According to the Global Impact Investing Network’s most recent survey (PDF), 63 percent of impact investors said they were putting their dollars into food and agriculture, and impact investment in the sector has grown at an annual rate of 32.5 percent since 2013.
Those in the space say capital is what sustainable agriculture needs in order to scale up. But critics warn that the money comes with risks, when the priority is ROI and corporate ownership of farmland becomes the norm.
“Agriculture is a whole culture of how to work with the earth,” said Anuradha Mittal, executive director of the Oakland Institute, which looks critically at land and agriculture investments around the globe.
“When it’s driven by profit, it can be very dangerous.”