- Incofin Investment Management (Incofin IM) is pleased to announce the launch of the EUR 2 million Technical Assistance Facility (the agTAF) to foster agricultural and rural lending in developing countries
- The new Facility will provide advice to the investees of the agRIF Fund to better serve smallholder farmers and rural entrepreneurs
Incofin IM signed agreements with the European Investment Bank (EIB), PROPARCO (the subsidiary of Agence Française de Développement focused on private sector development), the Belgian Investment Company for Developing Countries (BIO) and the agRIF Cooperatief U.A. (the agRIF Fund) for a total commitment of close to EUR 2 million. The agreements, signed in September 2018, will enable the provision of tailored capacity-building support under the agTAF, a new Technical Assistance Facility that will complement the agRIF Fund, a close-ended fund managed by Incofin IM that invests in financial institutions, producer organizations and agricultural value chain SMEs.
The objective of the agTAF is to foster financial inclusion of smallholder farmers and rural entrepreneurs through increasing outreach and improving capacity of selected agRIF investees. The agTAF will provide support in developing innovative products and channels to bring affordable financial services closer to underserved rural and agricultural clients, as well as in improving risk management techniques and overall financial, social and environmental performance.
“The support of the donors is extremely important to unlock the potential of our clients in generating social impact at a large scale”, says Loïc De Cannière, Managing Director of Incofin IM. He adds, “The timing of the launch of agTAF comes at the right moment, as the agRIF Fund has built up a significant number of agriculturally focused investments and we observe a high need to support these investees to achieve their impact objectives”.
“Lending to the agricultural sector is crucial for the development of rural areas; yet can be challenging for financial institutions. Supporting technical assistance alongside our investment in the agRIF Fund is an imperative for us to ensure that microfinance companies are not only financed, but also receive the necessary technical support to improve their business with smallholder farmers”, says Hannah Siedek, Microfinance Loan Officer at the EIB.
“Financial inclusion and strengthening of agricultural value chains are major challenges for the African continent”, says Soline Praloran, Technical Assistance Office at PROPARCO.
“This facility is fully in line with BIO’s goals, strengthening the capacities of institutions and improving their environmental and social impact in the agricultural sector. We believe this is fundamental to improve the access to finance”, says Margot Vandorpe, Development & Sustainability Officer at BIO.
The agTAF will be governed and receive strategic guidance of the Steering Committee, which will be represented by the donors and the agRIF Fund. Incofin IM will be responsible for the operational management of the fiduciary assets, which will be held by KBL European Private Bankers. The agTAF will operate until 2025 and will support the investees of the agRIF Fund in Africa, Asia, Latin America and Eastern Europe. Incofin IM plans to mobilize an additional EUR 1.5 million from DFIs, private foundations and other partners who believe in inclusive and sustainable progress.
About European Investment Bank
The European Investment Bank (EIB) is the long-term lending institution of the European Union. Owned by the 28 EU Member States, the EIB provides finance and expertise for sound and sustainable investment projects in over 160 countries. During the last five years, the EIB has provided EUR 30.7 billion of co-financing to the agriculture and bioeconomy sector. For more information, please see: www.eib.org
PROPARCO is a subsidiary of Agence Française de Développement (AFD) focused on private sector development. It has been promoting sustainable economic, social and environmental development practices for 40 years. PROPARCO provides funding and support to both businesses and financial institutions across Africa, Asia, Latin America and the Middle-East. It seeks to partner with projects in key development sectors – infrastructure (with a specific focus on renewable energies), agribusiness, financial institutions, healthcare and education, etc. – and to boost the contribution of the private sector to achieving the sustainable development goals adopted by the international community in 2015. As a means to this end, PROPARCO finances businesses that are instrumental in creating decent jobs that pay decent wages, in supplying essential goods and services and in battling climate change. For more information, please see: www.proparco.fr/en
BIO is a Development Finance Institution established in 2001 by the Belgian Development Cooperation to support private sector growth in developing countries. BIO provides long-term financing to enterprises, the financial sector, and private infrastructure projects, as well as grants for feasibility studies and technical assistance programmes. BIO operates as an additional partner to the financial institutions and looks for projects with a balance between return on investment and development impact. BIO is a member of EDFI (European Development Finance Institutions). For more information, please see: www.bio-invest.be
KBL Luxembourg, founded in 1949 and a member of the KBL European Private Bankers group, is a recognized private banking leader, offering its domestic and international clients proximity, agility and personalized service. We help individuals, entrepreneurs, families, professionals and institutions preserve and grow their wealth by offering a full range of expert services via a single point of contact. Based on a deep understanding of the long-term goals of each client we have the opportunity to serve, we extend wealth and investment management services, corporate and diversification solutions, and business advice. We combine local insight, enhanced with a personal touch, with the global perspective of the KBL epb group, which operates in 50 European cities. For more information, please see: www.kbl.lu
Incofin Investment Management (www.incofin.com) manages impact investment funds and is a global leader in rural and agricultural finance, driven by a desire to promote inclusive progress. It is an AIFM licensed fund manager, advising and managing 1 BN USD of assets. Incofin has a team of 45 professionals spread over the headquarters in Belgium and 4 regional offices in Colombia, India, Kenya and Cambodia.
Incofin manages the following funds:
- agRIF is a third generation (closed-end) fund, uses leveraged private equity structures to support investments in financial inclusion for the rural sector. agRIF takes this model one step further by specifically targeting the agricultural sector and smallholder farmers, as well as rural micro-entrepreneurs. In addition to the equity investments targeted by the fund, agRIF provides debt investments in agricultural SMEs and agricultural focused financial intermediaries.
- Rural Impulse Fund II (closed-end fund) that invests in microfinance institutions that offer financial services in disadvantaged rural areas through debt and equity investments. RIF II focuses on investments in Africa, Asia, and Latin America.
- The Fairtrade Access Fund (evergreen fund) which contributes to the development of a fair and sustainable agriculture sector. It addresses the financial and technical assistance needs of smallholder farmers by bridging the gap in working capital and providing long-term financing.
- Incofin CVSO (evergreen co-operative) specialises in debt and equity investments in sectors generally accepted to belong to the impact investments universe. CVSO focuses in particular on Financial Inclusion and can make (direct and indirect) investments in companies (including SME’s) that pursue relevant impact objectives at the base of the pyramid in the areas of Food & Agriculture, Energy, Housing, Healthcare or Education. It is a cooperative fund and open to retail investors.
Contact details: investorrelations@Incofin.com; +32 3 829 25 36.