Vertical farming enterprises have faltered and a decade of low interest rates has caused many industries to express frustration. However, although progress has been rocky, the ecosystem is fueling what may become an urban-food-system transformation.
How might the Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) better leverage private capital to support its mission? Could certain conservation practices generate financial returns and attract investment? In this interview, Ricardo Bayon and Alex Eidson, a partner and an analyst at Encourage Capital, share insight and ideas from their new report, “NRCS and Investment Capital: Investing in America Together.” This is the second article of a two-part series.
How might the Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) better leverage private capital to support its mission? Could certain conservation practices generate financial returns and attract investment? In this interview, Ricardo Bayon and Alex Eidson, a partner and an analyst at Encourage Capital, share insight and ideas from their new report, “NRCS and Investment Capital: Investing in America Together.” This is the first article in a two-part series.
What if the development of these approaches could be responsibly accelerated? What if we could shorten the time it takes for environmental markets and investment vehicles to be defined, piloted, scaled, and matured—without cutting corners? The Conservation Finance Network’s recent report, “Private Capital and Working Lands Conservation: A Market Development Framework,” responds to these questions by translating practitioner insight into a framework and common language in the hope of speeding solutions to market development. The report attempts to describe how stakeholders could better delineate their roles and focus their money and authority. It is meant to help stakeholders set realistic goals, expectations, and timeframes to see more capital deployed faster.
In 2018, the Farm Bill will be up for renewal. It will shape the future of federal conservation finance. The bill, initially enacted in 1933, is the defining legislation on agricultural law in the United States. A number of organizations, including Environmental Defense Fund, actively work to find ways to maximize environmental gains that can be made through its policies.
Unexpectedly, Root Capital and Kiva have joined forces to create an unprecedented referral system that will cross-pollinate their sustainable agriculture-finance programs. Root Capital is routing approved applications in the $10,000-$50,000 range to Kiva for zero-percent-interest financing. Once these businesses grow, they can apply for larger amounts of financing at competitive interest rates from Root Capital.
Farmers need to pool their resources to collaboratively strengthen water quality in California’s Lower Salinas Valley. A team received a $1,300,695 Conservation Innovation Grant (CIG) for this purpose from the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) this fall. This project can also improve habitat for birds and marine species.
The new Natural Resource Investment Center at the United States Department of the Interior is making strides toward using market-based approaches and innovative public-private partnerships to tackle natural resource and conservation issues. For years, the nation has been slowly coming to terms with aging water infrastructure, dealing with water shortages in the West, and attempting to revamp species and landscape conservation efforts.
After decades of underinvestment, African-American farmers and small business owners in North Carolina will now receive green enterprise loans from Natural Capital Investment Fund. The award of $1.6 million, announced on May 3, is part of a much larger program by Wells Fargo that seeks to fill part of the huge void in bank financing of minority-owned businesses.
It can be a murky process for managers to delve into the performance of their corporate investments in environmental conservation and track their outcomes. Now, two tools, IRIS and iPAR, can work together to provide a visually attractive way to watch how these investments are performing. iPAR was released for public use on April 26.