GENEVA, SWITZERLAND — Louis Dreyfus Holding and Bamboo Finance announced on Oct. 28 a partnership to launch and jointly manage NISABA, a $50 million impact investment fund project with a focus on small- and medium-sized agribusiness enterprises in Sub-Saharan Africa.
As project sponsor, Louis Dreyfus Holding, which owns a controlling stake in Louis Dreyfus Commodities, will invest $10 million to seed NISABA. Bamboo is a private equity firm specializing in investing in business models that benefit low-income communities in developing economies.
“We are excited to apply an integrated investment approach with a vast network of local expertise for the benefit of smallholder farmers and their communities, while demonstrating the value of impact investing,” said Jean-Philippe de Schrevel, Bamboo Finance chief executive officer. “This is a pioneer partnership that will merge multinational sector expertise with access to finance and impact investment know-how, in order to actively co-manage investments from pipeline to exit. This type of active collaboration represents an important milestone in the field of impact investing”.
“Agribusiness development is at the crossroads of major challenges for Africa. With an estimated population of 2 billion by 2050, and 330 million young Africans expected to enter the labor market by 2025, global agricultural production is not keeping pace with population growth. We believe that through appropriate financing tools like impact investing, the private sector must take an active role in addressing such challenges,” said Margarita Louis-Dreyfus, chairperson of Louis Dreyfus Holding.
NISABA will target a balanced portfolio of countries, activities and commodities, and will invest in financing gaps across the agribusiness value chain in growth markets. The focus will be on businesses that combine social, environmental and financial returns by improving efficiency through access to data, finance and risk mitigation, training and technology innovation; strengthening market access by linking producers to end-consumers; and building local capacity through post-harvest handling and storage, value-addition or processing solutions, among others. More information is available on www.nisabafund.com.
Through its controlling stake in Louis Dreyfus Commodities, Louis Dreyfus Holding has a 164-year-old global presence in the agribusiness sector, with expertise in a wide range of commodities, participation in various diversified businesses and a strong presence in Africa.
The small- to medium- enterprise agribusiness sector in Sub-Saharan Africa represents untapped potential for investors and smallholder farmers alike to foster sustainable and inclusive economic development, while capturing the value of early-stage growth, the companies said.