Rabo Equity Advisors to launch $500m third fund in 2019 in Indian agri-food sector

The vehicle is a response to population growth in the country and demand for higher-quality produce due to increased spending power, Executive Chairman Rajesh Srivastava told Agri Investor.

A third fund worth up to $500 million dollars is being planned by Rabo Equity Advisors in the first quarter of 2019 to invest in Indian agriculture and food businesses, as well as in improved infrastructure and technology such as cold storage and water irrigation.

Executive Chairman Rajesh Srivastava told Agri Investor the fund is being introduced to respond to increasing demand fueled by population growth in India. It also addresses greater consumer demand for higher-quality products, organic produce and meat and dairy produce due to higher spending power in this emerging economy, explained Srivastava.

It follows the success of the second fund – worth $150 million, invested in the agriculture and food sector – which has almost been fully deployed and which is doing very well, added Srivastava. The first fund reached $120 million.

Investments for the third fund, expected to total between $400 million to $500 million, cover the whole chain from inputs to consumption, Srivastava said. New elements will also be introduced such as investment in infrastructure including water irrigation and new technology such as cold storage, which can significantly cut harvest losses for fruit and vegetables.

The third fund is expected to be launched at the end of the first quarter next year, in March 2019, and it should take six months for a first close. A second close is likely one year later and it will for between 10 and 12 years, Srivastava explained.

Rabobank is one of the sponsors and we are hoping to get many high-quality investors, he added. “I am encouraged by the way the market is growing in India and I think it will continue to be a good sector to be in,” he concluded.