Sector voices praise $55m loan programme supporting Indian agriculture enterprises

The “India Covid Response Programme for Agriculture Transition” was formally launched last week with more than 400 people attending a virtual event.  The work done by all the programme partners to get the facility over the line was acknowledged and there were insights on the tremendous impact this Programme will have on lending for clean technology solutions in agriculture in India (see official press release).

Leaders from the three Indian lenders that will deploy funding – Avanti Finance, Samunnati Finance and Maanaveeya Development and Finance – shared perspectives on the Progamme’s unique features during the event.

“The design of the Programme allows us to experiment and provide longer tenure of the loan and longer quantum of the loan by leveraging the security,” said Rahul Gupta, CEO Avanti Finance.

“We have been extensively working with both FPOs (Farmer Producer Organisations) and agri enterprises, but this programme helped us double-click on the dimension of clean and green,” said Anilkumar SG, CEO Samunnati Finance

“What we really look forward to in the technical assistance (TA) facility in this programme is how do we measure and identify the opportunity in climate-smart agriculture and when it comes at the portfolio level, how to better understand and evaluate risk,” said Gouri Sankar Gollapudi, Managing Director, Maanaveeya Development and Finance.

The 90-minute launch event can be seen here.

Our contribution to the India Covid Response Programme for Agriculture Transition was co-funded by the UK’s Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office as part of our CASEE partnership, and included support and financial commitment from Rabo Foundation, US DFC, USAID, and the three Indian lenders.

“Only by joining forces and creating valuable partnerships can we provide smallholder farmers the space and opportunities they need to improve their livelihoods and adapt to the challenges of climate change. This not only supports the farmers who receive the direct support, it also benefits their local communities and environment in India,” said Pim Mol, CEO, Rabo Foundation.


Catalysing entrepreneurial solutions to end energy poverty and address climate change. 

At Shell Foundation, we believe in a just and inclusive energy transition, one that alleviates energy poverty and mitigates climate change, requires understanding the true needs of social entrepreneurs who will drive the transition and deliver finance solutions that are tailored to their needs.

This belief is reflected in the guarantee fund, with several features that ensure enterprises receive the funding they need to scale their products and services and create impact:

  • There is an equal focus of the Programme on farmer producer organisations and on social enterprises, with a specific focus on food loss solutions and renewable energy solutions in agricultural value chains.
  • Loan amounts have been capped to ensure that early-stage enterprises, who previously did not have access to loans, get the maximum benefit from the fund.
  • A specific TA facility that focuses on sectoral challenges such as business management and market linkage and includes a commitment to produce research and impact evaluation that can be used to support and influence the wider ecosystem.