Form's Paul Hol panellist at the Global Landscapes Forum in Bonn (December 2017)
There is a growing belief that private investments in agriculture and forestry can and should be shifted towards generating positive environmental and social impacts. To make this happen, there is a need for aggregators that link groups of smallholders to large-scale investors. The recognition of the importance of aggregators was one of the outcomes of a special session at the Inclusive Finance Pavilion in Bonn, organised by Tropenbos International and the CGIAR Research Program on Forests, Trees and Agroforestry. Five panellists and about 40 participants shared ideas about what a do-good approach means in practice and how it can be scaled up.
Using public money to attract private investments
Paul Hol is the CEO of Form International and Sustainable Forestry Investments (SFI), an investment company with tree plantations in Ghana and Tanzania. He stressed the importance of stable and clear rights to the land, and of good relationships with local communities and local authorities. This increases the security of the investment. But even with these conditions in place, there are still risks and uncertainties, mostly because the investments are long-term and involve many parties. This is a major bottleneck, said Hol. According to him, the way to get more private investments in sustainable and inclusive businesses, is to use public money to decrease the risks.
Read the full report of Tropenbos here