The US International Development Finance Corporation (DFC) and the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) announced today that they have jointly granted a loan guarantee of $ 55 million (approximately 19 in support of loans to producer organizations from farmers , Ag-Tech companies and companies involved in clean energy solutions for the agricultural sector.
The initiative will introduce and support clean technologies for smallholders, especially women, that improve market relations and increase incomes while having a positive impact on the environment.
This eight-year program, entitled India Covid Response Program for Agriculture Transition, will reach more than 200,000 smallholders in India and is supported by direct grants from several international foundations and the UK Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office.
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In addition, financial assistance is complemented by technical assistance led by the Rabo Foundation to focus on areas of corporate governance and help build stronger connections with the markets. Loans to producer organizations are provided by three Indian lenders – Samunnati Financial, Maanaveeya and Avanti Finance.
“At USAID, we believe that giving farmers access to cleaner, more affordable technology can improve livelihoods and climate resilience in the community. In addition, clean technologies offer a sustainable alternative to meeting agricultural needs, tackling food insecurity and improving food outcomes. This support will meet the health and economic needs of vulnerable farming communities severely affected by the COVID-19 pandemic, “said Warren Harrisity, Director, Program Support, USAID / India.
“Only if we join forces and enter into valuable partnerships can we offer smallholders the space and opportunities to improve their livelihoods and to adapt to the challenges of climate change. This not only supports the farmers who receive direct support; it also benefits their local communities and the environment in India, ”said Pim Mol, CEO, Rabo Foundation.
“We are excited to be part of this mission that empowers collectives for the benefit of smallholders with a transition to more sustainable livelihoods. We strongly believe that aggregation can solve several problems faced by smallholders, and this initiative can go a long way in scaling collectives by encouraging the participation of mainstream financiers, ”noted Manish Thakkar of Avanti Finance .
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Samunnati Financial’s Anil Kumar SG said, “This initiative will provide bespoke financial solutions for companies interested in adopting climate-smart and environmentally friendly solutions.”
“To counter the impact of COVID-19 on the agricultural sector, this timely project will play a catalytic role in making smallholders more resilient to climate change while directly impacting the communities we serve,” said Dr. Gouri Sankar from Maanaveeya.