Access to Finance for Inclusive Agri-business Development
Access to finance is crucial for smallholder farmers and agri-businesses to improve productivity, post-harvest practices, trade, and marketing of agricultural commodities, ultimately addressing poverty and hunger. However, the agricultural sector faces severe financing constraints due to limited knowledge, incentives, and skills within the financial industry. This paper highlights the challenges faced in rural or agricultural finance, including high-interest rates, mismatched repayment schedules, and limited outreach by financial institutions. It presents the interventions of the 2SCALE consortium, which aims to address these constraints and enhance financial inclusion in the agricultural sector. The approach involves assessing financial needs, matching the demand and supply of financial services, implementing tailored financial instruments, and evaluating and scaling up successful interventions. The paper also emphasizes the importance of financial literacy and showcases examples of using information and communication technologies (ICTs) to improve financial services in agriculture. The 2SCALE approach contributes to the growth and development of smallholder farmers and SMEs in the agri-business sector by providing affordable financial solutions.
Value chains, Sustainable development, Agribusiness, Smallholder farmers