The Rural Finance (RF) expert group focuses on improved access to finance to smallholder farmers in rural areas. In the past, the group has worked on topics like Value Chain Finance, Member-Owned Financial Institutions and Risk Management in Financing Small Producers.
With the world population projected to reach 9.7 billion in 2050, the demand for food is growing at high speed. Smallholder farmers are crucial in supplying the world with sufficient food and improved access to finance will allow them to increase food production and food security worldwide.
Women are important actors in agriculture and increasing women’s income levels has proven to enhance family food security and education levels of children. The RF expert group currently works on research to promote women entrepreneurship in agriculture through access to financial services.
RURAL FINANCE PARTNERS
RURAL FINANCE REPORTS
Reach, Benefit and Empower women with Financial Services – Case-based learning paper
NpM, Platform for Inclusive Finance, analyzed three cases on women’s access to financial services in three different countries:
1. Saving and credit cooperatives (SACCOs) in Ethiopia;
2. Services provided by TYM, an MFI in Vietnam;
3. Financial services provided to female farmers in the maize and beans value chains in Rwanda.
With this paper, we showcase the importance of appropriate financial services for women to increase female entrepreneurship in agriculture and to secure the highly necessary agricultural growth. We aim to encourage the NpM members (inclusive finance investors) and other professionals working in the financial sector to ensure that women are reached by financial services, but also to ensure that women benefit and that they are empowered.
Financial Services for Women: Women’s Participation in Savings and Credit Cooperatives in Ethiopia
NpM commissioned a study on women’s participation in financial cooperatives as part of a broader study on promotion of women entrepreneurship in agriculture through access to finance. Our rural finance working group observed that women often do not access financial services in agriculture and, in particular, that larger loans are needed to continue their participation in the agricultural value chain.
This paper presents the results of the case study “Women’s participation in savings and credit cooperatives in Ethiopia”. It describes the experiences of female members and leaders of two Savings and Credit Cooperatives (SACCOs) in Ethiopia, Lelewut Eninesa and Wub Bahil. The SACCOs were selected out of the SACCOs that are supported by the ICCO-Terrafina Microfinance capacity building program funded by the Church of Sweden.
The study started with a desk review of recent studies on women’s participation in SACCOs, followed by a field study in the end of 2017. For the analysis, we used the ‘reach, benefit and empower’ framework. This framework points out that simply reaching women (e.g. by including them as clients, as member of a cooperative or in trainings) does not ensure that they will benefit or that they will be empowered. In general, projects should aim to go beyond merely reaching women and strive to empower them to strengthen their ability to make strategic life choices and to put those choices into action.
Financial Services for Women: Agri-finance Products for Female Farmers in Vietnam
NpM, Platform for Inclusive Finance commissioned a study on suitable agri-finance products for female farmers in Vietnam as part of a broader study on the promotion of women entrepreneurship in agriculture through access to finance. The NpM rural finance working group observed that women often do not access financial services in agriculture and, in particular, that larger loans are needed to continue their participation in the agricultural value chain.
This paper presents the results of the study aimed to analyse if and how women encounter constraints to effectively access financial services in agriculture and if they benefit effectively from accompanying non-financial services. The study explored the potential strategies for women to access larger loans. Furthermore, it intends to explore the business case for financial institutions to include women in larger lending segments. The study distinguished three categories of female rural clients: (1) poor rural women, (2) female farmers on family farms and (3) female entrepreneurs of micro, small and medium enterprises. The study focusses on the second category.
Summary Report: Expert Meetings on Finance for Smallholders
Case Studies Report: Finance for Smallholders: Opportunities for risk management by linking financial institutions and producer organisations
Summary Report: Finance for Smallholders: Opportunities for risk management by linking financial institutions and producer organisations
Full Report: Finance for Smallholders: Opportunities for risk management by linking financial institutions and producer organisations
Via one of NpM’s working groups, a research has been carried out titled: “Finance for Smallholders: Opportunities for risk management by linking financial institutions and producer organisations”
The NpM Rural Finance working group focuses on improving its members’ activities to increase access to financial services in rural areas.
In this light, the group decided in February 2014 to research which bottlenecks exist to finance smallholders, thereby identifying opportunities for risk management through linking financial institutions and producer organisations, in the countries Ethiopia, Mali, Rwanda and Uganda. The research has been carried out in cooperation with AgriProFocus (APF) and the Wageningen University and Research centre (Wageningen UR), and is funded by the Food & Business Knowledge Platform (F&BKP).
The NpM Rural Finance working group consists of the following NpM members: Cordaid, FMO, Hivos, ICCO, ICCO Terrafina Microfinance (formerly: Terrafina Microfinance), Rabobank Foundation and Oxfam Novib. ICCO Terrafina Microfinance coordinates the working group. The report has been realised in coordination with other stakeholders who are active in this field on an international level: Agriterra, the European Microfinance Platform (e-MFP) and the Consultative Group to Assist the Poor (CGAP).
Policy Guidelines for Donor Support to Member-owned Financial Institutions in Rural Sub-Saharan Africa
The Rural Finance Working Group presents the study: “Policy guidelines for donor support to member-owned financial institutions in rural Sub-Saharan Africa”
This study by the Rural Finance Working Group proposes separate policy guidelines for saving groups and financial cooperatives as both require specific expertise. The Rural Finance Working Group was formed under MicroNed and has been led by Terrafina Microfinance.