FAO Investment Centre

The European Union

The joint FAO-European Union AgrIntel initiative, launched in 2018, aims to improve access to short-term credit, long-term loans or equity investments among small and medium enterprises, cooperatives, microfinance institutions, banks and companies active in the agrifood sector.

In 2021, the Centre’s advisory team supported the European Union’s review of blended finance investments, including on additionality and development impact, by looking at 82 investment proposals submitted by three agrifood blended funds and one financing facility.

In 2021, FAO, the European Union and the French Agricultural Research Centre (CIRAD), in partnership with governments and working closely with national experts, national institutions and food systems stakeholders, initiated food systems assessments and consultations in more than 50 countries. Analysis from the assessments, together with national dialogues and national pathway documents for the UN Food Systems Summit, provide good policy and investment entry points for the sustainable transformation of agrifood systems.

Since 2020, the AgrInvest Uganda project, financed by the European Union and FAO, has been supporting the Uganda Development Bank (UDB) to boost its agrifood lending portfolio. This has included, among other activities, a mapping exercise to help the UDB identify more bankable agrifood small and medium enterprises; trainings to strengthen the UDB’s skills on agri-risk management and loan appraisal; and the roll out of innovative products in partnership with the UN Capital Development Fund and fintechs for digital lending to smallholder farmers.

The Centre supports the European Union on the Sustainable Cocoa Initiative, which is pushing for progress on ensuring a living income for cocoa farmers, protecting and restoring forests and eliminating child labour. Strategic cocoa studies carried out by the Centre in 2020 through its AgrIntel Facility with the European Union helped launch the initiative as well as a series of Cocoa Talks. The Cocoa Talks bring together representatives from European Union member states, cocoa-producing countries, industry and civil society organizations to advance the cocoa sustainability and equity agenda.