During European Microfinance Week the e-MFP Rural Outreach & Innovation Action Group gathered. Afterwards Bart De Bruyne interviewed Antonique Koning (CGAP).
QUESTION: Why is small holders farmers finance a concern for CGAP?
ANSWER: The largest group of poor and unbanked people are smallholder farmers, estimated at 500 million households. Thus far, the offer of financial services has not always been well adapted to small holder farmers’ needs. Often even the realities and behavior of small holder farmers, and their demand and preferences for financial services is not well known.
Did you for instance know that:
- Close to a fifth of Tanzanian farmers and a quarter in Mali feel trapped in farming, see no hope in farming and do not want their children to become farmers (according to 2011 study by Dalberg)?
- Zambian small holder farmers (with less than 3ha), got less than 24% of their household revenue from their agricultural production (study by Thomas Jayne)?
The agricultural value chain is perhaps not the only way to engage smallholders in a broader spectrum of financial services with financial institutions.
QUESTION: What would you recommend that the e-MFP Rural Outreach & Innovation Action Group can contribute?
ANSWER: New ways in looking into and assessing the financial needs of smallholder farmers, can generate new innovations to serve them. Successful service models can be documented and spread in the learning communities.