Rabobank puts up $1 billion to ‘kickstart’ sustainable farming



The world needs to produce 50 percent more food by 2050 to keep pace with the world’s population growth, but it needs to do it more sustainably. That’s the opportunity.

Netherlands-based Rabobank is joining forces with U.N. Environment to finance initiatives working to reduce food waste, restore depleted soil and promote nutrition and resilient farming practices.

Called “Kickstart Food,” the program is part of the bank’s efforts to invest in the U.N.’s Sustainable Development Goals. Rabobank, with experience analyzing risks and financing agriculture, says it has $109 billion in loans to food supply chain projects.

Its role is to “motivate and facilitate clients in adopting a more sustainable food production practice,” says Wiebe Draijer, chair of Rabobank’s managing board.

The Netherlands is a leader in sustainable food: IDH manages a $400 million fund, backed by Unilever and the Norwegian government, to protect forest and peatlands, and the Dutch government in March said it is spending €1.4 million ($1.5 million) to collect satellite data to “do its bit to solve the global food crisis.”

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