Assam signs MoU with Caspian Impact Investment to boost rural infrastructure and agribusiness

Assam Rural Infrastructure and Agricultural Services Association (ARIAS), an independent body under the Government of Assam, has signed a Memorandum of Understanding with Caspian Equity investment advisor in a bid to strengthen rural infrastructure and boost agricultural productivity in the state.

Under this partnership, ARIAS will be the nodal agency for setting up and implementing a shareholder fund and defining an investment credit – Assam Agribusiness Investment Fund (AAIF). ARIAS has been appointed as the lead investor for AAIF, which will be managed by Caspian Equity as fund manager. Funded primarily by the World Bank through the Assam Agribusiness and Rural Transformation (APART) project, AAIF will operate as a Tier II alternative investment fund registered with the Securities and Exchange Board of India (SEBI), according to an official press release.

With a pool of ₹250 crore, the AAIF is a unique sector-specific fund through a state government in India, with a focus on enhancing agricultural productivity and job generation in the state. It will mainly invest in small and medium-sized companies in the agribusiness and allied sectors to achieve accelerated growth.

The partnership aims to identify and address the major challenges facing rural communities in Assam. It will open new avenues for us to advance our efforts in rural development. By leveraging our collective strengths and through targeted investments, the initiative will enable farmers and rural entrepreneurs in Assam to adopt sustainable farming practices and advanced technologies to enhance efficiency and reduce environmental impact, Akash Deep, State Project Manager, ARIAS Association, said in the statement.

According to Toshiaki Ono, Financial Sector Specialist, World Bank Group, the World Bank is committed to supporting the development of the food value chain in Assam in response to the growing demand for high-value food products. Agribusiness SMEs play a vital role in this transformation, but external financing, especially long-term and patient capital for their growth is very limited. We are very excited to launch the Assam Agricultural Trade Investment Trust, ARIAS Society, and Caspian Impact Investment Advisor. We are confident that the fund will support high-growth, high-impact agribusiness SMEs for vibrant and resilient agri-food value chains in Assam.