Impact project/investment of the year - agriculture and sustainable land use: IDB Invest/Kahai

In 2020, IDB Invest, the investment arm of the Inter-American Development Bank (IDB) Group, provided a blended finance loan of up to $3.1 million to Colombian cacay tree producer Agrocacay to plant and maintain more than 100,000 cacay trees, a native tree of the Colombian OrinoquĂ­a region.

The cacay fruit is a type of nut with a high protein content, which can be consumed as a snack, or processed into flour and oil for dietary and cosmetic needs.

Kahai, the parent of Agrocacay, processes cacay nuts into end products and derived products for commercialisation and acted as guarantor of this operation.

The deal has a tenor of up to 12 years and will allow Agrocacay to continue growing its operations, ensuring a reliable source of raw material for Kahai. The financing structure is adapted to the time it takes for the cacay trees to start producing.

IDB Invest expects the project to reforest more than 400 hectares of land, as well as to promote adaptation and mitigation to climate change, through the reforestation of degraded lands with a native tree. 62,250 tonnes of carbon dioxide are expected to be captured during the life of the plantations.

The transaction was supported by the Global Environment Facility (GEF) Climate-Smart Agriculture Fund, which seeks to promote innovative economic opportunities for the agribusiness sector that also contribute to GHG emissions reductions.

One Impact Awards judge praised the project for being "unique and highly impactful."

Photo: Kahai Archive