Terra Limpa Set To Revitalise Agriculture In Angola

(3BL Media/Justmeans) – Before the onset of a 27 year-long civil war in Angola, Africa, it was the world's fourth largest coffee producer, a top exporter of sisal, sugarcane, banana and cotton, and self-sufficient in all food crops except wheat. However, during the civil war, plantations and fields were abandoned as millions of people were displaced, infrastructure like roads were damaged, crops and livestock destroyed or stolen, irrigation systems fell into disrepair and the rural economy collapsed. Agricultural production came to a near standstill and since then though this country is back on its feet, it needs help.

This is where Morgan Stanley’s Institute for Sustainable Investing and Northwestern University’s Kellogg School of Management steps in, as they named Terra Limpa as the winner of the 2016 Morgan Stanley Sustainable Investing Challenge. Terra Limpa’s idea focuses on increasing private investment in agriculture in Angola to revitalise land productivity, eliminate landmines and create a new class of smallholder farmers. Their initiative perfectly dovetails into the Angola government’s efforts. In order to diversify the economy and improve the livelihoods of the rural poor, the government here is investing heavily in agriculture and encouraging private investors to do the same.

Terra Limpa and their smallholder agriculture project show Kellogg’s belief that business can and will lead the way in improving sustainability and human outcomes. This sterling award was founded by Northwestern University’s Kellogg School of Management in 2011. Since then, the Morgan Stanley’s Institute for Sustainable Investing and Kellogg School presents the Morgan Stanley Sustainable Investing Challenge annually, creating an opportunity to inspire future leaders to develop new financial ideas on how to address sustainability issues at scale. 

This year’s 10 finalist teams were selected from 104 investment prospectuses targeting sustainability issues in 32 countries.  Each submission included strong ideas that clearly conveyed a significant problem in a local, national or regional community, a potential solution and an investment model that could finance the solution with measurable, direct outcomes, including a target of market-rate financial returns. The students participating in the Sustainable Investing Challenge show that there is the next generation of leaders who will continue to push boundaries, develop and implement inspiring, innovative investment ideas to help solve pressing social and environmental issues.

The Terra Limpa winning team consisted of Ryan Alam, Suzana Amoes and Megan Strawther whose solution will change lives in Angola. And change is needed. Angola has a dismal life expectancy of just 38 years old; half the population is under 15 where two-thirds live on less than US$2 a day. However, there is some light as the country’s fertile soils, adequate levels of water along with a climate suitable to grow a vast array of different crops. There is enormous potential to increase agricultural production. Agriculture is a key priority for the government in order to lift millions out of poverty, and Terra Limpa will now play a part, too.

Photo Credit: Morgan Stanley via 3BL Media