Scaling Up Access to Finance for Agricultural SMEs: Policy Review and Recommendations
The importance of agriculture, especially to the economies of developing countries, cannot be overstated. In low-income countries, agriculture accounts for 60 percent of total employment and 20 percent of GDP. Unfortunately, however, this sector suffers from low productivity. Without a concerted effort to increase productivity, few countries will be able to achieve the Millennium Development Goals. The surge of food prices in recent years has brought renewed attention to the issue of agricultural finance, especially for underserved agricultural SMEs and smallholder farmers. This summary highlights some key recommendations from agricultural finance experts (convened under the G-2O Global Partnership for Financial Inclusion) that are intended to guide policy makers in developing countries on how to increase access to agricultural finance.