I am delighted to announce the launch of the latest EDP Annual Report which you can read in full here.
In 2018, we have seen the EDP portfolio grow to a total of 20 enterprises. Three new enterprises were approved: two in Bangladesh (Coastal Agro and Prantojon) and one in Nepal (Sagar Bee Keeping Industries). Additionally, we expanded our investment in Kigali Farms after a successful pilot, leading to our largest investment to date. The EDP investment committee also approved a small follow-on investment in Crepaimasul, our cashew enterprise in Honduras.
All enterprises reported increases in revenue and 14 reported yearend profits, our best result to date.
Default rates for the EDP 2 portfolio are at 0%; however, two out of four EDP 1 legacy enterprises have struggled to meet loan obligations and their viability is not in sight. Oxfam is committed to exit these enterprises responsibly, ensuring lessons are captured. We developed and started using a new and improved portfolio progress tracker to capture the performance and social impact achieved by our portfolio enterprises.
As of December 2018, our analysis shows that EDP support resulted in positive change in five out of eight parameters: enterprise viability, management capacity, impact reach, impact depth and women’s economic empowerment. The most significant progress was achieved in terms of impact depth, where EDP support to portfolio enterprises facilitated significant increases in income and access to resources, training and technical assistance.
The analysis also shows that portfolio enterprises need to increase efforts to deliver measurable progress towards the remaining three parameters (equitable business structures, impact at scale and environmental sustainability).
This report also highlights some of the key challenges EDP enterprises are facing. These are comprised of country and context-specific challenges as well as several systemic barriers we have observed across the portfolio. These include gender inequality, climate change related shocks, lack of managerial and financial capacities, skills and training, lack of investments in rural infrastructure, political instability and social unrest.
After a challenging year in terms of fundraising, our revised goal for 2019 is to approve four new investments. To achieve this goal, our country teams have already started due diligence processes and the development of investment proposals. We are excited about these prospects, which include innovative and scalable business models linking smallholder farmers to new markets. We want to thank our partners and supporters for their continued commitment to the EDP’s work and vision. By supporting the consolidation and growth of a new generation of enterprises we are creating sustainable economic opportunities for vulnerable farmers.