Madrid, June 21, 2021. The Huruma Fund, managed by GAWA Capital and financed by the European Union, FONPRODE, COFIDES and private investors and savers, has formalised a first operation in Peru in a Savings and Loan Cooperative (COOPAC) called “Norandino”, based in Peru. Norandino serves primarily smallholder farmers and agricultural cooperatives active in the coffee, cocoa, sugar and banana value chains (but also more recently rice, maize, vegetables and fruits), with various types of tailored credit and savings products, at interest rates that are lower than market average.
Huruma Fund’s 3 million euros’ investment will enable Norandino to expand and diversify its portfolio, thereby increasing their client base by nearly 30%. The 3-year term for the investment is aligned with the usual longer terms for farming loans, adapting to the financing needs of these entities.
FINANCING FOR SMALLHOLDER FARMERS IN PERU
COOPAC Norandino, founded in 2005 by coffee growers, leads financing for smallholder farmers in the north of Peru, under the motto: “For farmers, by farmers”. With a portfolio of 20 million euros, it reaches over 27,000 clients (32% women) through 16 branches covering 4 regions (Cajamarca, Piura, San Martín and Amazonas). COOPAC Norandino plays a major role in the promotion of farming value chains, reinforcing smallholder associations and powering sustainable agriculture.
BETTER CLIENT ACCESS AND AGRICULTURAL RISK MANAGEMENT
To facilitate transformation processes, Huruma partners are also analysing other ways to support Norandino, with projects to improve social performance, digitalisation and agricultural risk management systems, promoting the use of Data Analytics in cooperatives.
The Director of Investments at GAWA Capital, Tomás Ribé, states that: “Thanks to the Fund’s financing, COOPAC Norandino will continue supporting agriculture producers with limited financial resources during the COVID-19 pandemic”. The Joint CEOs of GAWA Capital, Agustín Vitórica and Luca Torre, point out: “With this investment, Huruma will help strengthen the agricultural sector in the north of Peru hand in hand with a cooperative made up of smallholder farmers in this region”.
The Chairman of COFIDES, José Luis Curbelo, notes the value of the “transformative power” of the Huruma Fund through “investments that will benefit smallholder farmers that usually have difficulties to access financial services that allow them to competitively transform their operations. The Huruma Fund will help improve their productivity and their quality of life, strengthening their position in the agriculture value chain”.
The EU Ambassador to Peru, Diego Mellado, sees the Huruma Fund as “an important tool in European Union cooperation with Peru”. “It is highly complementary to EU efforts to improve the sustainability of the Peruvian value chains and food systems, in environmental, economic and social terms, providing fair revenue for producers.”
ABOUT THE HURUMA FUND
The Huruma Fund, launched by GAWA Capital, is the largest social impact fund in Spain. It aims at providing access to credit to farmers in poor rural areas in Latin America, the Caribbean, sub-Saharan Africa and Asia, by providing debt or equity (as well as Technical Assistance) mainly to Micro Finance Institutions, which will then be able to propose adapted lending products to farmers, and, to a lesser extent, to agri-SMEs/cooperatives.
The total budget of the Huruma Fund is 120 million euros to which the European Union contributes with 10 million euros in equity in the Fund’s first loss tranche. This has allowed to attract 90 M EUR from private investors, also thanks to the collaboration of CaixaBank Banca Privada, which has distributed the fund through its national network. Other investors are FONPRODE (an instrument of the Spanish International Cooperation for Development Agency-AECID) and COFIDES. The Fund is complemented by a Technical Assistance Facility (TAF), also financed by the EU, to provide consulting or training services on matters related to agriculture and contribute to the improvement of the entities in which the fund invests so they can increase their impact on the excluded rural population.
ABOUT GAWA CAPITAL
Founded in 2010, GAWA Capital is the leading fund manager in advice on impact investing in Spain, having deployed over 195 million euros in public and private investments towards impact investing. Its aim is to improve the life of low-income communities by promoting investment in social enterprises, while providing a financial return to their investors. Since its creation, GAWA has pioneered the introduction of impact investing assets in Spain by launching three funds. Each of these funds has invested capital and debt in emerging countries, in companies with an inclusive approach focusing on providing market-based solutions to key social problems such as poverty. To date, GAWA has carried out investments in 15 countries, with a history of positive financial return in its three funds prior to Huruma, including 6.34% annual IRR for investors in their first fund.
COFIDES is a state-owned company which has been offering financial support to Spanish companies investing abroad. COFIDES is accredited to the European Union (EU) to manage funds coming from the EU budget, allowing the structuring of transactions with a high impact on development. COFIDES is also accredited to the UN’s Green Climate Fund (GCF) and can therefore structure operations on climate change mitigation and adaptation. Moreover, COFIDES is the exclusive manager of FIEX and FONPYME funds on behalf of the Secretariat of State for Trade attached to the Ministry of Industry, Trade and Tourism and also supports AECID in managing FONPRODE funds. COFIDES’s shareholders include Banco Santander, Banco Bilbao Vizcaya Argentaria (BBVA), Banco Sabadell and CAF-Development Bank of Latin America.