Published today by the Global Impact Investing Network, Improving Livelihoods, Removing Barriers: Investing for Impact in Mtanga Farms details the activities and decisions of four impact investors from three continents– Calvert Foundation, Heirs Holdings, Lion’s Head Global Partners, and the Tony Elumelu Foundation – as they invest in a Tanzanian farm. Balancing diverse priorities for social impact and financial returns, the investment demonstrates the commitment of an emerging class of impact investors to deploy capital into the African agriculture sector with an aim to improve the livelihoods of local residents.
The investment is described from deal sourcing through early financing to the present process of creating an effective impact measurement framework drawing upon local insights as well as the GIIN’s Impact Reporting and Investment Standards. With the investors’ involvement, Mtanga Farms seeks sales of improved seed potato varieties to smallholder farmers as one part of a business that is structured for both financial sustainability and social impact. By spurring greater competition in the Tanzanian seed potato market and increasing crop yields, the investors hope their investment leads to growth in smallholder farmer income.
This case study helps advance a broader understanding of impact investing as an effective way to complement government aid and philanthropic funding for sustainable agriculture in sub-Saharan Africa to improve the livelihoods of smallholder farmers.