Technical Assistance Facility for Sustainable Business Development in Agriculture

This publicly supported fund provides technical support (training, marketing, organization dev., business plans) to medium sized enterprises active in agriculture and food processing in several developing countries alongside with capital investments from private impact investors. Impact investors seek to generate a social and environmental impact alongside a financial return. The fund is a public private partnership that will trigger an estimated $30m in private capital and improve the output market for approx. 200k family farms. 

Country/region Topic Period Budget
Employment & economic development
Agriculture & food security
SME development
Agricultural development
01.12.2017 - 30.11.2021
CHF  1’000’000
Background A growing number of impact investors have started to reach out to medium sized agriculture related enterprises in developing countries to meet their capital needs and, at the same time, to generate a measurable social and/or environmental impact alongside a (most often reduced) financial return. Impact investors invest in companies which play a strategic role in agricultural value chain development with strong growth potential and high numbers of smallholder farms involved. Publicy funded technical assitance facilities help to decrease the risk of such impact investments and make them therebey more frequent, more important and more sustainable. As a result, more smallholder farms benefit from growing output markets.
Objectives The overall objective is to support sustainable, responsible and pro-poor growth of medium sized enterprises related to food and agriculture in developing countries at the benefit of a large number of smallholder familiy farms. 
Target groups
  • Medium-sized enterprises (turnover range >50k$pa<2m$pa) in developing countries and emerging markets working in agriculture and food (trading, processing, marketing)
  • Smallholder family farms delivering primary agricultural commodities to medium-sized agriculture and food related companies
Medium-term outcomes
  1. Complementing investments into 10-20 companies to empower at least 200’000 smallholder farms by facilitating their proper access to capital and risk transfer mechanisms, quality farm inputs, markets, and other services so as to improve and grow their farm businesses.
  2. Harnessing the potential of the financial markets to strengthen food security and to combat rural poverty through the development of pro-poor agricultural value chains in the South and thereby building a bridge between social investors in Switzerland and elsewhere and medium sized enterprises seeking funding in the South.
  3. Strengthening the social and environmental impact of medium sized enterprises strategically engaged in pro-poor agricultural value chains.

Expected results:  

  • Technical assistance (business and growth plans, training, marketing studies, etc.) to 10 – 20 medium sized, agricultural and food security related companies in developing countries and emerging markets (selection on a best commercial offer).
  • At least $30m in private capital invested (loan or equity) from Swiss private impact investors.

Directorate/federal office responsible SDC
Credit area Development cooperation
Project partners Contract partner
Private sector
  • Swiss Private Sector

Budget Current phase Swiss budget CHF    1’000’000 Swiss disbursement to date CHF    975’000