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