Innovative Financing Instruments : FOOD and AGRICULTURE
FOOD – ENDING MALNUTRITION
New Partnership eyes ‘Koko Plus’ for Ghana
Two donor agencies and a Japanese food corporation have agreed to work together to address malnutrition among babies between 6 months and 2 years in Ghana.
The U.S. Agency for International Development, the Japan International Cooperation Agency and Ajinomoto Co. Inc. signed a memorandum of collaboration in Accra. The three will be working closely to market “Koko Plus,” a nutritional supplement made from locally produced soybeans and fortified with vitamins and lysine, an essential amino acid.
Ajinomoto, in collaboration with a local food company and the University of Ghana, will produce Koko Plus under the partnership. In addition, the food corporation plans to provide funding to test and evaluate the product’s effectiveness in improving children’s nutrition.
USAID, for its part, will offer funding and technical assistance to help create a distribution model to promote Koko Plus. This will be provided under the Global Development Alliance, USAID’s public-private partnership scheme. JICA, meanwhile, plans to continue providing assistance and help launch a marketing survey and develop a business plan to increase the product’s sales in Ghana.
AGRICULTURE DOUBLING FARMERS INCOME
The concept of the Agri-Service Center developed by Rabobank, in The Netherlands, consists of creating centers to bring together seed and fertilizer companies to supply inputs, consumer goods companies to ensure off-take at regular schedules, banks and insurance companies to support the farmers who engage in these Agri-Service Centers to create a business model for higher productivity and profitability for the farmers and agriculture linked companies.
TIAA-CREF Global Agriculture LLC: Principles for Responsible Investment in Farmland
The new company TIAA-CREF Global Agriculture LLC comprises several international institutional investors and has $2 billion in commitments to invest in farmland in the United States, Australia and Brazil.
The company began investing capital in April 2011 and includes AP2, British Columbia Investment Management Corporation (bcIMC), the Caisse de dépôt et placement du Québec (Caisse) and other like-minded institutions. TIAA has a significant stake in the company, and an affiliate of TIAA, Teachers Advisors, Inc., serves as the manager.
“We see increased protein consumption in developing economies and alternative energy mandates driving increased demand for food, fiber and fuel from a limited resource – land. Direct investment in farmland provides access to the key driver of food production,” said Jose Minaya, managing director and head of global natural resources and infrastructure investments at TIAA-CREF. “In addition, we believe sustainable land management is imperative to help create value over the long term, and we employ best practices across our portfolio accordingly.”
TIAA-CREF is a founding member of the Principles for Responsible Investment in Farmland, a group of international institutional investors that launched farmland principles in September 2011. These principles aim to improve sustainability, transparency and accountability of investments in farmland2 .
ProSavana: Mozambique farming project launched
By Andrew England in Maputo
With an estimated 36m hectares of land available for agriculture – an area larger than Belgium – Mozambique has long attracted the attention of foreign commercial farmers eager to exploit its fertile heartlands.
But until now, the interest has not been matched by concerted action on the ground, with projects failing, upsetting local farmers or Now, however, the government intends to map out millions of hectares of under-used land as part of a scheme dubbed ProSavana to identify which crops should be grown where.
With just over half of Mozambique’s 23m population living below a poverty line of $0.50 a day, the government is prioritising agriculture in its battle against poverty. Hopes are high that the project, which covers 5.5m hectares, could spark a fresh wave of investor interest in Mozambican agriculture.
Brazil is providing technical support as the terrain and climate is considered similar to its savannah region, where Brazilian agriculture was transformed, while Japan is assisting with financial support.
The land zoning should be completed this year, says Armando Inroga, Mozambique’s trade minister.
With ProSavana expected to encourage more foreign investment, experts say the key will be finding the balance between commercial farms that raise productivity and developing local farmers struggling to make ends meet as they lack capital, technology and access to markets.