Investments in agriculture are critical to reducing poverty and boosting food security. Strengthening agriculture and food systems has the potential to improve the lives of millions of farmers and presents tremendous opportunities for people along the value chain, from farmers to consumers.
Agribusiness is diverse and complex, and a successful value chain requires the entire system to perform. But in many countries, the sector faces significant challenges, including resource scarcity, climate change, and access to finance. IFC is uniquely positioned to lead in agribusiness investment with its private and blended finance solutions, as well as advisory services tailored to the needs of large and small businesses. Blended finance allows IFC to support projects in the agricultural sector that may not attract commercial funding due to perceived high risks in this sector. It also allows for the provision of affordable funding with less demanding terms, which allows IFC to invest in early stage or riskier projects that hold high potential for development impact and financial sustainability.
IFC’s strategic objectives for agribusiness are guided by providing enhanced food security, driving economic development and inclusiveness, and making sustainability a driver of business. We continue to focus on climate-smart investments and creating market initiatives, particularly in fragile and conflict countries.
The Global Agriculture and Food Security Program (GAFSP) Private Sector Window uses blended finance solutions and concessional funding to support projects designed to improve the livelihoods of smallholder farmers living in the world’s poorest countries. Investing across the entire food supply chain, from farm inputs to logistics and storage, to processing and financing, the Private Sector Window specializes in early-stage agribusiness projects with a high potential for development impact.
GAFSP supports and demonstrates new and innovative financing aimed at increasing the commercial potential of small and medium sized agri-businesses and smallholder farmers by bringing them into the local, national, and global value chain. It also supports sustainable agriculture in developing countries and provide a demonstration effect for other financiers to increase investment and financing of agri-sector in IDA countries.
In addition to its investment support, GAFSP deploys advisory funds to strengthen potential investment clients and increase the complementarity between GAFSP Public Sector Window and Private Sector Window projects and activities. Through IFC’s Advisory Services, GAFSP helps raise capacity building by providing on-the-ground training and advice for businesses and farmers in improving farmer productivity, strengthening standards, reducing risks and mitigating climate change effects.
- Every $1 of Private Sector Window funding leverages $6.5 of private sector funding.
- 89 investment projects in 29 countries, deploying $475 million
- 101 advisory projects in 35 countries, deploying $53 million
GAFSP Private Sector Window is supported by the following development partners: Australia, Canada, Japan, the Netherlands, the United Kingdom, and the United States.
The Inclusive Agritech Facility (IAF) aims to de-risk IFC’s early-stage equity investments in agriculture technology (agritech) companies in India, Nepal and Bangladesh and aims to develop solutions for smallholder farmers by investing in private sector-led agriculture technology and business models that have the potential to be deployed at scale.
The facility, which was launched in 2018 with support from the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, helps demonstrate investment models that successfully balance sector risks, commercial success and impact goals, with the potential to attract additional sources of investment capital. It also strengthens the partnership between the foundation and IFC, capitalizing on the shared vision of achieving inclusive agricultural transformation and the complementary strengths of agriculture teams in the two organizations.
The Canada Facility for Resilient Food Systems
IFC and the Government of Canada are partnering to address market gaps created by the global food security crisis. The Canada Facility for Resilient Food Systems (FRFS), established in 2023, focuses on key strategic pillars for agribusiness including food security and nutrition; inclusive development; and sustainability and climate as business drivers. The facility supports projects aligned to IFC’s Global Food Security Platform (GFSP), a $6 billion financing facility to strengthen the private sector's ability to respond to the surging levels of food insecurity and help support food production, in both lower and middle income countries. FRFS includes a focus on crosscutting priorities such as climate-smart agriculture and agtech, gender, and nutrition, with support open to both investment and advisory projects.
Core focus areas include:
- Increasing efficient crop production
- Improving access to fertilizers (including organic)
- Greening fertilizer production and use
- Reducing crop loss and food waste and improving supply chain efficiency
- Efficient wholesaling and retailing
- Mitigating infrastructure bottlenecks critical to efficient food supply
- Mitigating the effects of Russia’s war on Ukraine / promoting Ukraine’s resilience