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International Rubber Study Group (IRSG) seeks more investments from CFC into rubber smallholders

Prof. Joseph Adelegan, the new Secretary-General of the International Rubber Study Group (IRSG), Singapore, is seen with Managing Director Ambassador Sheikh Mohammed Belal at the Secretariat of the CFC.  Prof. Joseph Adelegan came to the CFC for an introductory visit to know more about the activities of the CFC and its impact on the ground.

Ambassador Belal was accompanied by Ms. Fatima-Zohra Yaagoub, Impact Strategy Officer of the CFC, and Mr. Hector Besong, Risk and Portfolio Manager of the CFC.

IRSG Secretary General was briefed on the activities of CFC, with its base in the innovation rich Netherlands, and informed how CFC has been working as a bridge between the developed and developing world to bridge the gap of knowledge and technology. Highlighting on CFC’s significant experience in implementing a good number of projects along the rubber value chain to help smallholders alleviate from poverty and also to add to the productivity of natural rubber, Ambasssador Belal expressed their readiness to do more as, according to Amb. Belal, the poverty situation of the smallholder farming communities has not improved, if at all, much.

Ambassador Belal also briefed Prof. Adelegan on the current as well as probable future initiatives of the CFC, inter alia the ongoing initiative on the formulation of a fund titled Agricultural Commodity Transformation (ACT) Fund (formerly referred to as ‘CIIF’) and thereby enabling CFC to contribute more for alleviation of poverty. Once formed, the ACT Fund could also be an avenue for member countries as well as private enterprises to join this impact investment fund as investors.

Highlighting the ongoing challenges following the enduing pandemic, war in Ukraine and challenges of climate change, Ambassador Belal shared the realities of the developing world which suffers most of the vulnerabilities. CFC MD also requested Prof. Adelegan to bring much needed focus on the issues of sustainability and its importance in alleviating poverty amongst one of the most marginal farming communities in the world. 

With his significant experience regarding development finance institutions, international organizations, government, non-governmental organizations, education, innovation and research institutions, Prof. Adelegan is most conversant on sustainability issues and expressed support for the CFC to continue its work in the developing world. Professor Adelegan appreciated his satisfaction at the state of affairs in CFC and hoped that CFC would consider more structured working relations with the IRSG. CFC thanked IRSG for the proposal and assured to look into this for due consideration. 

Both CFC and IRSG expressed their resolve to do all they can to protect smallholders in the rubber value chain from poverty.

From right:    Ms. Fatima-Zohra Yaagoub, Impact Strategy Officer of CFC; Prof. Joseph Adelegan, Secretary-General of IRSG; Amb. Sheikh Mohammed Belal, Managing Director of CFC; and Mr. Hector Besong, Risk and Portofolio Manager of CFC
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