Rural Financial Services

Financial intermediation is an important process through which funds are channelled from suppliers to prospective users. In most countries a diversity of institutions, instruments and markets have evolved to provide financial intermediation services. These include formal institutions such as banks, semi-formal institutions such as cooperatives and informal providers such as traders and moneylenders. Providing financial services in rural areas is a particular challenge as agriculture has unique characteristics of dependence on natural resources, long production cycles and vulnerability to risks, while scattered populations greatly increase operating costs. This Learning Center aims to bring together resources that can help financial service providers to operate efficiently in this environment and increase their outreach in a sustainable manner.

Library Resources

resource title type year resource
Guidelines for micro-finance and credit services in support of small-scale fisheries in Asia Report 2019

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This resource appears in: Rural Financial Services

These Guidelines for increasing access of small-scale fisheries to credit and microfinance services in Asia have been developed to support the implementation of the Voluntary Guidelines for Securing Sustainable Small-Scale Fisheries in the Context of Food Security and Poverty Eradication (SSF Guidelines).

The purpose of these guidelines is fourfold, i.e. to:

• Increase awareness about the financial service needs of small-scale fishers (SSF) for more sustainable and inclusive access to finance;

• Guide policy and decision makers in the Asia-Pacific region and elsewhere, to help introduce and incentivize financial services to small-scale fishers, with the ultimate objective to encourage investment in the industry and by doing so influence and strengthen sustainability, ecological and economic viability of these fisheries;

• Build capacity among financial service providers, fisherfolk organizations, NGOs, and concerned government agencies, to design and implement financial service products and programmes that suit the needs of small-scale fishing communities and enhance social protection; and

• Promote financial services that incentivize and reward a responsible and sustainable conduct of fishing, fish processing and marketing operations.

The document commences by laying out the background and context, purpose and target audience of these Guidelines. It describes why microfinance and credit are important for small scale fisheries and why many small-scale fishers are not currently financed, which includes a discussion of risks. The Guidelines suggest entry and leverage points for actors interested in supporting the access of financial services for SSFs and compares agriculture (smallholders) and SSF business characteristics.

Author Grace, L., van Anrooy, R.
Publisher FAO; APRACA
Number of Pages 56 pages
Primary Language English (en)
Region / Country Asia
Keywords Microfinance, small-scale fisheries
Related Resources
Smallholder Households: Distinct Segments, Different Needs Paper 2019

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This resource appears in: Rural Financial Services

The 500 million smallholder households worldwide represent a large pool of potential financial services customers. However, they are not a monolithic group. To create and provide appropriate and desirable products for the segments within this group, financial services providers, government bodies, and agricultural development partners need to understand the segments they want to serve.

This Focus Note proposes an approach that distinguishes three segments of smallholder households—Subsisting, Commercializing, and Diversifying—according to their crop and livestock sales, amount of agricultural land, and smallholder livelihood profile. Using data from nationally representative surveys of smallholder households in Mozambique, Uganda, Tanzania, Côte d’Ivoire, Nigeria, and Bangladesh, the analysis estimates the market size of each segment and outlines recommendations on high-value financial solutions. Key findings include:

  • The Commercializing segment is the primary market for financial solutions related to agricultural goals.
  • The Diversifying segment is in transition and generally values the standard portfolio of financial services.
  • To serve the more vulnerable Subsisting segment at scale, partnerships, technology, and comprehensive approaches to financial and nonfinancial services are key.
  • Agriculture exerts a strong influence on the identity and income of smallholder households. But their financial inclusion is not primarily determined by their agricultural livelihood profile.
  • Farm and nonfarm aspects of their livelihoods need to be considered to help each segment of smallholder households effectively build resilience and capture opportunities
Author Jamie Anderson, Ramesh Karuppusamy, Paul Enrico Neumann, Howard Miller; Ram Tamara
Publisher CGAP
Number of Pages 12 pages
Primary Language English (en)
Region / Country Global
Keywords Product Development, SME's
Related Resources
Access to markets for small actors in the roots and tubers sector. Tailored financial services and climate risk management tools to link small farmers to markets Report 2019

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This resource appears in: Rural Financial Services, Risk management

The roots and tubers industry in sub-Saharan Africa has been growing steadily in recent years. Nevertheless, a series of challenges, including lack of access to finance and climate change related events, has prevented the majority of actors in these value chains, who are mainly small farmers and small processors, from taking advantage of such growth. In order to properly assess such challenges, the project “Strengthening linkages between small actors and buyers in the roots and tubers sector in Africa” conducted a series of studies to identify relevant gaps, constraints and opportunities to develop tailored financial products and risk management strategies for small farmers. The present publication provides a summary of the most important lessons learned, with the related policy recommendations.

GFiN - One Year On Report 2019

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This resource appears in: Rural Financial Services

The Global Financial Inclusion Network (GFiN) is a network of international regulators and related organizations committed to supporting financial innovation and to creating a framework for co-operation between regulators to share experiences and approaches to innovation. The GFiN has rapidly grown over the past year from its 12 founding members, to be a global dialogue with 35 Member Regulators and 7 Observers from 21 jurisdictions. 

This report sets out what the GFiN has been doing over the past year, the challenges it has faced, achievements, and its ambitions for the future. It also aims to show that it is listening to stakeholders, and welcomes feedback in order to ensure that the GFiN continues to add value.

Key facts about the GFiN:

  • 35 members and 7 observers from 21 jurisdictions.
  • 99 responses from 26 jurisdictions received in response to the initial GFiN consultation.
  • 44 applications from 17 jurisdictions for the inaugural GFiN cross-border test pilot with 8 firms being selected to develop testing plans.
  • Nearly 60 representatives attended the first biannual meeting of the GFiN held in London in May.

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