He also helped Babban Gona marshal all the complex Bolivia Email List legal documentation required by commercial lenders. So that now, he says foundations like his current employer at King Philanthropies have an easier time signing on to future rounds. And even as those private investments come together, Kola is already moving on to new sources of capital. Kola Masha 38:07 The next major phase is now tapping into the public debt markets. Jonathan Levine 38:12 Bolivia Email List arlier this year, Babban Gona received an investment-grade debt rating from the leading rating agency in Africa. That’s a signal to investors that the company is a relatively safe place for their money—a big vote of confidence in its financial stability. And it opens the door to issuing Bolivia Email List public bonds, the type of investments made by pension funds and other large institutions.
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Kola Masha 38:35 We expect to launch our first public Bolivia Email List bond by the end of this year. And over the next two to three years, we should be able to raise somewhere in the range of probably $20 million to $40 million. Jonathan Levine 38:48 This progression of commercial funding is not simply a boon to Babban Gona’s farmers. It could also be a key to unlocking new capital for the whole field of smallholder agriculture in Africa. Jenny Scharrer’s bank, KfW, is Bolivia Email List investing in Babban Gona’s latest round. And she says one study a few years ago estimated a gap of roughly $180 billion between what Sub-Saharan ag producers of all sizes need, and what they’re getting from banks. Among smallholders, barely 1 percent of their Bolivia Email List needs are getting met. Jenny Scharrer 39:24 There is this massive need, and only with commercial funding do we stand a chance to close that gap.
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It sort of explains why Kola is so instrumental in solving this Bolivia Email List whole problem. Jonathan Levine 39:39 If commercial capital is the key to pulling more and more smallholder farmers out of poverty, then mitigating risk for investors is the key to securing that capital. And Kola faces a lot of risks, says Ed Diener—starting with climate change, Edward Diener 39:56 The part of Nigeria where he is focusing his efforts is really on the frontline of climate change. Northern Nigeria Bolivia Email List is in terrible danger of becoming too dry for a number of traditional leased crops. And subsistence farmers have the least ability to navigate through that. Jonathan Levine 40:22 Babban Gona puts heavy emphasis on drought-tolerant seeds and other climate-smart practices. But Kola doesn’t rely on that. In the last few years, the company has teamed up with insurance companies to design policies Bolivia Email List that protect farmers against two particular perils that severely affect them.