DFC and USAID Launch USD 55 Million Loan Funding Program as COVID-19 Aid for Sustainable Agricultural Development in India – India

Thursday 23 September 2021

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New Delhi: The American International Development Finance Corporation (DFC) and the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) today announced that they are jointly sponsoring a $ 55 million (approx. 400 crore Indian rupees) to address the economic impact of COVID -19 by supporting loans to farmer organizations, agro-tech companies and businesses engaged in clean energy solutions for the agricultural sector. The initiative will introduce and support clean technologies for smallholder farmers, especially women, that improve market linkages and increase incomes while having a positive impact on the environment.

Called the “India Covid Response Program for Agriculture Transition,” this eight-year program will reach over 200,000 smallholder farmers in India and is supported by direct grants from several international foundations and the UK’s Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office. In addition, financial support will be complemented by technical assistance led by the Rabo Foundation to focus on areas of business management and help build stronger links with markets. Loans to agricultural producer organizations will be provided by three Indian lenders – Samunnati Financial, Maanaveeya and Avanti Finance.

“At USAID, we believe that providing farmers with access to cleaner, more affordable technology can improve community livelihoods and climate resilience. In addition, clean technologies offer a sustainable alternative to meet agricultural demand, combat food insecurity and improve nutritional outcomes. This support will address the health and economic needs of vulnerable farming communities severely affected by the COVID-19 pandemic, ”said Warren Harrity, Director of Program Support, USAID / India.

“Only by joining forces and creating valuable partnerships can we provide smallholder farmers with the space and opportunities they need to improve their livelihoods and adapt to the challenges of climate change. This not only supports farmers who receive direct support; it also benefits their local communities and the environment in India, ”said Pim Mol, CEO of the Rabo Foundation.

“We are happy to be part of this collective empowerment mission for the benefit of small farmers with a transition to more sustainable livelihoods. We strongly believe that aggregation can solve multiple problems facing smallholder farmers and this initiative can go a long way in scaling collectives by encouraging the participation of major capital providers, ”noted Manish Thakkar. of Avanti Finance.

Anil Kumar SG of Samunnati Financial said: “This initiative will offer personalized financial solutions to entities interested in adopting green and climate smart solutions.

“To counter the effects of COVID-19 on the agricultural sector, this timely project will act as a catalyst to make smallholder farmers more resilient to climate change while having a direct impact on the communities we serve,” said Dr. Gouri Sankar from Maanaveeya.

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Kristina McManus

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