In an exciting announcement made today, Bank of America is investing USD 5 million into the Agri-Business Capital Fund (ABC Fund). The Fund, which is managed by Palladium’s Asset Management business, Bamboo Capital Partners, just reached a milestone deployment of more than 20 investments in nine countries around the world.
A blended-finance impact fund serving smallholder farmers and small and medium-sized agribusinesses in developing countries, the ABC Fund supports projects that generate jobs for rural women and youth, and sustainable agriculture initiatives with a particular focus on climate change adaptation solutions.
The investment from Bank of America is the first from a corporate global financial institution and with more impact-yielding investments in the pipeline, the team expects that more corporations will follow suit.
Thouraya Triki, Chair of the Board of the ABC Fund notes the difference the fund is making in the lives of thousands of rural families, women, and young people around the world. “Bank of America’s backing shows how public and private sector capital can come together to deliver additional impact,” she says. “This is a first-of-a-kind investment in the ABC Fund, and we hope it to be the first of many.”
The ABC Fund has been designed to address the financing and capacity gaps facing smallholder farmers and rural SMEs. It offers a set of financial products, including loans and equity, specifically tailored to their needs. To reach them most effectively, these products are made available either directly to farmers’ organisations and SMEs, or indirectly via financial intermediaries.
Much of the ABC Fund’s work with smallholder farmers and agribusinesses aims to contribute to food security, help sustain and create rural jobs, and ultimately drive progress towards the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals, which is of particular interest to Bank of America’s Dan Letendre, Managing Director of Environmental, Social and Governance. “The Fund will help to address the impacts of climate change on rural farming as well as drive more innovation in the sector to help meet the SDGs,” he explains. “Through this investment, Bank of America is supporting higher rural employment and access to inclusive business opportunities, and a more sustainable agribusiness today and for the future.”
To further catalyse positive impact in agribusiness value chains, the ABC Fund combines its investments with technical assistance support to help strengthen the capacities of its target organisations.
“We are delighted that Bank of America has come on board,” says Jean-Philippe de Schrevel, Founder and Managing Partner of Bamboo Capital Partners. “This reflects the successful execution of the ABC Fund’s investment strategy especially in times of pandemic – and is an endorsement of the Fund’s impact ambition.”