How can we harness out-grower schemes to increase the availability of affordable finance for smallholder farmers?

A key underlying barrier for smallholder farmers looking to supply local, regional and international markets is the availability of affordable finance to, amongst other things, secure quality inputs and irrigation technologies and to improve availability of storage and transportation infrastructure.

A recent study by Dalberg, on behalf of Citi Foundation and Skoll Foundation, with advisory input from ANDE, Technoserve and Root Capital, titled “Catalysing Smallholder Agricultural Finance” estimates that the current global demand for small holder finance is $450 billion, which is largely unmet. The study focuses on the potential catalytic role of social lenders in driving finance in to untapped markets, and identifies five growth pathways to deploy investments.

One pathway explores the out-grower schemes of multinational buyers in captive value chains, and the potential for multinational buyers to work with lenders to facilitate financing using purchase contracts as collateral, or to use their relationships with farmers to help originate loans and assess risk.

  • To what extent is access to finance a barrier to establishing a successful out-grower scheme?
  • What are the greatest challenges in establishing and scaling out-grower schemes, and where is there scope to develop innovative financing solutions?
  • Can you share examples of innovative financing models for smallholders?
  • What should be the specific roles and contributions of multinational companies, social impact investors, commercial lenders, donors, governments and NGOs?

I like the story and model of Agrofinanzas, an IFC client in Mexico. The Mexican subsidiary of multinational commodity trading company ECOM was doing its own supplier financing, in the absence of financial institutions who would serve the rural, agricultural market. Eventually management made the strategic decision to spin off the supplier financing division to be able to serve more companies and more farmers. Agrofinanzas now finances farmers supplying a total of 15 buyers.

Roles of other players -

The buyers help Agrofinanzas identify farmers who are probably good credit risks, gather information for their credit files, deliver the money, and withhold their debt service payments from the amount they pay at harvest. The buyers also provide a first loss guarantee. In return they get a success fee (in addition to better and more reliable suppliers).

The government provides most of Agrofinanzas' capital, and substantial guarantees.

IFC is providing additional investment and advisory services to help Agrofinanzas transition from government financing to commercial financing - it has already gotten some from Scotiabank and Monex and issued short-term bonds.

For more, read the case study written by my IFC colleague Piya Baptista.

I have previously written about the experience of Sugarcane growers in Masindi NW Uganda

Access to cheap capital is prohibitive in as far as scaling outgrower farming schemes, most of the sugarcane farmers do not have land titles, this means that they can't borrow against the land they farm and are tied to borrowing from the firm they supply the sugarcane at sky high interest rates.

What was perhaps most surprising was the discovery the factory into which the outgrowers supply their sugarcane is partly owned by the government. The implications of this are the the outgrowers can't have expectations of the government stepping in to assist them.

I recently led a team looking at Contract Farming in Zimbabwe funded by the Multi-Donor Trust Fund. We looked at a number of aspects - the legal and regulatory framework; access to finance; farmers grouping; and the various contracting mechanisms being used. While Zimbabwe is not mentioned in this report, and may seem an outlier given the current situation, there were many commonalities. In the 2011/12 season there were around 50 firms and some 330,000 smallholder outgrowers in Zimbabwe and we looked at representative main crops/commodities (including cotton (by far the largest), tobacco, coffee, sugar, paprika and maize). What we found was that the capacity to expand production was limited to the collateral of the agro-processors, as others in the value chain had no or limited collateral. We also found a reluctance on the part of smallholders to enter into any grouping which may leave them exposed to joint and several liability and agro-processors therefore had to enter into a myriad of individual contracts with the related additional costs. There was a significant lack of understanding of the basic business model between processors and farmers, especially as a range of services (such as extension/TA) which had previously been provided free were now being provided by agro-processors, the cost of which was netted off in the final price paid to smallholders. This led to misunderstanding and side-selling was a major factor in the price paid to farmers. In addition, smallholders had no incentive to invest in improved technology or improvement on their land as they lacked security of tenure (a situation not uncommon in many economies dominated by subsistence farmers) and, without this, competing with more capital intensive producers is challenging. Because of low yields and high costs, often directly related to distance from market/collection points, competitiveness was a major challenge. Another significant issues was the lack of a cohesive and comprehensive legal and regulatory framework which protected all parties. Processes were cumbersome and redress limited. The IFC 'Doing Business' indicators demonstrate that this is not uncommon in many countries. There are few financial institutions offering direct financing to farmers and local companies borrowing on the international market were paying a 3-4% political risk premium. Donor activity is also a factor in the extent to which they focus on real, sustainable financial independence for farmers.

We found GIS a really useful tool to map activity and to try and assess where risk is lower. For example,how many farmers live within reach of mobile banking; how many smallholders have on-or-near farm access to water for on-farm irrigation which can have a significant impact on yield and give an excellent return. In Zambia, Ethiopia and Ghana International Development Enterprises (IDE) has piloted a number of schemes working with local MFIs to provide longer term finance to purchase capital equipment and inputs for the production of higher value crops. In general these pilots have worked well.

Outgrower schemes are mechanisms for assumed markets for smallholder farmers
though smallholder farmers have less say on the output end price for the
products.Most times ,here in Zambia, farmers pay a small percentage of down
payment before the get these inputs for their agricultural

> The firms that run these outgrowers most times make huge
profits because just recovery of about 75-80% means that they would have
recovered their investments and profits.

> However,well screened
smallholders into the OGS means better repayments and better incomes for both
the farmers and the firms.

> .

Thank you so much for this quick question
from you.

> Kindly let me know if you need more that what i have
explained here

Thank you for sharing Safiye! Certainly some interesting and pertinent questions for my work in West Africa. There are large 150 page USAID manuals on Outgrower (OG) program development.

My perspective is that finance is a barrier, but even with finance solved, a challenge is still farmer adoption of Good Agricultural Practices (GAPs) to meet the required quality standards. I previously worked with an early-stage agribusiness producing improved maize seed for small-scale farmers. The business pre-financed OGs with inputs and technical advice, and offered a very favourable pricing scheme. But still the OG program did not meet targets.

This could likely apply to any crop under an OG scheme, but maize seed is basically a cash crop and requires very specific GAPs to meet quality standards. Farmers needed to adopt several new behaviours in field preparation, plant spacing, planting rate, fertilizer application, weed control practices, insect control practices depending on the season, detasseling which is particularly labour-intensive and requires strong casual labour management skills, and harvesting practices. The OG program had training prior to farming and on-the-job supervision, but farmer behaviour change is no easy task, particularly when the cash crop like seed maize appears to just be food maize on the field (in the eyes of the farmer).

- Are there examples of successful mechanisms for OGs adopting GAPs? As well as business controls/systems to monitor in a cost-effective way? This is particularly necessary for businesses requiring traceability controls.

- One of the benefits of OGs is geographic diversity to manage weather and disease risks in the supply-chain. However this also increases supervision costs, and management complexity. Are the successful examples of this being done?

I believe OG programs represent a great way to develop inclusive supply-chains, but I've found the devil is in the details with things like GAPs, side-selling, payment transparency, etc.

I enjoyed listening to the speakers at the event. A question that I have - and something that Dougie Brew from Unilever alluded to - is to what extent can we facilitate "pre-competitive" collaboration on some of these complex issues? A number of companies are well-known for their activities supporting smallholders in their own value chains, but is there scope for collaboration across a number of companies to tackle more systemic barriers facing farmers? For example, could a group of banks and companies come together to meet the financing needs of large numbers of smallholder farmers in a particular region and/or for a particular crop?

I attended the session yesterday and I'd like to thank all involved in setting it up (Zahid, CitiBank and ANDE), presenting the 'well-rehearsed' report especially Dan's heroic discipline for the first 15 mins and for the insights provided by most panel members, notably Willy from Root Capital.

I wanted to raise two points:

1) The need to learn from the past performance of donor investments in agricultural growth

I asked a question "what lessons have members of the panel learnt - for good or bad - about the long history of donor investments in the agricultural sector?" The only answer came from Dougie Brew: "the lessons of the past are not relevant for the future". Really? I am not saying the dogmas of tackling past problems and opportunities should be enthralled in pursuing those of the present and those envisaged for the future (to paraphrase President Lincoln). We all agree things have moved on as Willy made really clear. However, to dismiss lessons from the past as obsolete is sloppy. A more thoughtful and intelligent response was put together by the World Bank Group: EVALUATIVE LESSONS in Growth and Productivity in Agriculture and Agribusiness (2011) that can be found at:

Suffice it to say the World Bank contradicted the one answer offered by the panel:This evaluation introduced itself in the following way:

"The cost of inadequate attention to agriculture, especially in agriculture-based economies, came into focus with the food crisis of 2007–08. The crisis added momentum to an emerging renewal of attention and stepped-up financing to agriculture and agribusiness at the World Bank and International Finance Corporation (IFC), as well as at several multilateral and bilateral agencies. World Bank financing rose two and a half times from 2008 to 2009, although this increased lending seems to have been accompanied by a decline in analytical work, which this review finds valuable in achieving results. This evaluation seeks to provide lessons from successes and failures in the Bank Group’s activities in the sector to help improve the development impact of the renewed attention."

2) The nature of change sought through social lenders and impact investors

I understand the motivation behind social lenders and impact investors as seeking to induce transformative change through 'filling' the void in the missing middle. Doing this involves empowering perhaps only a small number of the 90% in coming to the market - and the service providers to? - so as to bolster more resilient agricultural economies that will drive growth. As agreed, a lack of access to finance is only one reason that explains the current situation: 90% of small holder farmers work in unorganised staple food markets that have little or no points of aggregation. Why?

  • Lack of surety of tenure (ie, land markets) for farmers and her families and especially those who are good farmers so they can rent or buy in more land?
  • No or limited incentives to invest more labour and inputs and/or expand farm sizes due to risk (price and others) and significant opportunity costs associated witn non-farm income given poor/marginal incremental returns to agricultural investments ? and
  • A belief that the more money, government (incl public sector donors) has is proportionate to the difference or impact is can have in productive sectors like agriculture - this may be true of education and health , but the most dramatic and lasting difference governments and donors can have, albeit indirectly, lie in reforming regulations (as 'measured' by the IFCs Doing Business Indicators).

All three (and others) most probably. In this context and for these reasons, I think collectively that the vision and associated strategies that drives the motivation among social lenders and impact investors needs to focus on other changes that precede current M&E effort: measuring movements in the relative values of phyical and financial crop yields and the consequences of these on net household incomes. These 'end-game' targets are no more no less than what drive public investments. Even assuming that more than the 400,000 known by Technoserve adopt - and continue to adopt - and realise a $200 annual increment after 3 years, is this it? Aside from who appropriates these gains measuring even such seemongly straightforward metrics is not trouble free. On a boring (?) technical note such M&E practice was found out by the World Bank's then Operation and Evaluation Department in 1994. An internal overview of M&E practice in the agriculture sector concldued that it was analytically impossible to establish significant causal relationships between the provision of services and movements in the relative values of crop yields by the end of five year implementation periods. This problem was aggravated by the positioning and strategies of these interventions: they worked around rather than with local systems and treated them and their behaviours as risks and assumptions to their 'results'. Since then, however, this analysis has been reversed: these systems are not so much treated as factors affecting interventions, rather about how the they are influencing them and bringing about systemic change.

I am not belittling the results of outfits like technoserve. Every bit helps. Rather, I understand the necessary changes required are more fundamental and need to take place in and among invariably complex systems (household, farming , markets and institutions that make and govern regulations). After all it the behaviours and values of these that invariablt explain why 90% of smallholders operate in highly fractured and remote staple food markets. As mentioned, this will take time and the duration of which will test the convention of impatience often shown by some donors' standard investment periods.

As mentioned we need to support agriculture and those who think it is cool and profitable to farm in more sophisticated and coherent ways if we are to partner each other in putting agriculture in its right and proper place as the driver of growth. Constraints that farmers face in becoming the ‘drivers’ of this support are well documented: small scale farmers lack capacity and mechanisms to articulate their demands and in many cases the effectiveness and financial viability of services are simply obstructed by lack of enabling regulations and policies to ensure access to information and markets.

Monitoring all this should help improve, not just comment on and report 'results', our performance in doing all this. How? By being able to learn about how and to what extent:

  • Who among the 90% respond to these opportunities;
  • Who does not, why and with what consequence?
  • How do those that do respond do so - do they invest in land and 'trade' in it it to increase production or are benefits they realise restricted to gains in productivity?
  • Are “dynamic” land rental/purchase markets beginning to emerge which support transfers of use from those less able/interested to respond to those who can/want to?
  • How do factor (input and output) markets supporting those farmers trying to upgrade their farming efforts respond - provide mini-future markets?
  • How well is this support provided - is it responsive to the needs of their new clients, do farmers have choices on whose support is on offer? how satisfied are they with these service providers and do service providers seek to improve their performance based on this feedback (ie, partially closing the feedback loop)?

If we get to this point, then, we can expect increased productivity, interesting changes in land distiribution patterns, outputs and personal gains / opportunities to emerge – which we’d be confident are likely to be sustainable, and are tangible enough to measure with confidence. All factors that contribute to helping transform the rural space.

The political climate in many donor countries is, I believe, negatively influencing each of these above mentioned factors. The snag, as I see it, is that some donors do not make technical choices based on evidence and careful reasoning, but respond to the way aid is politically driven. In this context, there are deliberate ambiguities in the framing of objectives among some donors. Some espouse, intellectually, anyway the primacy of systemic changes as it acknowledges the role of aid is to stimulate changes that outlast the aid programmes it funds. And this takes time and changes in their behaviours to effect and thus patience. At the same time there is branding and making noise about people level 'impacts'. In crude terms, they cut corners and make premature reference to developmental impacts even backed up with randomised and pseudo experimental designs. This is often a knee jerk response to justifying ring fenced aid budgets (that are set to dramatically increase to boot). We want externally and statistically valid “proof” of improvements in peoples lives before we believe anything. Oh and we want these to outlast the programmes we fund. By referring to higher level improvements in people as “impacts”, this suggests that anything less than this isn’t really impact, is of secondary relevance and importance, and isn’t really of interest. It would, therefore, be really encouraging for investors in impact to recognise that if the contributions they seek to developmental impact really will make for lasting and believable narratvies of change they also need to work more with each other in partnership with local institutions. And 'report' on the consequences of these partnerships - dare I say it the impacts as defined by reforming behaviours of government, improved negotating positions of cooperatives on product price and quality of service etc...

My analysis of the situation in Africa where we established the Regional Sustainable Energy Center of Excellence (RSECE) us that agriculture food crops are a good bridge being one or two crops can be harvested in one year. If we consider the orchard then we have a four or five year time period before harvest in many cases. A combined approach is best. The establishment of communities to be developed is ideal or to enhance existing communities to include the continued education of indigenous Farmers being mindful of the traditions that are maintained. For an example of Nepal where we planted Switchgrass and included from the World Association of Soil and Water Conservationist the extensive case study book and Compact Disc of files for No Till Farming, but the Farmer in Nepal used the traditional Oxen plowing method. Enhancement of Farming methods is important. For further information contact us at RSECE.

I thought it was a useful event and discussion.Like Zahid, I thought Dougie's comment about pre-competitive collaboration was an interesting one - but it also raises questions about how you select the right sites and products. I am not an expert unlike those commenting above but I suspect good levels of communication between companies and those who could help build capacity is vital to this.

The question of what makes for effective partnerships/schemes also needs more work. The comments above on this are useful. But if this is an area for expansion, how do we ensure that those lessons are learned by those developing new partnerships and schemes? Otherwise, we have people who are continuously re-inventing the wheel who risk contributing to the numbers of unsuccessful projects by not learning from those who have gone before them or not working with the right partners from the start.

This links to Dougie's other comment about the fickleness of the development industry. If we don't make real gains in the field of agriculture (no pun intended!), fashions will change and agriculture will not have benefited from its brief spell in the sun.

In the discussion at the event on Monday most of the panellists were fairly negative about the prospects for the microfinance industry to successfully reach the 90% of smallholder farmers not aggregating their produce as outgrowers or as members of cooperatives (ie via 'Growth Pathway 5' Finance Direct to the Farmer). As was pointed out the event most standard microfinance products are not suited to the businesses or cashflow of farmers - rather they are designed largely for petty trade and other urban oriented businesses.

My organisation iDE has some experience (and quite a bit of learning) about developing financial products for farmers in partnership with microfinance institutions in Africa. For example in Zambia we have developed a credit product together with the MFI CETZAM targeted at farmers who are moving to growing higher value fruits and vegetables using irrigation. They are mainly selling their produce in local markets or at the farm gate to traders - and not for export or as outgrowers.

Over 2,820 loans (in total over $1.5m) have been provided since 2011 and the loan recovery rate is 97.2% - quite a remarkable success for smallholder lending. Key lessons from this experience include:

  • most MFIs lack agricultural expertise from their credit officers, as a result of experience CETZAM now hire agronomists as credit officers for this product
  • the loans have needed to be adapted to the specialised business needs of the farmers - in particular their cashflow - they can't pay back until they have harvested the crop
  • Loans are tied to the purchase of specific pieces of equipment and inputs which are paid directly to local retailers from which the farmer receive their goods (this also provides some collateral, for example an irrigation pump)
  • technical agronomic support provided by Farm Business Advisors (micro-franchisees trained by iDE) has reduced the risks for the MFI

For CETZAM the agricultural loan was their strongest growth area - and now forms 40% of their portfolio.

More information can be found on our website and on this iDE UK blog post


Great to see the debate from Monday night continues.

I was also struck by the comment from Dougie Brew on how we learn from the past. I agree that we should thoughtfully review how we build on past successes and of course more importantly our failures. I also think challenging our mindset is critical – as we need to plan for a different future taking into account: climate change, population movement, changing roles of women etc.

I thought Technoserve’s idea of moving farmers from ‘Market Takers to Market Makers’ was a great way of articulating the need to empower smallholder farmers.

I saw a great example of this in practice as part of the Gates Cocoa Livelihoods Program in Ghana, where GIZ run farmer Business Schools. These schools provide skills and knowledge to farmers giving them (often for the first time) the ability to understand how profitable their farms are and also ideas for secondary income sources. Many of these farmers now see themselves as business men and women, with positive impacts in terms of savings and increases in household income.

To follow is a link to a presentation by the inspiring Annemarie Matthess from GIZ on the Farmer Business Schools, which includes a model of how farmer financial literacy can be a stepping stone to broader financial services.

I think that business skills development is the foundation for successful financial models.

I look forward to your thoughts.

Given the challenges highlighted on Monday in finding ways to break into and develop aggregation points concerning smallholders who farm local staples, I found the work of SAB Miller and the companies it has a stake in and works with in Uganda, Zambia, Sudan and Tanzania to be a useful and interesting set of case studies.

In essence, they are about engaging with small holders in sorghum, cassva and barley value chains. Features of this approach appear typical of most contract grower schemes: establishing a mini-futures market - a guaranteed price and amount at harvest - and the provision of technical advice, inputs and facilitation of grower groups. So, what were previously subsistence-only farmers producing scattered and small amounts of surplus production for food and local chibuku or shake shake markets, now have higher income and are able to send their children to school, buy books and have access to medical care.

I am not over-selling this for obvious reasons, but it struck me as an interesting set of stories as how one company, with obvious influence and sway at national level and who manage the entire value chain, can work with those who lie outside the 10% and begin to make a difference. That is compared to other multinationals who sell other products as their core business and claim how they have a bearing on development outside of and/or in addition to gestures of corporate philanthropy.......

Hope this is helpful

Hi all

I am responsible for water and food security for SABMiller so I just wanted to build on the point above - thanks for highlighting Daniel.

I'm sorry to have missed the event on Monday evening but I was at the roundtable discussion on the Dalberg report in the afternoon. One of the key points that came up in our discussion about aggregation was the need for a focal point around which that aggregation can happen. Building local value chains based on smallholder grown crops such as sorghum and cassava is a key part of our strategy, and in our case the focal point is the processing infrastructure. Despite being the second biggest staple in Africa, there have never been significant commercial markets for cassava because it degrades so quickly - within 24 hours of harvesting - and is so bulky to transport. The way we have cracked thsi problem is to partner with DADTCO, who have developed mobile processing units that travel from village to village. This means that cassava can be bought from local smallholders and processed straight away into stable "cakes" that are then transported for further processing. So the focal point for aggregation is the processing unit.

Lots of work has been done to develop new higher yielding cassava varieties, and there is such an opportunity now to create markets for this so that cassava can be a source of income as well as a subsistence food for farmers.


An ambitious and innovative attempt to unblock smallholder financing is being led by Stanbic in Nigeria, with support from Business Innovation Facility(BIF) The initiative is described in more detail here on the BIF Practitioner Hub, but essentially it is a major bank developing sub-market rate loans for smallholders, linked to a purchase agreement with a major cereals company. Long term ambitions are evident: aiming to reach 5 million farmers and develop the agricultural financial services arm of the bank.

As we see elsewhere, setting up a warehouse receipts system is a key part of the jigsaw, so that farmers can use their freshly harvested crop to unlock finance and reduce the pressure to sell at once. I have been on a learning curve about warehouse receipts, and if you are like me, this picture by picture blog, called 'Warehouse Receipts Explained' from another BIF-supported project may be useful.

Finally I think there is one essential point. Finance enables inputs enables yield increase, but all that is useless if farmers can't sell their produce and earn a decent margin that makes investment worth it next time around. So market access alone is not enough,and nor is finance alone. It is about closing the loop in between earning a market price and financing the next investment. This was a key lesson from an energetic discussion in Malawi a few months ago, and is what led me to blog last week that farmer investment in inputs is a key success indicator to track for a whole host of farmer-focused interventions, whether they target inputs or market access.

I really enjoyed the discussion on Monday night, Dougie’s contribution in particular was honest and eye opening. It was interesting to note that Unilever acknowledged the fact that they are not good at everything. This is useful because it enables us to leverage our skills and resources to aspects of development we can do best.

Through my work in Uganda, I’ve come across a couple of challenges

  1. Climate change - in Masindi for instance it gets so hot in January that sometimes sugarcane plantations go up up in flames, wiping out livelihoods. In Ruhanga SW Uganda - the rain can be so heavy that it leads to mudslides and this results in entire crops being washed down in the valley. Are there program’s that help smallholder farmers mitigate this sort of thing

  2. Banks do not want to lend to smallholder farmers because they are considered a risk. Most of these farmers do not have land titles for the land they farm and therefore can’t borrow against this. Is anyone doing any work on land registration?

  3. The issue of women and property rights is at the centre of this debate too. I was disappointed that not much was said about this. For instance in Kisoro SW Uganda, women have to negotiate which cash crop the family prioritises, potatoes or coffee. Men prefer coffee as women are excluded from negotiations to do with coffee and therefore can’t access the income from coffee. Women prefer potatoes as a cash crop. This is because they are able to keep some of the potatoes so that they can feed the family. Often this leads to domestic violence and relationship breakdown.

    Looking forward to hearing your views

Hello everyone. We're delighted to be hosting this live discussion. We'll be joined over the next hour by Bob Annibale, Global Director of Microfinance, Citi; Andrew Stern, Partner, Dalberg - Global Development Advisors; Jane Abramovich, Access to Finance Practice Lead, TechnoServe; Dougie Brew, External Affairs Director Africa, Unilever. They'll be responding to the comments posted in the Forum. Please note that you will need to be logged in in order to post comments. The feed on the right will show you the latest comments, and will refresh every 5 minutes. Please refresh your browser to see a more regular update. We look forward to the discussion!

Thanks to everyone for a great learning and sharing forum.

Following the discussions during the event, it seems that there is a strong consensus among the various actors - from multi-nationals, financial and capacity building service providers, and assuredly from small holder farmers as well – that one of the overarching challenges to scaling and deepening impact of the interventions, including out-grower schemes, is a short term nature of the various initiatives (ie 2-3 year time horizon), preventing a “going concern” consideration for the business ventures being developed.

Developing capacity and relationships take a long and concerted effort on behalf of all actors, including government and regulatory stakeholders and donor community critical to providing the catalytic investment.

Longer-term horizon and commitment is necessary to shape industries and allow for the space to build capacity, change behaviors and develop trust-based relationships between small holder farmers, buyers and financial institutions. Building in mechanisms to evaluate progress and tweak the scope of any interventions is critical to leverage, rather than jeopardize, the investment that has already been made.

Consistent messaging from all actors to design and structure buisness ventures and capacity building initiatives with a longer term horizon could foster the commitment necessary to achieve sustainable impact.

I'd love to hear examples of how companies have made the "business case" for longer-term initiatives, especially when the outcome isn't certain. This may apply more to international/multinational companies. I've heard several say that it is important to use the reputation/stakeholder relations benefits as part of the argument - but then have also seen this send mixed messages e.g. to supply chain managers. And sometimes 2-3 years already counts as long term. Any advice?

Actually the challenge of making the case for longer-term initiatives applies to donors as well (the return piece is just different). Any lessons from donors that have been involved for 5+ years?

Thanks for a great forum on Monday. Participants provided some excellent perspectives on some of the challenges and opportunities in providing finance for smallholder farmers.

As Jane notes, a long-term horizon and commitment is essential. We heard good examples of this longer term approach with many of the multinational corporations having made significant investments and programs in their own value chains over several years, including providing input financing and offering extension services.

We are keen to hear about approaches to support these companies, and where possible, take the financing off their balance sheets.