Last Friday, a consortium of financial institutions, investors and non-profit organisations, initiated by Agriterra, has asked the Dutch government to release money to prevent the disastrous economic and humanitarian consequences of the current Covid-19 crisis. This is in line with recently published advice from the Adviesraad Internationale Vraagstukken (Advisory Council International Affairs) to the Dutch government; ‘The Netherlands and the worldwide approach of COVID-19’.
The Dutch government is being asked to release funds of 350 million Euro to diminish credit risks for financial institutions, and to therefor provide working capital for the agricultural trade and sector in developing countries, and for advice and support of these enterprises in their current business development during the crisis and in its aftermath.
With this guarantee, the participating financial institutions will be able to provide additional loans of 3.5 billion Euro to prevent serious liquidity problems for cooperatives and other enterprises in rural areas in developing countries. In the short term, this may prevent that over 5 million enterprises in the agricultural sector will collapse. In the long run this will create lasting possibilities to be able to continue to trade, to continue to operate the food chains in the region, and to stimulate economic growth in those areas hardest hit by the corona crisis.
The memorandum underlying this initiative with supporting parties can be found below. The alliance is currently underway to broaden the initiative via its network and calls for other parties to join. LTO Nederland (the Dutch agricultural and horticultural organisation) supports this call, as part of its international solidarity with farmers worldwide.
Attachment: Rapid Response and Recovery Facility for Cooperatives, SMEs and Sacco’s in Africa, Asia and Latin America