Fund launched to provide loans to smallholder farmers
by Redaktion (comments: 0)
Incofin Investment Management, Fairtrade International and Grameen Foundation have announced they are establishing the first fund to focus on the unmet demand of smallholder farmers for long-term loans. Starbucks Coffee Company joins as the fund’s first anchor private investor with a US$ 1.3 million (1 million euros) commitment. According to a 2010 survey conducted by Fairtrade International, Fairtrade farmers in Latin America alone say they need US$ 500 million to cover their financing needs, more than half of this for long-term loans. (Picture: cotton farmers in India)
The Fairtrade Access Fund uniquely offers a full range of loan types and technical assistance to enable farmers’ organizations to strengthen and secure their businesses, including a new facility that will allow farmers to receive timely information on Fairtrade certification practices, crop management and localized market information via their mobile phones. The fund will provide financing to farmer cooperatives and other producer organizations that are Fairtrade certified or are applying for certification. .
The fund will launch in Latin America in the fall and expand into Africa and Asia in a second phase. It targets a launch size of US$ 8-12 million (6 million – 9 million euros), and is projected to approach US$ 25 million (20 million euros) by the end of year two. Incofin Investment Management, Grameen Foundation and Fairtrade International all focus on giving people in developing countries the opportunity to build their own businesses and improve their lives.
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