For a leading European impact investor Agri-Logic scoped out market opportunities in selected commodity value chains in South East Asia. Based in part on our advice, the client is currently upscaling its financial product offerings to medium and large-sized companies in the region.
For an international impact investor, Agri-Logic developed a point of view on the potential development impact of investment in fertilizer in Nigeria.
With 34,000,000 hectares of arable land, Nigeria has the potential to be an agricultural powerhouse. Despite this, farmers constantly struggle with low yields and low product quality and the country is still a large importer of food and food products. Current average application rate of fertilizer in Nigeria is estimated at 11 kg/ha while recommended fertilizer application rates are ~130 kg/ha. Increased fertilizer application rate could be of major advantage in improving production quality and quantity, thereby enabling sustained productivity growth. Other commercial opportunities could also be derived along the fertilizer value chain.
Agri-Logic estimated impact based on a representative basket of cassava, maize, and tomatoes; three major crops in Nigeria. A literature review on fertilizer application for these crops provided useful information on impact potential in production quantity and income as a direct result of increased fertilizer use at recommended application rate. Field surveys with farmers and other stakeholders gave an understanding of the reality of fertilizer application and factors affecting its use, prices and availability across the country.
The study provided an overview of the current fertilizer market in Nigeria, as well as its potential impact on yield, livelihoods and food security. The client was provided with an estimated impact on smallholder farmers’ income as well as food self-sufficiency for the population of Nigeria. We also indicated risks and success factors to be monitored in implementation.
Via its Global Coffee Platform (GCP), the IDH Sustainable Trade Initiative seeks to make a significant impact on the global coffee sector. Africa features heavily in it’s strategy as an under-utilized source of significant new coffee volumes to meet growing demand. Ironically, much of the coffee and sustainability investments over the past 10-15 years have taken place in Latin America and Asia. Africa has just 4% of global certified sustainable supply (against around 10% of total supply), yet the needs for investment in coffee on the continent are arguably greater than elsewhere.
Agri-Logic was asked to conduct in-depth coffee sector studies for 9 African origins: Angola, Burundi, Cameroon, Ethiopia, Ivory Coast, Kenya, Rwanda, Tanzania and Uganda. These studies are used to develop the GCP’s African investment strategy, and feed into the establishment of an African Coffee Facility by the African Development Bank (AfDB) and the Inter-African Coffee Association (IACO). Investment opportunities in each origin are investigated, including modelling of their impact and return on investment at different levels of the value chain.
We developed a dynamic sector model allowing to analyze large volumes of data from different sources. This model is fed by a structured database and allows insight into a sector’s performance compared to user-defined global benchmark origins. The study has been presented at the Africa Coffee Facility inception meeting in Abidjan to a public of regional coffee sector representatives and staff of IACO and the AfDB, as well as during the Global Coffee Platform workshop in Addis Ababa.
The coffee sector has invested heavily in sustainability for decades, recognizing that we must ensure our ability to meet rising demand for coffee while also increasing the prosperity and well-being of producers and conserving nature. In 2014, leaders in the sector came together to develop a vision for coffee sustainability that resulted in Vision 2020: a call for improved alignment within the sector on our sustainability efforts.
In late 2015 the Global Coffee Platform, the Specialty Coffee Association of America and the Sustainable Coffee Challenge jointly recognized the need to inventory existing efforts to make coffee a sustainable agricultural product, understand who is doing what sort of work, where the investments are going and how we can better understand and share our impacts and experiences.
The report compiles information on the sustainability initiatives of more than 80 stakeholders throughout the coffee sector. The Catalogue sheds light on sustainability efforts currently underway, and how actors in the sector can collaborate to make coffee the world’s first fully sustainable agricultural product. It includes a mapping of aims, interventions and investment.
Several key findings from report include:
- Across the coffee industry, more than $350 million is being invested annually in sustainability programs. Collective efforts are also enabling the industry to reach 350,000 farmers each year – a figure that has nearly doubled in the last 15 years.
- Certification is a tool commonly used to increase consumer awareness, social inclusiveness, traceability and assurance and incentives.
- The report estimates that transitioning the entire sector to sustainable production is possible, but at the current rate of investment, it would require a total investment of $4.1 billion to achieve and would take until 2045 to incorporate all coffee producers.
ELAN DRC is a large scale value chain programme funded by DFID and implemented by Adam Smith International. For its coffee value chain programme in the Kivu’s, Agri-Logic was contracted to conduct a business case analysis ofor growing and exporting certified sustainable coffee.
Over a two-week period we conducted interviews and focus group discussions with coffee farmers, local exporters and cooperatives. Further interviews with international traders, coffee roasters, NGOs and certification agencies were held to collect sufficient data.
Analysis showed a reasonable business case for organic certified coffee, possibly in combination with Fairtrade, but only if the latter could be marketed sufficiently well. Our modelling showed that implementing of mainstream standards like UTZ Certified, 4C and Rainforest Alliance in this sector does not yield significant economic benefits for farmers and exporters alike. This is due to low volumes of coffee per farmer and an above average quality profile, the buyers of which usually go for more demanding standards. As a result the ELAN DRC programme is currently rethinking its coffee strategy.
Certification of agricultural products (organic certification, Fairtrade etc.) is often expected to provide a wide array of benefits for small-scale farmers. These include poverty alleviation, reduced environmental impact and food safety. Together with Wageningen Economic Research we reviewed 270 studies and present an analysis of the benefits – but also the costs – of such schemes. It demonstrates that the decision to invest must be based on sound economic principles, and the text also provides recommendations to improve the certification business case and impact on smallholders.