Mirova, an affiliate of Natixis Investment Managers 100% dedicated to sustainable investing, renews its support to Komaza, an innovative smallholder forestry platform, which provides scalable and sustainable nature-based solutions to climate change. The $US 9.5 million investment will help Komaza to scale operations in Kenya.

Komaza has been developing its smallholder forestry scheme for the past 15 years. Since the inception of the program, Komaza has partnered with 25,000 farmers, planted 8,000,000 trees and already increased the total tree cover by 9,500 ha in Kenya.

The Komaza approach consists in partnering with a large network of smallholder farmers to plant trees on degraded lands in coastal Kenya. Under the partnership, Komaza provides high-quality seedlings, forestry expertise, farmer training programs, and access to the wood market, ensuring cash payment to partner farmers. In return, farmers provide a portion of their unutilized land and labour to prepare their soils for tree planting and conduct tree management activities up until harvesting, which is completed by Komaza’s trained staffIn order to manage the operational complexity and to scale up this innovative model, Komaza is developing a tech platform to run its whole value chain activities. In late 2019, Komaza expanded into central Kenya, where the company received a strong interest from local farmers to enroll in the program.

This new funding by Mirova’s sustainable land-use strategy aims to serve the country’s structural wood deficit while generating positive environmental and social impacts:
  • prevent land degradation over 25,000 ha through the planting of new trees;
  • provide an additional source of income to 60,000 smallholder farmers;
  • sequester 2 million tons of carbon.
Masashi Motohashi, Corporate Finance at Komaza, says: “We are excited to accelerate scaling our sustainable smallholder forestry and innovative platform to combat the climate crisis with continued support from Mirova. As our first senior loan, this investment is a critical financing milestone for Komaza in diversifying the source of financing and strengthening the capital structure”.

Johann Fourgeaud, Investment Director at Mirova, says: “Following our first investment in July 2020, we are very proud to renew our support to the development of Komaza. Their unique microforestry model brings reforestation and carbon sequestration at scale while improving the livelihoods of tens of thousands of smallholder farmers.”

An international, recognised leader in sustainable finance, Mirova was created ten years ago to develop investment solutions aimed at accelerating the transformation of the economy towards a sustainable model. Through its innovative natural capital platform, it has been financing land restoration, oceans conservation or biodiversity. Mirova’s sustainable land use strategy has already invested in more than 30 projects worldwide in the space of natural capital.

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Mirova is an affiliate of Natixis Investment Managers.
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