New expert meetings in Africa on 'Finance for Smallholders' research

12 July, 2016

The Dutch Platform for Inclusive Finance (NpM), AgriProFocus and the Food and Business Knowledge Platform (F&BKP) organise another range of expert meetings on their research ‘Finance for Smallholders’. The meetings will take place in Uganda, Kenya and Tanzania between 20 till 29 July 2016, aimed at sharing the enormous wealth of knowledge and information resulting from the research titled: “Finance for Smallholders: Opportunities for risk management by linking financial institutions and producer organisations”. The meetings aim to improve smallholder financing models in different parts of the world.

In 2015, NpM and AgriProFocus published the study in light of the food security agenda. The study is financed by the F&BKP and addresses the risk management of financing smallholders while linking financial institutions to producer organisations. An important objective of the project was to disseminate the study results and lessons learned. Throughout 2015, the results were shared online, during meetings/conferences and expert meetings took place in Rwanda, Burundi and Ethiopia.  

Expert Meetings 2015 in Rwanda, Burundi and Ethiopia

Each of these different expert meetings was attended by approximately 50 participants; an audience consisting of financial institutions, producer organisations, NGOs that work with producer organisations; government agencies and donors.

In all three countries the presentation of the study, the lessons learned and group discussions were highly appreciated. The issues raised were remarkably similar from the different stakeholders present at their respective countries. Some of the most relevant observations were:

  • The need for appropriate financial services for agriculture and with it the need for financial institutions to understand agriculture and have in-house agricultural expertise;
  • The lack of capacity and business orientation of producer organisations, hence the need for capacity building interventions;
  • The need for a long term sustainability vision of NGOs and producer organisations;
  • Notice of market distortion by NGOs and sometimes donors and government;
  • The need for an appropriate legal and supervisory framework (this was a higher priority in some countries such as Burundi); and
  • The need for information and communication between actors. The platforms of AgriProfocus and the microfinance networks could play a role in this.

The participants from the different meetings all wanted to continue the communication between stakeholders in some form or another. Mutual expectations were high and there are also expectations towards donors to play a facilitating role in the communication, facilitation and capacity building.

One of the spin-offs generated from these expert meetings were requests for additional expert meetings in other countries, including the request to translate the report into French. Moreover, International donor organisations (ADA, FAO) have asked to use this research for specific purposes such as training sessions. In response, a new set of expert meetings will take place in July 2016; see the schedule below. 

Expert Meetings schedule 2016


  • Uganda: Thursday 21 July
  • Tanzania: Tuesday 26 July
  • Kenya: Thursday 28 July


  • Benin and Mali: September/October (dates to be confirmed)
  • Burkina Faso and Senegal: October (dates to be confirmed, as part of the ICCO MasterCard Foundation STARS program, financed by the MasterCard Foundation).

* The French edition of the report is about to be published and will be available soon.

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