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In the agricultural sectors of emerging economies such as India, capital is king. It dictates power and ownership and therefore providers of capital capture the lion’s share of surpluses created in agribusiness value chains. Now a new investment model which employs Participative Capital is challenging the status quo. The concept was developed by community-led initiative Just Change, and is the first plan of its kind which links producers, consumers and investors to ensure more equitable and sustainable economic systems. This participatory model allows for investments to be made in a manner where ownership, benefit and risk are shared by all participants.
In November 2011, 25 executives from 12 countries representing 15 organisations spent a week in India to produce a viable plan for Just Change to operationalise Participative Capital. This diverse group was comprised of emerging leaders from countries including Japan, India, Nigeria, and Malaysia nominated by global companies such as FedEx, BASF, NEC, Orix and Infosys.
The business plan presented to JCI focussed on creating a new independent operating company with the governance structure that would allow the participation of producers, consumers and investors in the production and sales of tea and paddy - a model that was created with the means to be used for other commodity products.