Cracking the Nut 2011: Overcoming Obstacles to Rural and Agricultural Finance
This paper presents learning and suggestions to policy makers, donors, financiers, value chain actors, and technical assistance providers from a conference on overcoming obstacles to rural and agricultural finance. The conference demonstrated the need for a holistic approach to rural and agricultural finance that combined public and private sectors resources, from wealthy and poor countries, to create lasting and environmentally sustainable results. The conference centered around five core themes, namely:
- Making markets work for rural and agricultural finance;
- Forging agricultural finance innovations;
- Reducing costs of rural outreach;
- Managing risks;
- Attracting private investment.
It also presented findings that cut across all five themes, including serving rural women and youth, and working in conflict zones. The conference identified several remaining obstacles to rural and agricultural finance, such as increasing access to medium and long-term finance, reducing costs of technology, building capacity of financial institutions in agricultural finance, building absorptive capacity of rural and agricultural enterprises, addressing food insecurity while avoiding market distortion, and facilitating the transition from donors to private investors.