New Fund to Bridge Caribbean Agriculture and Climate Change

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The crossroads of business and climate

By Dana Niland
CJ Contributor

The Inter-American Development Bank (IDB) has approved the $5 million Climate-Smart Agriculture Fund for Latin American and the Caribbean (CSAF), which aims to incentivize private sector investment in projects that increase farmers’ incomes while also combating climate change.

The initiative was created in partnership with the Global Environment Facility.

“Our efforts thus far have produced solid results on climate mitigation. This new initiative complements those achievements with a first-of-its-kind fund to pursue equally ambitious results on climate adaptation,” said Kelle Bevine, Head of Strategy in the Structured and Corporate Finance Department of the IDB. “Concessional financing tools like this help to unleash the innovation of first mover projects and shift from business as usual.”

The climate-smart agriculture business model seeks to increase agricultural output while maintaining or reducing inputs such as land, water or fertilizer, as well as to increase overall productivity while bolstering resilience to threats to production posed by the effects of climate change, the IDB said.

The CSAF addresses the barriers commonly inherent to climate-smart agriculture investments by providing risk-tolerant capital and cushioning early losses.

The investments will go towards the restoration of degraded lands through reforestation and other methods of increasing productivity and profitability.

The Caribbean and Latin American region faces many challenges associated with climate change as a result of the prevalence of agriculture, making the reduction of emissions and increased resilience to climate-associated risks particularly significant.