Grow Asia Launches its Largest Public-Private Climate Fund to Leverage $1 billion of Green Investment. The GrowBeyond Fund is designed to leverage up to USD$1bn of climate finance through a public-private blended financing model.
Singapore – In a ground-breaking move heralding a paradigm shift in sustainable agricultural financing, Grow Asia, a preeminent multi-stakeholder platform, has inaugurated its magnum opus, the GrowBeyond Fund, aiming to galvanize up to USD$1 billion in climate finance through a synergized public-private funding approach.
RELEVANT SUSTAINABLE GOALS
The GrowBeyond Fund
Introduced at the Grow Asia Investment Forum, this pioneering fund embodies a blended loan facility specially crafted for the small to medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) – the very heart and soul of Southeast Asia’s economic fabric. A staggering 70+ million SMEs in the region, often on the frontline of the climate cataclysm, are the intended beneficiaries.
Given that the agri-food sector is responsible for over a fifth of the world’s greenhouse gas emissions, the GrowBeyond Fund’s strategic investment blueprint underscores climate-resilient agriculture, restorative farming, and disruptive technologies. This focus is meticulously calibrated to mitigate the climate adversities faced by farmers and rustic communities in Southeast Asia.
By integrating contributions from governments, financial forerunners, private equity investors, and cutting-edge fintech/agritech firms, alongside adept technical facilitators, the GrowBeyond Fund — hailed as the most progressive in Grow Asia’s arsenal — aims to harmonize the current fragmented climate finance ecosystem. The goal? A tailor-made, crop-specific financial toolkit for SMEs, empowering them to augment their operations and adopt environmentally restorative practices.
The projections for the next decade are ambitious. The fund aspires to back over 200,000 farmers, facilitating their access to apt financial instruments and technical guidance. The anticipated ripple effect suggests a surge in farm productivity by a staggering 20% to 30%, paired with a remarkable decline in greenhouse gas emissions by nearly a third.
As climate change inexorably imperils Southeast Asia’s agricultural yield, food sovereignty, and rural livelihoods, the clarion call for transformative action intensifies. At the Grow Asia Investment Forum, with the endorsement of the World Economic Forum, Beverley Postma, Grow Asia’s Executive Director, articulated, “Our newly launched fund symbolizes our unwavering dedication to reshaping Southeast Asia’s food frameworks and tackling climate conundrums through robust public-private synergies. By championing resilient agronomic techniques, we aspire to fortify global food systems against climate change’s onslaught.”
Echoing this sentiment, Satvinder Singh, Deputy Secretary-General for the ASEAN Economic Community, emphasized the paramountcy of intertwining economic rejuvenation and climate-resilient agrarian methods. “As ASEAN’s foundational collaborator with Grow Asia, we herald this amplified public-private investment influx as a beacon of hope for rural Southeast Asia. We’re optimistic that the GrowBeyond Fund will be a catalyst in endorsing sustainable modalities, curtailing detrimental agrochemicals, and kindling innovation. In unison, our vision is a robust, eco-conscious agricultural domain, operationalizing the ASEAN Regional Guidelines on Sustainable Agriculture.”
At the heart of this ambitious endeavor lie robust collaborations, underscoring the imperative of multi-stakeholder synergy to engender the sought-after systemic metamorphosis. Grow Asia, with its illustrious history of channeling investments from a mosaic of stakeholders, stands as a testament to the transformative power of blended funding.
Gim Huay Neo, Managing Director at the World Economic Forum, poignantly encapsulated the essence of this mission. “The trifecta challenges in food are health, accessibility, and climate. Expanding inclusive alliances addressing these issues, with farmers and consumers at the core, is pivotal. A cocktail of finance, policy, innovation, scientific acumen, and native wisdom is our acceleration formula.”
Designed to resonate with farmers’ unique needs and align with investor benchmarks, the ASEAN Sustainable Agriculture Loan Facility offers extended-tenure loans characterized by flexible payback terms. It promises farmers the ability to procure substantial capital as they pivot to novel, technologically-backed practices. This financial assistance is beautifully complemented by Grow Asia’s technical advisory suite, promoting climate-conscious methodologies, strategic business planning, and fiscal acumen.
Building on Grow Asia’s prior successes, which saw the deployment of over USD$20 million in technical support across Southeast Asia, this new fund heralds renewed hope in achieving the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals. With the clock ticking, Southeast Asia trails its set benchmarks for Decent Work, Economic Growth, Responsible Consumption, and Climate Action. However, with the GrowBeyond Fund, there’s a renewed opportunity for investors to bridge this gap, making those lofty SDGs a tangible reality.