Propagate: a coalition of smallholder finance practitioners launches to advance financial inclusion of smallholder farmers worldwide
ABU DHABI, United Arab Emirates, March 16, 2016 — Propagate: A Coalition of Smallholder Finance Practitioners, today announced its formation and formal launch of activities at the 18th Microcredit Summit. The coalition includes representatives from some of the largest and most innovative organizations engaged in smallholder finance, including Agora Microfinance, BRAC, Juhudi Kilimo, One Acre Fund, Opportunity International, and VisionFund. The group will collaborate to increase the quality and availability of financial services tailored to meet the unique needs of smallholder farmers.
Smallholder farmers represent more than 70 percent of people living in poverty around the world. Yet only 3 percent of smallholder demand for financing is currently being met, presenting one of the greatest—and most urgent—opportunities for scale and impact in financial inclusion today.
"The sheer magnitude of the existence of poverty amongst smallholder farmers makes it one of the biggest economic challenges of our times. As we know, finance is an integral part of any solution that is attempted," said Tanmay Chetan, Co-Founder and Managing Partner of Agora Microfinance. "The group comprises institutions with serious responses to the issue. It can bring together diverse approaches and encourage synergy for larger scale solutions to the issue of agrifinance. It can also become a relevant voice on the issue."
Going forward, coalition members will develop and adopt common principles to enhance financial services accessible to smallholder farmers. Through outreach to key sector stakeholders, they hope to influence the availability and structure of wholesale financing to attract appropriate investment and better support the growth of smallholder financial services. Among their own organizations, coalition members will develop commercial and operational partnerships that drive product development and innovation in smallholder finance and create stronger value chains for farmers.
"We know that when smallholder farmers in sub-Saharan Africa have access to production credit, savings accounts, cash flow management tools, and quality extension services, they can significantly increase their productivity and yields and receive fair prices for their crops," said Simona Haiduc, Vice President of International Business Development at Opportunity International.
Propagate coalition representatives include:
· Tanmay Chetan, Co-Founder and Managing Partner, Agora Microfinance
· Shameran Abed, Microfinance Director, BRAC
· Bernard Kivava, CEO, Juhudi Kilimo
· Mike Warmington, Microfinance Partnerships Manager, One Acre Fund
· Simona Haiduc, Vice President of International Business Development at Opportunity International
· Scott Brown, President and CEO, VisionFund International