Agribusiness development and trade


Agribusiness development and trade - Finance
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In this topic, the focus is on the development and application of financial practices and services that could support farmers and agribusinesses in developing countries and emerging economies to develop their business and contribute to food and nutrition security. Tailored micro-finance for smallholder finance is important, but finance for the overall Value Chain, including processors and (semi)commercial farmers, is also crucial for a stronger agro-food sector. In addition, risk management is a priority issue for financiers in agro finance.

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Agricultural finance and the youth: Prospects for financial inclusion in Uganda
Published by FAO,
This paper aims is to provide a comprehensive assessment of the current state of financial inclusion of the rural youth in Uganda, with a specific focus on their engagement in the agricultural sector and the financial services that are available to them to pursue their business ventures in this area. There is, overall, a considerable need to modernize and restructure the agricultural sector in order to create substantial value addition across value chain flows. »
Understanding agriculture fintechs’ business models: Agri-Wallet service delivery model case study
Published by Mastercard Foundation Rural and Agricultural Finance Learning Lab, Sustainable Trade Initiative (IDH),
This blog evaluated Agri-wallet's business model and identified opportunities for Agri-wallet to scale sustainably while creating positive returns for its farmer, small and medium enterprises customers, and investors. Agri-wallet is an innovative agriculture fintech in Kenya that provides supply chain finance to insure that all actors in the value chain can access the resources they need to grow and scale. »
Access to agricultural finance in Jordan
Published by Palladium Europe BV, Netherlands Enterprise Agency, Netherlands Embassy in Amman,
This report is an advisory piece with recommendations towards facilitating access to suitable financial services for smallholder farmers to improve their livelihoods and break the cycle of indebtedness. The application of a holistic approach that focuses on access to markets, access to finance and capacity building is required for sustainable improvement of small farmers’ livelihoods using financial services. »
Zooming in on informal savings mechanisms in Zambia
Published by Savings at the Frontier and Financial Sector Deepening Zambia (FSDZ),
This study was conducted on informal savings mechanisms (ISMS), their users, and how they percieve their groups and formal financial service providers (FSPs) in three provinces in Zambia. »
Pathways to prosperity: Rural and agricultural finance
Published by Mastercard Foundation, Rural and Agricultural Finance Learning Lab and ISF Advisors,
This report analyzes the changing landscape of rural agricultural finance. With the changes comes an urgent need to develop improved frameworks for understanding the state of the sector. To do so, the authors introduce new models for understanding how rural clients, financial service providers, and the capital markets can effectively work together. »
Financing agribusiness and value chain development in the Pacific
Published by Technical Centre for Agricultural and Rural Cooperation (CTA),
Several policy actions are required to improve the performance of the agri-food system in the Pacific Island Countries to a more organised and efficient way of producing, processing, marketing and trade, from farm to plate, and a wider view of the opportunities for diversifying diets and incomes. CTA states that this suggests the need for mobilising significant financial investments, including for the development of infrastructure such as transport networks and ICTs, markets and services. »
Using satellite data in financial inclusion
Published by CGAP,
This guide explains foundational concepts of machine learning and how financial services providers can apply those methods to leverage information contained in satellite images for the purpose of credit scoring for smallholder finance. »
Assessing the effectiveness of private finance blending in ensureing that small-scale farmers are not left behind
Published by Oxfam International,
This paper identifies the policies and systems needed to ensure that private finance blending at the least does no harm and in practice plays a positive role for small-scale producers. The paper argues that private finance blending should be used with caution in rural development until donors can demonstrate the merits of blending using evidence-based results, in particular the added value of blending for development impact. »
Fintechs and financial inclusion
Published by CGAP,
This paper aims to explain finance innovations in a detailed way and generate insights on whether the services work as stated, create value for underserved customers, and ease age-old pain points in delivering financial services to underserved customers. Fintechs are innovating at every step of the financial services value chain, often through new value propositions. They are making financial services more affordable and accessible, are improving customere experience and accelerate use and engagement. »
Redefining finance for agriculture: Green agricultural credit for smallholders in Peru
Published by Global Canopy,
This report helps identify gaps and opportunities to support and scale up green agriculture, smallholder agriculture and financial inclusion. Farmers agree that the financial sector could be a critical enabler of the shift to sustainable agriculture if provided credit that responded to the needs of farmers. The financial institutions were interested in using credit as a tool to incentivise sustainable agriculture. »
Innovative finance opportunities for inclusive agribusiness: Understanding the emerging opportunities
Published by iBAN, BoP Innovation Center,
This report describes in depth 8 different financing instruments with specific example cases of its application to inclusive agribusiness. Agribusiness have a huge business opportunity and a chance to contribute to the SDGs. Financing opportunities for inclusive agribusiness are growing. »
Crop receipts: A new financing instrument for Africa
Published by FAO, GAFSP and IFC,
This study aims to enhance knowledge about Crop Receipts (CRs) and provide guidance to stakeholders engaged in agricultural finance in Africa on how CRs might be adapted for and introduced in Africa. A CR is a bond issued by a farmer or farmer organization to deliver a certain amount of farm produce (crop or livestock) or the cash equivalent thereof at a future date. »
Protecting growing prosperity: Agricultural insurance in the developing world
Published by ISF Advisors, Syngenta Foundation for Sustainable Agriculture,
This report highlights the current status and future development of agricultural insurance for smallholder farmers around the world. ISF’s agricultural insurance landscape assessment paints a picture of an industry that shows great potential but is struggling to achieve the required scale and product-level refinements to graduate from the donor funding that has carried it to this point. »
Digital platforms for smallholder credit access: The mediation of trust for cooperation in maize value chain financing
Published by Wageningen Journal of Life Sciences,
This article aims to asses to what extent information and communicative mechanisms of digital platforms facilitate trust building for value chain credit cooperation in smallholder maize farming in Ghana. Digital Platforms (DPs) show potential to help overcome some information and communication gaps that impede traditional value chain credit arrangements. »
Improving the availability and effectiveness of rural and “Micro” finance for small-scale irrigation in Sub-Saharan Africa: a review of lessons learned
Published by International Water Management Institute,
This paper reviews the evidence available on the provision of financing for African smallholder farmers to purchase irrigation equipment such as pumps, pipes and drip irrigation systems. Based on both case studies and several systematic reviews of the literature, it finds that the outcomes and impacts on poverty, gender equity and broader economic development are mixed at best. »
Financing and public-private partnerships in water, sanitation & agri-food sectors
Published by PPPLab,
This exploration discusses the financing of development projects in food security and water primarily form the perspective of the commercial financier. Compared to other sectors, the food security and water sector are not seen as attractive to commercial investors, with as important reason their embedding in the public domain. »
Big data could mean big opportunity: Why we should stay excited for data analytics in smallholder finance
Published by Mastercard Foundation, Rural and Agriculture Learning Lab,
This brief aims to provide a high level understanding of how data analytics is used for smallholder farmers. The authors of the brief believe there are ways to transform the underlying economics to serve farmers profitably and at scale - and that data and technology could be fundamental drivers of this shift. »
Opportunities for digital financial services in the cocoa value chain in Côte d’Ivoire: Insights from new data
Published by Mastercard Foundation, IFC,
This research focuses specifically on mobile money accounts and discusses how these have already expanded financial inclusion in Côte d’Ivoire, and how mobile money could help deliver products to cocoa farmers that meet their needs. Encouraging good financial practices would be of great benefit to many cocoa farmers. »
Exploring blockchain applications to agricultural finance
Published by CGAP,
This brief set out to understand how the emerging technology of distributed ledger technologies (DLT), also known as blockchain, could enable broader and more inclusive markets for agricultural finance. Any DLT solution to agricultural finance should be as simple and straightforward as possible. »
Launching into space: Using satellite imagery in financial services
Published by Caribou Digital, Mastercard Foundation,
This case study offers insight into the method behind how FinTechs integrated earth observation technology (satellite imagery) into their financial servies. Despite challenges, initial testing with satellite imagery has been positive. »
The business advantage: Mobilizing private sector-led climate actions in agriculture
Published by IFAD,
This report is on how public funds can mobilize private resources for climate change adaptation, how much impact is generated through public-private partnerships, and  how such impact is delivered to the farmer households. Scaling up and channeling private capital is crucial in limiting climate change. »
Agricultural input subsidies for improving productivity, farm income, consumer welfare and wider growth in low- and lower-middle-income countries
Published by Campbell Collaboration,
This systematic review evaluates the impact of input subsidies on agricultural productivity, beneficiary incomes and welfare, consumer welfare and wider economic growth. Results show that subsidized fertilizers and seeds are associated with increased use of these inputs, higher agricultural yields and increased income. »
Access to finance in agribusiness partnerships
Published by 2SCALE,
This paper shares the successes and lessons learned to improve access to finances (A2F). A2F enables smallholder farmers to invest in crop protection and farm inputs to improve yield and quality and help them integrate into commercial markets. »
Agricultural investment funds for development
Published by FAO,
This report explores agricultural investment funds as a vehicle for financing agricultural businesses and projects. Investment is essential for the growth of the agricultural sector. Agricultural investment funds, which help mitigate investment risks, increasingly contribute to the agricultural investment growth, »
Digital access: The future of financial inclusion in Africa
Published by International Finance Corporation, Mastercard Foundation,
This report highlights the phenomenal success of digital financial services (DFS) in sub-Saharan Africa. Chapter 10 focuses specifically on DFS in relation to agricultural value chains. Extending the use of DFS for rural and agricultural purposes could benefit the entire value chain and daily lives of farmers. »
Future of food: Maximizing finance for development in agricultural value chains
Published by World Bank,
This paper provides important details on maximizing finance for development in agricultural value chains. It highlights financing gaps, identifies a range of potential funding sources, and suggests possible actions to help crowd-in more private investment, while optimizing the use of public resources.  »
Getting smarter on subsidy: The role of grant funding in smallholder finance
Published by Rural and Agriculture Finance Learning Lab,
This briefing aims to bring clarity to the area of grant funding by donors to accelerate the growth of an inclusive smallholder finance market. In smallholder finance, subsidy plays a crucial role in accelerating the development of an inclusive market. »
Critical capital for African agrifood small and medium enterprises
Published by ICCO Cooperation, Rabobank Foundation, AgriProFocus and Food & Business Knowledge Platform,
This study focuses on  agrifood small and medium enterprises (SMEs) that form the ‘missing middle’: too large for micro-finance and too small for mainstream banks and private equity firms. The study evaluates the access of risk capital by agrifood SMEs. »
Financing agriculture for a more profitable rural economy
Published by CTA,
This policy brief discusses finance for agri-value chains. Throughout Africa, concerted efforts have been made to achieve structural economic transformation in agriculture, moving from basic, low-skilled production to diversified, higher value, more sophisticated and competitive production. »
Sell low and buy high: Arbitrage and local price effects in Kenyan markets
Published by University of California, Berkeley,
This paper explores the role of financial market imperfections in contributing to farmers' apparent inability to exploit  arbitrage opportunity. Large and regular seasonal price fluctuations in local grain markets appear to offer African farmers substantial inter-temporal arbitrage opportunities... »
Unlocking smallholder credit: Does credit-linked agricultural insurance work?
Published by World Bank Group,
This paper reviews possibilities for, and experience with, credit-linked crop insurance, including different types of insurance and credit arrangements. The paper describes the main methods of linkage that are being tested or proposed, identifies the critical features of each method, and discusses the advantages and limitations for the three parties - farmers, financial service providers, and insurers. »
Mobile technologies and digitized data to promote access to finance for women in agriculture
Published by The World Bank,
This report provides the state of play of current and promising efforts that use mobile technologies and digitized data to close the gap in access to finance for women in agriculture. The evidence that women both drive agricultural production and rely on it for their livelihoods means that greater financial and informational service provision to women, especially through digital channels, could increase the efficiency and effectiveness of their labor. »
Developing investment-ready business cases with 4P
Published by SNV,
This series of three vision papers is based on learnings from the Partnering for Value Project. This project aims to develop best-practices on brokering successful Public-Private-Producer Partnerships (4Ps). The authors believe that such investments will benefit both the enterprises and the smallholder producers. »
The role of digital payments in sustainable agriculture and food security
Published by Better Than Cash alliance, APEC,
This report examines how shifting to digital payments can provide powerful solutions to help countries improve agricultural productivity and ensure food security, bringing higher incomes and greater financial inclusion. »
Small Grants, Big Impacts
Published by Both ENDS,
This policy brief shows how small grants work, why they are effective, and how governments, international institutions and donors could use them to ensure that funding comes to the right place. Small grants funds, which are set up locally, can form the link between large donors and grassroots organisations. »
Picture-based crop insurance: Is it feasible? Is it sustainable?
Published by CGIAR PIM,
This blog examines the feasibility and sustainability of picture-based crop insurance. By taking regular pictures of their crops on smartphones, farmers can reliably document damage after a natural calamity and provide evidence that the crop was managed appropriately until that point. »
How financial inclusion would benefit smallholder farming in Senegal
Published by IEES,
This working paper analyzes the extent to which farmers are credit-constrained and the underlying generating mechanisms in the specific agro-ecological region of the Senegal River Valley. Additionally it looks at how financial inclusion through the elimination or the reduction of credit constraints would benefit smallholders. »
Four strategies for overcoming barriers to agricultural financing
Published by Microfinance Gateway,
This highlight discusses the engagement of formal financial service providers in the agriculture sector. Less than 2% of the demand for global financing by smallholder farmers is met by financial institutions. This is due to a number of risks that are specific to agriculture. »
Enabling environment and smallholder finance: A complex relationship
Published by RAF Learning Lab,
This analysis discusses the relationship between the enabling environment and smallholder finance. The smallholder finance environment is determined by at least four key elements, including the regulatory, financial, knowledge, and digital infrastructure of a given country or context. »
Access to finance from different finance provider types: Farmer knowledge of the requirements
Published by PLOS ONE,
This article compares farmer knowledge of the requirements to obtain finance with the actual requirements set by different finance provider types. This can provide valuable insights to policy makers about ways to improve farmers’ access to finance.  »
Can flexible agricultural microfinance loans limit the repayment risk of low diversified farmers?
Published by Agricultural Economics,
This article investigates the credit risk of microfinance loans with flexible repayment schedules for crop farmers. Flexible repayment schedules allow a redistribution of principal payments during periods with low agricultural returns to periods when agricultural returns are high through predefined grace periods. »
Institutional versus non-institutional credit to agricultural households in India: Evidence on impact from a national farmers’ survey
Published by Economic Systems journal,
This article investigates the role of institutional credit on farm income and farm household consumption expenditures in India. A goal of agricultural policy in India has been to reduce farmers’ dependence on informal credit. To that end, recent initiatives are focused explicitly on rural areas and have a positive impact on the flow of agricultural credit. »
Index-based agricultural insurance products: challenges, opportunities and prospects for uptake in sub-Sahara Africa
Published by Journal of Agriculture and Rural Development in the Tropics and Subtropics ,
This article reviews factors and challenges that may explain the low uptake of index-based insurance products in Sub-Saharan Africa. The objectives of this paper are to assess and document 1) the insurance products available to farmers, 2) factors influencing farmers to purchase insurance products, 3) challenges limiting farmers accessing to insurance products and 4) opportunities that can positively enhance uptake. »
Webinar materials: Using Psychometrics for smallholder credit scoring
Published by Entrepreneurial Finance Lab,
This webinar shares insights on using psychometrics to create data for smallholder credit scores. In this way, you can combat financial exclusion through using a interactive assessments that not only use generally available data, but also captures certain characteristics of smallholders that are predictive of credit risks. »
The impact of remittances in Lesotho, Malawi and Zimbabwe
Published by FinMark Trust,
This report provides an analysis on the impact of cross-border remittances on the lives of households in Malawi, Lesotho and Zimbabwe, and the role that access to financial services plays in shaping that impact. Authors argue that remittances play a complex role in poverty alleviation. »
Responsible agriculture finance for smallholder farmers in Tanzania and Uganda
Published by Mastercard Foundation; RAF Learning Lab,
This report analyses input credit for smallholder farmers in Tanzania and Uganda. Agricultural inputs are provided on credit and the farmer reimburses the provider after harvest. Input credit products for farmers in Tanzania and Uganda are often ‘bundled’ with other compulsory services and fees. »
Helping women control their financial lives through digital financial services
Published by Center for Financial Inclusion,
This expert opinion discusses how digital financial services (DFS) can help women to control their financial lives. One important benefit of DFS to women is privacy. »
Digitizing value chain finance for smallholder farmers
Published by CGAP,
This focus note explores opportunities and emerging models in digital value chain finance. Particularly it looks at new technologies that can break down barriers to delivering financial services to a greater number of smallholder farmers. The authors identify three key use cases for digitizing financial services in agricultural value chains. »
Agricultural leasing market scoping study for sub-Saharan Africa
Published by FSDA, Nathan Associates,
This report applies a market systems approach to agricultural equipment leasing in sub-Saharan Africa in order to capture a holistic view of how the leasing market currently works. The study has analysed core market functions (supply and demand), as well as supporting market functions and the policy environment. »
Webinar on agriculture, banking, and the digital economy merge to improve South African agriculture
Published by AgriFin,
This webinar by Agriculture Finance Support Facility’s (AgriFin) looks at the role of digital infrastructures in driving efficiency and sustainability in the agricultural value chain. It dives into issues that surround emerging innovations, capacity strengthening, and the enabling environment of mobile service banking. »
Prioritising climate-smart agricultural interventions: The financial aspects
Published by Agricultural Systems,
This special of Agricultural Systems focuses on prioritising climate-smart agricultural (CSA) interventions at different scales. Currently, there are few tools that can comprehensively evaluate the range of potential technologies and practices and their possible impacts on food production, environmental sustainability, and mitigation in any context. This special issue brings together nine papers describing a wide range of approaches and tools, of which some focus on the financial considerations for prioritization. »
Small-scale soya farming can outperform large-scale agricultural investments
Published by IIED,
This briefing by the International Institute for Environment and Development (IIED) highlights how small- and mediumscale farm models can outperform large-scale operations in terms of monetary return, food security, employment generation, local prosperity and avoiding land conflicts. With the right support, poorer households can develop market-oriented farming that contributes to local value chains at many levels. »
Large-scale agricultural investments and smallholder welfare: A comparison of wage labor and outgrower channels in Tanzania
Published by World Development Journal ,
This article in the World Development Journal evaluates household welfare effects of large-scale agricultural investments in Tanzania, one of the main recipients of such investments in Africa. Specifically, the article compares households participating in sugar and rice investments through outgrower schemes or as agro-industry workers with non-participants in terms of household income and income poverty. »
Addressing the gender differentiated investment risks to climate-smart agriculture
Published by AIMS Agriculture and Food,
This article argues that closing the gender gap in land and other productive resources can provide a “triple dividend” of gender equality, food security and climate management. It can thus offer a cost-effective approach to the pursuit of the Sustainable Development Goals. Since the growing literature on the gender gap aims to better quantify its implications for agricultural productivity but does not provide a framework to prioritize policy responses, this article focuses on the latter aspect of the problem. »
Promoting gender equality in foreign agricultural investments: Lessons from voluntary sustainability standards
Published by IISD,
This report analyzes the gender-related content of five major global agricultural sustainability standards and five principles for responsible investment in agriculture. It contributes to the emerging literature on the gendered impacts of the contemporary wave of foreign agricultural investments. The outcomes of agricultural investments for men and women often differ in rural areas of the Global South, »
Inclusive finance and inclusive rural transformation
Published by IFAD,
This paper in the IFAD Research Series provides an overview of concepts, issues and research on the relationship between financial inclusion and inclusive rural transformation. Liberalization of financial markets may not have had the desired spillover effects into rural credit, stressing the need for public intervention. Evidence shows that agricultural credit provides positive returns. »
Investments in irrigation for global food security
Published by IFPRI,
This project paper by IFPRI describes what it will take to achieve a level of irrigation investment that supports sustainable agriculture for improved food security and nutrition. Climate change and all the resulting uncertainties are sparking new interest in raising investments in irrigation to enable more stable food production. The authors conclude that irrigation has an important role to play in enhancing future food security and the time for targeted investments is now. »
Benefits to smallholders? Evaluating the world food programme’s purchase for progress pilot
Published by Global Food Security journal,
This article, published in the Global Food Security journal, examines the impacts of the United Nations World Food Programme's (WFP's) Purchase for Progress (P4P) program on smallholder farmers in Tanzania. P4P is a multi-year, multi-country pilot that sought to improve smallholder farmer wellbeing through a combination of food purchases from farmer organizations and supply-side interventions. »
Impact of cash transfer programs on food security and nutrition in sub-Saharan Africa: A cross-country analysis
Published by Global Food Security journal,
This paper by the Global Food Security journal explores the extent to which government-run cash transfer programs in four sub-Saharan countries affect food security and nutritional outcomes. These programs include Ghana's Livelihood Empowerment Against Poverty, Kenya's Cash Transfer for Orphans and Vulnerable Children, Lesotho's Child Grants Program and Zambia's Child Grant model of the Social Cash Transfer program. »
Financial inclusion fit to size: Customizing digital credit for smallholder farmers in Tanzania
Published by RAF Learning,
This briefing by The Initiative For Smallholder Finance explores the causes of low uptake in digital credit for smallholders in Tanzania. Dalberg's Design Impact Group (DIG) explores these causes to better understand how concrete product solutions to jump-start adoption of digital credit products can be developed. Digital credit products represent an important financial inclusion opportunity for smallholder farmers in Tanzania, where close to 80% of the workforce is engaged in farming. Uptake of these products by smallholder farmers, however, remains limited. »
Lessons learned: Digital financial services for smallholder households
Published by IFAD,
This note by IFAD is focusing on how digital financial services (DFSs) are meeting the financial needs of smallholder households. The authors offer examples of smallholder-specific DFSs as well as mainstream ones, highlighting the implications in each case for smallholder farmers and their households. Significant challenges remain to a more extensive, scalable supply of digital financial offerings for smallholder farmers. »
Private sector investment in a changing climate: Resilient rice value chain development in Uganda
Published by IISD,
This research from the International Institute for Sustainable Development (IISD) focused on private sector investment in a changing climate and aimed to explore how domestic private sector investments can support climate risk management along agricultural value chains. Two briefing notes and a video share the insights from case study research that was conducted in collaboration with a domestic seed company, Equator Seeds Ltd in Northern Uganda, and the Centenary Bank Ltd., a commercial bank in Eastern Uganda. »
FinTech for micro, small and medium sized enterprises
Published by ING,
This report by ING addresses the benefits of FinTech for MSMEs in developing countries. The role of FinTech is centre-stage in the discussion on how to financially include poor people in developing economies. This report shifts the focus on to MSMEs as they are important job creators at the bottom of the pyramid. The report contains 10 main insights that could offer important opportunities for the agro-food sector. According to the authors, FinTech has the potential to impact the whole financial value chain and thus improve financial access for MSMEs. »
Farm input subsidy programmes (FISPs): A benefit for, or the betrayal of, SADC’s small-scale farmers?
Published by ACBIO,
This paper by the African Centre for Biodiversity (ACBIO) reviews the farm input subsidy programmes (FISPs) within countries belonging to the Southern Africa Development Community (SADC), to ascertain whether input subsidies have benefited small-scale farmers, have increased food security at the household and national levels, and have improved the incomes of small-scale farmers. »
National survey and segmentation of smallholder households in Tanzania
Published by CGAP,
This working paper by CGAP examines how smallholder families manage their income and expenses and the issues they face that often lead to financial instability. CGAP conducted a nationally representative survey of smallholder households in Tanzania between August and September 2015. The report shares the findings, observations, and insights from the national survey. »
Agriculture finance support facility: Lessons learned
Published by AgriFin,
This report by the Agriculture Finance Support Facility’s (AgriFin) has two main chapters: the first deals with lessons learned from the design and implementation of AgriFin's Technical Assistance program, while the second covers the lessons emerging from the design and implementation of the program. AgriFin aims to provide technical assistance and knowledge support primarily to financial institutions to help them develop their business models for financing smallholder farmers. »
Making climate finance work in agriculture
Published by World Bank,
This report by World Bank inlcudes qualitative interviews with key experts representing different stakeholder groups in the agriculture, climate, and financial sectors were conducted to inform the potential opportunities and innovations that should be further explored to make climate finance work for agriculture. The paper was produced as a background document for the 2016 FAO State of Food and Agriculture report. »
Can insurance help manage climate risk and food insecurity? Evidence from the pastoral regions of East Africa
Published by Montana,
This article by Michael R. Carter, Sarah A. Janzen and Quentin Stoeffler suggests that insurance can help manage climate risk and food insecurity. If well-designed, insurance contracts can be implemented and priced at a reasonable level, despite the uncertainties that attend climate change. Evidence from the Index-Based Livestock Insurance (IBLI) index insurance project in the pastoral regions in East Africa suggest that practical difficulties can be overcome and that insurance can have the impacts that underlay the positive theoretical evaluation. »
Livestock Finance Fair: Summary report
Published by AgriProFocus,
This report presents the lessons from a regional finance fair in Mbarara, Western Uganda. The objectives of the fair were to provide a platform for building business links and brokering deals between farmer entrepreneurs in the livestock sector and financial service providers as well as jointly find solutions to other challenges in the livestock value chain. »
How agricultural insurance can improve food security – and why regulation matters
Published by Access to Insurance Initiative,
This policy note by the Access to Insurance Initiative (A2ii) makes the case for agricultural insurance in the context of food security, explains the role of regulation to make effective risk protection work and highlights some of the challenges in regulating innovative index-based insurance approaches. »
Agriculture and adaptation to climate change: The role of insurance in risk management – the case of Colombia
Published by Inter-American Development Bank,
This paper by the Inter-American Development Bank, analyzes in detail the market constraints on the development of the agricultural insurance market in Colombia and provides recommendations so that it can fulfill its potential as a risk management tool in the country. Insurance can potentially play an important role in climate change adaptation for rural households in developing countries as part of the overall climate change adaptation strategy. However, agricultural insurance markets have many market failures that inhibit their full development. »
Financing farm renovation: How to build resilience using a blend of capital
Published by Root Capital,
This report by Root Capital explains how a blend of capital can help build resilience against a dwindling supply and rising demand in commodities such as coffee, cacao, and tea. The report states that investment in agriculture—perhaps more than any other sector—has the potential to bring about unprecedented change today and into the future, from food security and nutrition to environmental sustainability and economic growth. »
Unlocking local currency lending: Foreign exchange risk in agricultural finance
Published by The Initiative for Smallholder Finance,
This briefing note by the The Initiative for Smallholder Finance, details how philanthropic investment can play an influential role in mitigating foreign exchange risk. The note emerged from conversations with stakeholders at various levels of the agricultural value chain who expressed concerns about managing the foreign exchange (FX) exposure in their businesses – traders who pre-finance farmers and financiers who lend to smallholders and agri-businesses, among others. »
Inflection Point: Unlocking growth in the era of farmer finance
Published by The Rural and Agricultural Finance Learning Lab & the Initiative for Smallholder Finance ,
This report by the Rural and Agricultural Finance Learning Lab and the Initiative for Smallholder Finance captures the way the smallholder finance space currently operates by describing the key actors and the nature of their interactions, and by conceptualizing these in a new “industry model.” The report identifies market frictions across the major components of the “industry model” that continue to inhibit smallholder farmers’ access to financial services and opportunities for removing them, and rallies sector actors around the need for more collective action than ever before. »
Agricultural value chain finance – A guide for bankers
Published by AgriFin,
This guide (PDF), developed by AgriFin (World Bank Group), in partnership with Bankaool (Mexico), HBL Bank (Pakistan) and HDFC Bank (India), provides a practical, evidence-based guidance to financial institutions engaging in agricultural value chain finance (AVCF). It includes a comprehensive picture of agricultural value chains to enable financial institutions to adapt financial products to the specific demands of value chain actors; and examples of field-tested AVCF products and procedures that have shown value or promise for financial institutions. »
The rise of the data scientist: How big data and data science are changing smallholder finance
Published by The Initiative for Smallholder Finance ,
This briefing note by the Initiative for Smallholder Finance explores how innovative lenders are using new data sources and analytics to assess the creditworthiness of borrowers. It seeks to supplement the growing body of literature on alternative applications of data in assessing credit risk with a discussion of the opportunity to extend these models to the agriculture sector. »
Opportunities for value chain finance in Africa’s intra-regional food trade
Published by CTA,
This brief paper explores the opportunities for African banks in financing intra-African food trade, in particular using value chain financing mechanisms (also called structured financing techniques). Value chain financing is used widely in the continent’s agricultural trade, but mostly for exports to and imports from other parts of the world, not for intra-African trade. And most such value chain financing transactions are managed by international banks, with African banks having at best a supporting role. »
Smallholder diaries: building the evidence base with farming families in Mozambique, Tanzania, and Pakistan
Published by CGAP,
The Smallholder Diaries (PDF) provide a deep view of how smallholders are affected by the agricultural cycle and manage their money in response to its ebbs and flows, as well as point to ways that financial service providers might better meet smallholders’ needs. »
Webinar on “The role of governments in scaling up agriculture (index) insurance”
Published by The Impact Insurance Facility,
This webinar by the Impact Insurance Facility looked at how governments can catalyse the development of agriculture insurance markets through a variety of interventions such as the provision, administration and management of subsidies, support for developing infrastructure for effective implementation of insurance programmes, investment in collection and sharing of data and customer education. »
Evidence on the impact of rural and agricultural finance on clients in Sub-Saharan Africa: a literature review
Published by The Rural and Agricultural Finance Learning Lab,
This report by the Evans School Policy Analysis and Research Group (EPAR) and commissioned The Rural and Agricultural Finance Learning Lab, reviews and summarizes the existing evidence on the impact of access to financial services/products on measures of production, income and wealth, consumption and food security, and resilience for smallholder farmers and other rural customers and their households in Sub-Saharan Africa. This study covers four main types of financial products/services: 1) credit; 2) savings; 3) insurance; and 4) mobile money and digital products. »
Designing digital financial services for smallholder families
Published by CGAP,
A new report published by CGAP presents insights in how digital financial services (DFS) can work for smallholders. Digital tools offer great opportunities for the world's 450 million smallholder families, but cannot replace personal support, according to the new human-centered design research. Recognizing the need for DFS that better respond to smallholder demand, CGAP partnered in early 2015 with a financial service provider (FSP) in each of Zimbabwe, Senegal, Rwanda, and Cambodia to design a new generation of smallholder-specific digital financial products and services. Under the guidance and expertise of two human-centered design (HCD) firms, CGAP and its FSP partners worked to explore, create, evolve, and test possible digital solutions for smallholder families. »
Agricultural Lending: A how-to guide
Published by IFC,
This toolkit by IFC introduces and explains step by step the key elements of success for financial institutions (FIs) to expand financial services to farmers. The guide includes advice on each step involved and tips on how to address the complex challenges that might arise during product development process. »
Innovations and emerging trends in agricultural insurance
Published by SME Finance Forum,
Index based insurance is a promising innovation that might yet help scale up agricultural insurance to needed levels, as well as help underwrite many public relief programs. It also promises to be a useful bridge for increasing the engagement of private insurers in managing these risks, either directly or through various kinds of public-private or nonprofit-private partnerships. Yet despite many promising pilots, IBI has not yet taken off at scale. There are a number of challenges holding back IBI. »
New trends in financing agricultural value chains – promising practices and emerging recommendations for policy development
Published by SME Finance Forum,
This publication (PDF) by Dr. Rauno Zander from the GPFI SME Finance SubGroup aims to provide development policymakers with some practical recent insights on new trends in agricultural value chain financing. It highlights good practices, success factors and lessons to be learnt from recent experiences, covering the past five years. The paper looks at innovation challenges in agricultural value chain financing and details three possible types of innovation. »
Financial innovation and poverty reduction: Evidence from rural northern Nigeria
Published by MFW4A,
This paper (PDF) by the Making Finance Work for Africa Partnership (MFW4A) examines the effect of financial innovation on poverty reduction in rural northern Nigeria. Households from this part of the world are farmers hence, exposed to the vagaries of Climate Change. Assessing whether or not the poorest income quintile (the poorest of the poor) benefit from existing financial inclusive strategies, would inform policy makers and direct the attention of microfinance entrepreneurs to better innovate products that would increase financial inclusiveness and reduce poverty in developing countries. »
The impact of investment in agricultural research and development and agricultural productivity
Published by IFPRI,
This study by IFPRI was conducted to determine the impact on world prices, agricultural commodities production, and food security and nutrition of raising the annual growth in agricultural total factor productivity (TFP) from the current estimate of 1.6 percent to 2 percent by 2030 through investment in agricultural research and development (R&D). The study also compared three R&D investment strategies: (1) gradual TFP increase, (2) accelerated TFP increase, and (3) developing-countries-only TFP increase. »
Investment contracts for agriculture: maximizing gains and minimizing risks
Published by IISD & World Bank & UNCTAD,
This joint IISD, World Bank and UNCTAD discussion paper marries two substantial bodies of research to show how investment contracts can be set up to promote sustainable development. It presents the top five positive outcomes and the five downsides from private sector investments in large- scale agricultural projects. »
Mobile payments: How digital finance is transforming agriculture
Published by CTA,
This report (PDF) by The Technical Centre for Agricultural and Rural Cooperation (CTA) offers new and interesting insights on the role that digital finance can play in providing a more cost-effective and secure method for financial transactions in the agricultural sector, particularly for rural smallholder farms. In doing so, it offers a three-step approach for digital financed-based business development that emphasizes deep engagement with smallholder farmers, innovative partnership strategies, and a focus on mutual value creation. »
Managing risk with insurance and savings: Experimental evidence for male and female farm managers in West Africa
Published by IFPRI,
In order to inform gender targeting of rural finance policy, this paper by IFPRI investigates which financial products best improve farmers’ productivity, resilience, and welfare, and whether benefits affect men and women equally. Using a randomized field experiment in Senegal and Burkina Faso, the authors compare male and female farmers who are offered index-based agricultural insurance with those who are offered a variety of savings instruments. »
Finance for Smallholders: opportunities for risk management by linking financial institutions and producer organisations
Published by NpM, Platform for Inclusive Finance,
This research (PDF) initiated by the Rural Finance working group of NpM, coordinated by ICCO Terrafina Microfinance and carried out in cooperation with AgriProFocus and the Wageningen UR, aimed to investigated the bottlenecks that exist to finance smallholder farmers. The research provides insight into how food production systems work and how they can be strengthened with... »
Financing Sustainable Development: Implementing the SDGs through Effective Investment Strategies and Partnerships.
Published by UNSDSN,
This working paper (PDF) by the Sustainable Development Solutions Network (UNSDSN) provides a roadmap for the Financing for Sustainable Development discussions in the lead-up to the Addis Conference. The paper focuses on a broad array of issues and examines some of the key questions involved in designing new institutions to handle the long-term, complex investments needed for key sustainable development priorities. Chapter 5.3 covers Sustainable agriculture, food systems, and improved nutrition. »
Revolutionising agricultural finance: a post Fin4Ag conference special report
Published by CTA,
The Fin4Ag conference was held in Nairobi, Kenya, July 2014, specifically focusing on agri-financing. This conference report (PDF) by The Technical Centre for Agricultural and Rural Cooperation (CTA) provides a valuable overview of the event... »
Rural finance and agricultural technology adoption in Ethiopia
Published by IFPRI,
Financial cooperatives and microfinance institutions (MFIs) are the two major sources of rural finance in Ethiopia. Whereas MFIs are relatively new, financial cooperatives have existed for centuries in various forms. The coexistence of two different institutions serving the same group of people, and delivering the same financial services, raises several policy questions. Those questions have become particularly relevant, as the government has embarked on developing a new strategy for improving rural financial services delivery. This study serves as an input to that policy discussion. »
Improving agricultural microfinance through risk mitigation
Published by NpM & Cordaid,
The risk management factsheet (PDF) elaborated by Cordaid presents four categories of risk mitigating measures that microfinance institutions (MFIs) can adopt to enhance safe opportunities for agricultural lending, in terms of: preparation, product risk alleviation, operations and collaborations. »
Scaling up index insurance for smallholder farmers: Recent evidence and insights
Published by CGIAR CCAFS,
This report (PDF) by CGIAR CCAFS explores evidence and insights from five case studies that have made significant recent progress in addressing the challenge of insuring poor smallholder farmers and pastoralists in the developing world. »
Financing strategies for integrated landscape investments
Published by Landscapes for People, Food and Nature,
Integrated Landscape Initiatives (ILIs) have unique financing needs: they need investment and financial support timeframes. Integrated landscape management (ILM) provides a context to spatially target and harmonize investments so that they can efficiently yield public goods and private financial returns while mitigating investment risks. In Africa, financing systems for ILM must support local, national, and... »
Firm to Farm Finance Toolkit (F2FF)
Published by USAID,
The Firm to Farm Finance Toolkit (F2FF) (PDF) was commissioned by USAID and in a pilot project in Bangladesh. This toolkit suggests an approach and process for achieving sustainable and mutually beneficial market linkages between poor rural farmers and financial institutions. »
Insight into social lending and direct-to-farmer finance for smallholder farmers
Published by Initiative for Smallholder finance,
The Initiative for Smallholder Finance is a multi-donor effort designed to demonstrate how specific products and services can expand the reach of financing for smallholder farmers. They have published several briefings which provide insight into targeted market research, product development and testing and investment facilitation in the smallholder finance market. »
Islamic microfinance: Unlocking new potential to fight rural poverty
Published by IFAD,
This paper highlights the role of Islamic microfinance as an instrument in tackling rural poverty in Muslim countries. It describes key features of Islamic microfinance and describes Islamic microfinance contract modalities in Sudan, the Syrian Arab Republic, and Bosnia and Herzegovina... »
Netherlands Food Partnership

The F&BKP is continuing in Netherlands Food Partnership: find more knowledge & expertise at the NFP website.