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Private finance investment opportunities in climate-smart agriculture technologies

This investor-focused study analyses the role of private finance in climate-smart agriculture (CSA) technology innovation and deployment in Africa and Asia. It focuses in on the perspectives of investors, identifies technologies and areas that demonstrate commercial viability and investment potential, profiles existing investments in CSA technologies, explores the motives and incentives that may attract investors to financing CSA technology companies, and provides a more nuanced understanding of the barriers and bottlenecks that exist for mobilizing greater investment for CSA technology. The findings are based on evidence from 28 interviews with investors and other CSA technology stakeholders, and a review of more than 100 relevant reports and publications.

Most investors tend to approach climate challenges from the perspective of environmental, social, and corporate governance (ESG) screening, looking first at risk, and building from a ‘do no harm’ perspective, rather than seeking to identify solution oriented technology investments. Less than 1% of private climate finance is currently directed towards CSA, with enterprises struggling to find appropriately costed investment capital. Increasing private financial flows to emerging and developing economies needs to be supported by proactively connecting available capital with investable opportunities and encouraging new market structures and business models.

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