Drawing upon data and insights from the portfolios of 12 financial institutions, the Council on Smallholder Agricultural Finance (CSAF) published its “State of the Sector 2018” Report. Last year, Incofin Investment Management and the 11 other CSAF members collectively provided $716 million in loans to 794 agricultural SMEs around the world. This just-released “State of the Sector” Report explores trends, opportunities, and challenges for unlocking agricultural financing at the scale required to meet demand.
Incofin IM, manager of the Fairtrade Access Fund (FAF), is a member of the CSAF. The FAF published its first Intelligence Report this year, regarding the Brazil nut sector in Bolivia. A summary is given in the “State of the Sector 2018” Report on page 15. Incofin has provided financing and advisory services to four Brazil nut enterprises (representing 385 Brazil nut collectors and employing 1,240 staff in their processing facilities). Brazil nuts are collected in primary forests. The Brazil nut market is vulnerable to changing climate patterns and human-driven deforestation. No industrial-scale Brazil nut plantations exist, despite growing demand for this “superfood” in the US and Europe. As many indigenous Amazonian communities depend on the Brazil nut harvest for their livelihoods, they have a strong incentive to preserve the forest environment and keep others from encroaching due to logging or mining.