Pathways to Prosperity: 2019 Rural and Agricultural Finance State of the Sector Report

How has the rural and agricultural finance sector evolved over the past three years?

The last three years have seen a rapid acceleration in technology-driven innovation, which has powered changes in existing rural finance models, enabled providers to develop new service delivery models, and facilitated the bundling of services in new ways. The market has also been reshaped by a more diverse influx of service and capital providers.

With these changes comes an urgent need to develop improved frameworks for understanding the state of the sector. To that end, this report, provides updates to key sizing numbers from the latest global data—for the first time including agricultural small- and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs). It also introduces new models for understanding how rural clients, financial service providers, and the capital markets can effectively work together. Finally, it presents targeted impact and investment theses and new ways of thinking about inclusive rural economic growth. In doing so, the study hopes to contribute to unlocking the benefits of financial inclusion for the 2.5 billion people who depend on smallholder farming for their livelihoods worldwide.