How cattle ranchers can profit from planting trees
How cattle ranchers can profit from planting trees

In agriculture it’s not often that you find a relatively simple way to increase production by up to 20%. Planting trees turns out to be one such way for cattle farmers. Cows like shade and grow much faster if they graze on pastures dotted with trees. Studies show that combining livestock herding and forestry on the same stretch of land can lead to an 8% to 20% increase in dairy and meat production in the Southern Cone region.

Four Ways to Get the Most out of Palm Oil in Latin America and the Caribbean
Four Ways to Get the Most out of Palm Oil in Latin America and the Caribbean

What do soap, Ben and Jerry’s, and KitKat bars have in common? They all contain palm oil, an oil produced by the oil palm tree. Indonesia and Malaysia produce the vast majority of the world’s supply and have experienced significant environmental consequences as a result. Now the crop’s profitability is attracting interest in other tropical climates, including Latin America and the Caribbean.

Towards a new generation of public-private partnerships for Infrastructure
Towards a new generation of public-private partnerships for Infrastructure

Latin America and the Caribbean is crying out for infrastructure improvements. An investment estimated at 5 percent of the region’s GDP—or $250 billion per year—is required to develop projects that are fundamental for economic development, not only by improving highways and bridges, but also by building hospitals and creating mobility solutions for smarter cities. Every other business sees a lack of infrastructure as a serious problem for the region.

Is Investment in Palm Oil Certification Worth It?
Is Investment in Palm Oil Certification Worth It?

Palm oil has a terrible reputation. Especially among environmental and social advocates, palm oil is viewed as the crop responsible for a large-scale deforestation, particularly in Southeast Asia. Deforestation of carbon-rich forests leads to greenhouse gas emissions; between 2001 and 2010, palm oil-driven land-use change resulted in an average of 216-268 million tons of CO2 equivalent per year in Indonesia alone. For some perspective, that’s equivalent to the emissions from driving more than 45 million cars over the course of a year! Evidence also suggests labor rights violations, including child labor, at many plantations.

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It’s All in the Family: A Conversation with One of the Netherland’s Leading Impact Investors

What do family values have to do with impact investing? A lot if you are talking about Oikocredit, a Netherlands-based international cooperative that has successfully contributed to a thriving impact investing ecosystem in its home country. Comprised of member churches, foundations, support associations, and other like-minded organizations, Oikocredit has a robust network of more than 800 partners, €801 million in total assets, and €611 million in outstanding capital. A partner of the IDB since 2010, Oikocredit first participated in the IDB’s syndicated loan program when it joined B lenders, Blue Orchard S.A. and Calvert Foundation, to provide a $36 million loan to Mibanco to increase microfinancing to women entrepreneurs in Peru. We recently talked to Guillermo Salcedo, Deputy Director Loans & Investments, about Oikocredit’s mission and focus on fostering a dynamic investment environment in Latin America and the Caribbean.

Wish there were more hours in the day? Distance learning can maximize time and earning potential
Wish there were more hours in the day? Distance learning can maximize time and earning potential

Doesn’t it always seem like there aren’t enough hours in the day?  How can we possibly fit it all in?  The same is true for young people in Latin America and the Caribbean - especially those in lower income or vulnerable communities. For the high school graduates, many aren’t able to go directly to university for financial, family or other reasons.  For example, Estacio, a large private university in Brazil, estimates that  approximately 40% of high school graduates in Brazil go directly to university.  Many others start a job, or a family or both.