GCF and Acumen sign agreement to promote resilient agriculture in East and West Africa

GCF and Acumen have signed funding agreements which will open up new channels of climate finance to climate resilient agriculture projects in East and West Africa.

  • Article type Press release
  • Publication date 25 Jan 2019

The Green Climate Fund and Acumen have signed funding agreements which will open up new channels of climate finance to climate resilient agriculture projects in East and West Africa. GCF has committed USD 26 million to Acumen aimed at ensuring long-term sustainable increases in agriculture productivity and incomes for smallholder farmers.

GCF Private Sector Facility Deputy Director Tony Clamp said the signing of the agreement with Acumen marked another step in GCF’s ongoing efforts to mobilize institutional investors and the private sector . “This project will embolden local businesses and help scale up private sector investments in climate resilient agriculture,” he added.

“Acumen is proud to collaborate with GCF on this innovative project,” said Jacqueline Novogratz, Acumen’s Founder and Chief Executive Officer. “The project’s ultimate goal is to help African smallholder farmers become more resilient to climate change. At scale, we hope to benefit over 10 million smallholder farmers in East and West Africa.”

Agriculture is a major industry in the project countries, and up to 80 percent of farmland is managed by smallholder farmers who are highly vulnerable to the impacts of climate change. The project intends to shift investments in climate adaptation from grants to a long-term capital approach, enabling more efficient and effective responses to climate change and ultimately improving climate resilience for smallholder farmers.

The project will support small- and medium- sized agribusiness companies by providing aggregator, digital platform and innovative financial services. At scale, it is expected to impact 10 million lives over 12 years by supporting pioneering and early stage agribusiness companies that serve smallholder farmers and by catalysing large scale private sector investments in climate resilient agriculture.

GCF and Acumen have been successfully working together to empower private sector investing in climate mitigation and adaptation projects. GCF is supporting Acumen’s sponsored KawiSafi investment fund in East Africa, the world’s first private climate change fund targeting low-income populations in developing countries.

Acumen is a non-profit changing the way the world tackles poverty by investing in businesses, leaders and ideas. Since its founding in 2001, Acumen has invested $115 million, sourced from philanthropic and managed investment capital, to build over 110 innovative enterprises addressing the problems of poverty in Africa, South Asia, Latin America and the United States. Acumen is an accredited entity to GCF.

The Green Climate Fund was established by the 194 parties to the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) and given the mandate to fund climate action to limit greenhouse gas emissions and support climate-resilient development. Since its creation, GCF approved 93 projects in 96 countries with the total GCF investment of USD 4.6 billion. 42 of the projects are already under implementation.