Rural outreach

Financial services are essential to enable people to manage their consumption, life cycle events, savings and investment needs. In rural areas, the informal sector meets the majority of these needs as formal providers find the higher costs of rural operations prohibitive. That reduces options and limits the ability of rural people to benefit from the resources and services that urban entrepreneurs enjoy. Strategies are needed which reduce the costs of operating in remote places, where clients are more scattered and largely dependent on agriculture. One thing is clear: there is no single institutional blueprint for success. Recent experience with institutional innovations has shown that programs must be designed to harness a community's particular strengths in order to reduce costs of screening participants, monitoring financial activity, and enforcing contractual obligations. The group-based system has worked well in Bangladesh, whereas several programs in Indonesia successfully use local agents to assess borrowers' creditworthiness. Just as public policy should play a role in promoting technological innovations that generate social benefits, it should also help promote institutional innovations that assist the disadvantaged or address intrinsic market failures.

Library Resources

resource title type year resource
Rural finance in Sierra Leone strengthened by IFAD projects – new report Report 2019

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This resource appears in: Rural Financial Services, Rural Financial Services: General, Rural outreach, Rural Invest

Rural development projects financed and supported by the International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD) expanded access to rural finance and increased agricultural production in Sierra Leone, despite the civil war (1991-2002) and Ebola epidemic (2014-2015), according to a new report released on 27 November 2019. The report prepared by the Independent Office of Evaluation of IFAD (IOE), reviews the past 17 years of work that IFAD carried out in partnership with the government of Sierra Leone, from 2003 to 2019.

According to the report’s findings, IFAD increased the reach of rural finance – including to remote areas – to an even larger group than originally planned. Over 280,000 households were reached through rural finance initiatives in the Northern, Southern and Eastern Provinces - more than 120 per cent of the envisaged target. 

Safeguarding Rules for Customer Funds Held by EMIs Paper 2018

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The proliferation of nonbank electronic money issuers (EMIs) presents opportunities for financial inclusion for poor people by expanding the reach of financial services and enabling poor customers to participate in their country’s economy. However, with these benefits comes important risks, including loss of customer funds and unavailability of customer funds upon demand. Inability to access funds upon demand may be due to insufficient liquidity or operational failures, while loss of customer funds may be due to loss of the e-float resulting from imprudent investment or insolvency of (i) the EMI or another fiduciary party such as a trustee holding the funds on behalf of the customers or (ii) a bank that holds part or all of the e-float.

This Technical Note takes a deep dive into safeguarding customer funds held by EMIs. It addresses regulatory requirements of fund safeguarding that are meant to protect customer funds. These requirements fundamentally aim to ensure that e-float is sufficient, safe, and liquid to meet customers’ demand for converting electronic money into cash and may include maintaining funds in bank accounts, spreading them across several banks to reduce the concentration risk, and/or investing them in other safe, liquid assets such as government securities. The paper details how some regulations address the concentration risk for the EMI and the bank holding the e-float, identifies the pros and cons of several regulatory options for fund safeguarding, and references countries that use the options. These countries include Bangladesh, Brazil, Colombia, El Salvador, Ghana, India, Indonesia, Jamaica, Kenya, Lesotho, Liberia, Malawi, Malaysia, Myanmar, Namibia, the Philippines, Rwanda, Sri Lanka, Tanzania, Turkey, and Zambia and the countries in WAEMU.

Cuatro elementos clave para mejorar el acceso a servicios financieros en el sector rural colombiano Reference Material 2016 Spanish (es)

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En este informe se hace un pequeño diagnóstico del sector rural en Colombia para luego pasar a describir algunos de los elementos clave en el marco de la reestructuración rural en Colombia. Dentro de estos se mencionan las s Zonas de Interés de Desarrollo Rural, Económico y Social (ZIDRES) y la financiación de grandes proyectos productivos vinculados a facilitar la incursión de capital humano en proyectos agrícolas; el Plan Colombia Siembra para organizar la producción nacional; la propiedad de tierras dentro del marco jurídico; y el rol de las soluciones tecnológicas como instrumento de inclusión y desarrollo. 

Link del informe  -  Spanish (es)

Author Asobancaria de Colombia
Publisher Asobancaria
Number of Pages 9
Primary Language Spanish (es)
Region / Country Global, Americas, South America
Keywords Acceso al credito, Reestructuración rural, Propiedad de tierras, Soluciones tecnológicas, Zonas de Interés de Desarrollo Rural, Económico y Social
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Payments and Money Transfer Behavior of Sub-Saharan Africans Paper 2012

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The study offers an in-depth look at the payment behavior of Sub-Saharan Africans based on survey results from eleven African nations. It focuses on the payment behavior of the poorest parts of the population and those living in rural areas.

The study leverages Gallup’s worldwide research initiative to better understand the payment behavior of Sub-Saharan Africans. Gallup conducted the surveys from June to October 2011. Questions covered respondents’ payment behaviors through services such as money transfers, international remittances, wage payments, utilities, and other bills.

Findings include:

  • Market for financial services in Sub-Saharan Africa is significant and remains largely untapped;
  • Rate of domestic remittances in most countries dwarfs that of international remittances;
  • Non-remittance flows such as formal obligations were less widespread than transactions of domestic remittances;
  • Channels through which the non-cash transactions flowed tended to vary significantly by country;
  • Recipients of remittances comprised affluent and poor as well as residents of rural and urban areas in nearly equal ratios;
  • Introduction or extension of mobile phone transfer systems would have the potential to simplify the lives of Sub-Saharan Africans.
Author Godoy, J., Tortora, B., Sonnenschein, J., Kendall, J.
Publisher Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation and Gallup
Number of Pages 67 pp.
Primary Language English (en)
Region / Country Global, Africa, Southern Africa
Keywords Money Transfers, M-Payments
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L'égalité des sexes et la microfinance rurale : Atteindre et autonomiser les femmes. Guide à l'intention des spécialistes Study Guide 2009 English (en) English (en)

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Le présent guide vise à donner un aperçu de la problématique du genre aux spécialistes de la finance rurale. Il fait ressortir les questions que l’on doit aborder pour promouvoir l’égalité des sexes. Le guide servira également aux spécialistes de la problématique hommes-femmes qui désirent avoir une meilleure connaissance.

L’analyse proposée dans ce guide repose dans une large mesure sur les documents de formation et les ressources documentaires accessibles sur le site Internet de Genfinance (, ainsi que sur de nombreux entretiens informels avec des spécialistes de la microfinance, et avec au moins 150 organisations qui ont participé à huit ateliers régionaux destinés aux parties prenantes en Afrique, en Asie et en Amérique latine; les activités axées sur l’égalité hommes-femmes et la microfinance.

Le présent guide s’adresse aux chargés et au personnel des programmes de pays du FIDA, aux partenaires techniques et aux institutions de microfinance, aux spécialistes de la problématique hommes-femmes du secteur de la microfinance rurale, ainsi qu’aux chercheurs universitaires qui s’intéressent à l’égalité des sexes et à la microfinance.

fida finance rurale  -  English (en)

wemanglobal  -  English (en)

Rural Outreach through Group Methodologies: Case Studies in Mexico, Peru and the Philippines Paper 2009

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This report reviews the experience of credit unions in three countries implementing two of WOCCU’s group methodologies for downscaling to the poor in underserved rural and peri-urban areas. Both methodologies, Semilla Cooperativa and village banking, offer credit unions a method for delivering affordable financial services to the poor in their community.

The purpose of this research is to gain a better understanding of the realities of implementation on the ground, including results achieved, lessons learned, challenges faced and modifications made by the credit unions. Information gathered is being used by WOCCU and individual credit unions to improve current implementation and will be used to inform future program design.

This research is a part of WOCCU’s ongoing effort to design and improve sustainable models for increasing access to fair and affordable products for the poor that can be used by credit unions around the world with limited need for donor funding and technical assistance.

Rural Remote Microfinance and Selfish Genes Paper 2006

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The title to this document draws from the writings of Richard Dawkins on what he calls the selfish gene. The argument he puts forward is that certain genes survive over time through seemingly conscious adaptive behaviour. Some of the characteristics of selfish genes allow them to learn and create stable systems over time that survive. This paper argues that parallels can be drawn with respect to microfinance in rural areas where it is challenging for programs to survive in costly, unpredictable environments.

It is noted here that rural remote communities remain largely underserved except through informal mechanisms. In providing services financial institutions can expect high transaction costs, low rates of internal capital mobilisation due to poor physical infrastructure and a low density population making outreach expensive.

The paper argues that member-owned institutions have the potential to push the “rural frontier” into more remote areas because they are both self-replicating and adaptive. They are able to build on the best of local and most strategic of linked arrangements. In these ways, it is suggested, MOIs resemble selfish genes that are capable of surviving, creating stable systems in unpredictable environments. In order to survive they need to become part of the financial system.

The right mix of local and linked arrangements includes drawing from local social capital and governance as a strategy for many MOIs and linkages that may involve different types of second-tiers such as federations, apexes or clusters with varying levels of inter-governance. Linkages could also be more arms-length where it is mainly a source for borrowing and depositing surplus capital.

Following a discussion on member-owned institutions, remote rural access and the role of self-replication and adaptation, the paper analyses why the right mix of local and linked arrangements is matters to practitioners, donors and technical service providers and regulators. The paper concludes with the view that stable self-organising systems survive because they know how to learn.

Author Lee, N, Senior Program Staff/Instructor Coady International Institute, Canada
Publisher Coady International Institute
Number of Pages 53 pp.
Primary Language English (en)
Region / Country Global
Keywords Member Owned Institutions, Self-Help Groups, Sustainability
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Microfinance and rural financing Article 2006

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This article summarises the results of a discussion held during the Luxembourg Round Table for Microfinance that took place in October, 2005. One core conclusion was that the challenge in financing the rural world is adapting to a variety of situations and looking at demand not only from the economic perspective, but also from a social and family viewpoint. The role of everyone in the main and secondary family activities and their seasonal character must be taken into account. Financial service providers that offer diversified products and different approaches for different market segments, with flexibility in guarantees and maturity dates are the most appreciated. Many MFIs are criticised by users because their loan terms are too short and too expensive.

Two tools were identified that could help to promote rural financial services: developing insurance systems to protect borrowers and guarantees to reduce lenders' risks. With regard to sources of funds the workshop analysed the role of savings, remittances and external refinancing. The importance of refinancing to many MFIs was noted but their were concerns about high interest rates imposed by social investors who appear to forget their original mission, the high opportunity costs involved in formulating requests for refinance and the difficulty created when refinancers impose geographical or sectoral limits on loans.

In terms of the future, the roundtable noted that the State’s role as promoter, regulator and controller of financial services through legislation is absolutely necessary. However, it was felt that specific rules for the rural sector are needed in order to ensure equal access to financing. The absence of the State in the creation of a favourable framework for rural microfinance (lack of strong rural policies) was described as a very negative aspect. Innovations mentioned included the financial linkage system developed in Cameroon and the role of a farmer's organisation in Senegal in the decision-making structure of the agricultural bank. Concerns were also expressed about the low profitability of agriculture and the problems caused to developing countries by the subsidised production in the north. It was suggested that Northern countries should put rural development of their Southern partners at the top of their agendas.

Rural Finance in Conflict Environments Article 2005

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In recent years much has been published on the subject of microfinance in post-conflict countries. However, very few experiences have been documented with regard to microfinance operations in on-going conflicts. This short paper describes how the Small Farmer Cooperatives Limited (SFCLs) of Nepal have reacted to the conflict in the country. There may be a number of lessons to be learned for other microfinance organisations in conflicts around the world.

The microfinance sector of Nepal is very rural-focused and quite diversified. The state has a large share in rural microfinance (Rural Development Banks), while there are a number of private Microfinance Banks and the cooperative movement. The Maoist rebels have caused severe problems for the banks, private MFIs and many SFCLs. Only community based Savings and Credit Cooperatives, informal savings and credit groups and women-managed SFCLs have not been attacked by the rebels. Thus it is clear that the the rebels are choosing to tolerate MFIs which they perceive to be not-for-profit, people-owned, non-exploitative and not affiliated with the government. Although SFCLs are member-owned, they originate from a former government development programme and thus, many have been attacked.

It is interesting that the conflict has had a "cleansing" effect on the microfinance sector of Nepal. Commercial banks, government MFIs and weak cooperatives have been driven out or further weakened, while non-government MFIs and SFCLs with active members, capable leaders and sound practices have been left alone or have recovered quickly from an attack. If members really feel that the MFI or cooperative is theirs they will stand up to the conflict parties or re-build their organisation after an attack.

This message has led to the GTZ-implemented project Rural Finance Nepal (RUFIN) introducing conflict transformation training for SFCLs. The training has one core message: SFCLs can protect themselves from the conflict and even help to solve it by ensuring their cooperatives work properly and according to their mandate (helping the poor), clearing up all internal conflicts, empowering women to take part in decision making and trying to include disadvantaged groups, such as ethnic minorities and low castes, better.

In the future, GTZ-RUFIN will focus on building capacities of SFCLs and their federations and raising conflict sensitivity amongst their leaders and members. Building capacity for good financial and operational performance is nothing new to microfinance practitioners. It entails training and advice on issues such as e.g. loan appraisal, product development, accounting, internal controls, business planning etc. In the case of SFCLs cooperative-specific capacities are also needed: members must learn to actively control their leaders through the annual general assembly; leaders must learn that they are accountable to their members; cooperative managers must learn how to run their operations like businesses. Business planning training for SFCL managers will also cover aspects of corporate social responsibility, stressing the importance of addressing conflict root causes through women empowerment and social inclusion.

Finance rurale pour amener l’argent au village Article 2005

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La microfinance donne accès à des produits financiers en faveur des populations exclues du système bancaire classique, faute de garantie. L’auteur remarque que, dans les pays en voie de développement, le problème d’accès à des services financiers adaptés est particulièrement important en milieu rural. Quelles sont les causes de ces problèmes ? et comment y remédier ?

La première partie du document présente les contraintes des paysans et des institutions de microfinance des pays du Sud qui freinent le financement des activités agricoles. D’une part, elle souligne que les difficultés d’accès aux facteurs de production sont une contrainte importante pour les producteurs. En outre, l’analphabétisme, le manque de formation des hommes et des femmes et leurs faibles capacités de gestion sont également considérées comme des handicaps pour l’accès à des financements adaptés. D’autre part, les institutions de microfinance soulignent régulièrement que l’absence de garantie offerte par les ruraux est également aggravée par l’absence de systèmes d’assurance. De surcroît, leurs ressources financières sont souvent inadéquates, et les coûts opérationnels des IMF sont considérés comme un obstacle au développement d’un financement de « proximité ».Le manque de dialogue et de concertation entre les organisations paysanne, les IMF et les banques agricoles est aussi une contrainte majeure. Enfin, le document suggère que les paysans doivent s’organiser pour renforcer leurs alliances avec les IMF, lesquelles sont en effet indispensables pour améliorer le financement rural. Il examine la portée des articulations IMF-OP dans la réduction des coûts de transaction et du suivi de crédit.

The Role of Membership Based Financial Services in Reaching the Underbanked, Primarily in Rural Areas Paper 2005

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This paper has been prepared for the Second African Conference on Microfinance. It suggests at the outset that most challenges of access to financial services for the poor in urban areas have been met, or progress is promising, while the challenges of rural areas, and still the majority of poor people (in most settings) remain unanswered. It aims to highlight the optimal roles for member-owned financial institutions (MOFIs) to develop the financial sector in weak markets – in doing so it reviews some of the different issues surrounding the gaps in the financial system and the places where MOFIs may be best suited to fill those gaps.

The framework presented has been prepared as a guide to financial institutions as they look at expansion opportunities or to donors who wish to fund financial service development in targeted areas.

The paper begins by briefly setting out generic challenges faced by MOFIs. It then discusses the concept of carrying capacity and considers the question "what institutional typology is the most appropriate in which setting?" This section starts with a look at different settings (usefully summarised in a market characteristics matrix) and what types of institutions have worked best (to date) in those settings. The section concludes with a representation of the relationship between market potential and the cost of service delivery, which it calls the "Carrying Capacity Curve" for financial markets – this shows the acceptable level of cost of delivering the needed services in order to remain sustainable in different markets.

The paper then looks at defining the different types of institutions, their products, and their characteristics before moving on to address the challenges faced by different typologies. The paper sees the largest gaps in the financial system in areas with high incidence of poverty, not able to carry high cost institutions, have low population densities, and have tenuous links with financial systems of urban areas.

Author Grant, W and Coetzee, G
Publisher ECIAfrica
Number of Pages 16 pp.
Primary Language English (en)
Region / Country Global
Keywords Member-Owned Financial Institutions, Financial Service Associations
Related Resources
Les enjeux de la microfinance: quel rôle pour le financement rural et agricole? Journal Article 2005

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Ce document analyse les enjeux généraux de la microfinance et de son intervention plus spécifique dans le financement rural et agricole. Il s’adresse aux dirigeants des institutions de microfinance qui opèrent dans les zones rurales, notamment dans le secteur agricole. La première section du document examine l’évolution actuelle de la microfinance. La deuxième section souligne les nouveaux enjeux du secteur qui paraissent déterminants dans quatre directions, comme la nécessité d’un développement structuré, l’opportunité d’engager une diversification sécurisée des services offerts et dans certains cas de la clientèle, la possibilité d’améliorer l’impact économique et social de la microfinance, la refonte des outils et des partenariats. La troisième section présente l’implication de la microfinance dans le financement agricole et rural. Enfin, il conclut que l’intérêt et l’impact des services financiers, qu’ils soient apportés par des institutions de microfinance ou par des banques (ou micro-banques) spécialisées, resteront limités en milieu rural et faibles en milieu agricole sans une évolution (révolution) parallèle du système agricole.

Access to Capital in Rural Thailand: An Estimated Model of Formal vs. Informal Credit Paper 2005

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Why do informal credit channels persist, even when formal or quasi-formal microfinance is well-developed, and what does it tell us about the nature of information and transactions costs in SME credit markets? These are the questions addressed by Xavier Giné in his new working paper on access to capital in rural Thailand. To explain the coexistence of borrowing from informal and formal sources, even by the same borrowers, Xavier examines the relative importance of two features:

  1. higher transactions costs to borrow from formal lenders - he finds that it costs on average about $30 to do so, whereas borrowing from an informal lender incurs negligible transactions costs and
  2. limited ability of formal lenders to enforce debt contracts.

A model is presented that embodies these features and implies that formal sources will be used more to finance fixed capital (because it can be used as collateral), informal to finance working capital. In order to estimate the relevant parameters, Xavi uses Townsend's dataset of 2612 Thai households, comparing the behavior of different households depending on whether they self-finance, borrow only from formal or informal sources, or from both. Interestingly, it is the households who borrow from formal institutions that report they would be able to expand their business profitably, a response which he takes to imply credit constraints. Despite the nonnegligible average transactions costs, Xavi discovers that it is the enforcement problem that is by far the most important in affecting access. Armed with this finding, he points out the policy implications: subsidized lending will help little, but land-titling could be a valuable reform.

Review written by Michael Skully in DevFinance.

Author Giné, X.
Publisher The World Bank
Number of Pages 41 pp.
Primary Language English (en)
Region / Country Global, Asia, Southern Asia
Keywords Agricultural Credit, Transaction Costs
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Microfinanzas Rurales: Experiencias y Lecciones para America Latina Paper 2004

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La práctica de las microfinanzas en América Latina ha sido particularmente intensa en algunos países más que en otros, como es el caso de América Central, Bolivia y Perú; que contribuyeron a generar un nuevo espacio de acceso al financiamiento a los sectores más pobres. Este documento examina las experiencias y el potencial de aprendizaje derivado, de tres décadas de funcionamiento de las microfinanzas en América Latina; en especial en relación a su aplicación en el sector agrícola y rural en tres aspectos: cobertura, sostenibilidad y focalización.

Para responder a la interrogante de si las microfinanzas constituyen un instrumento para apoyar el fomento productivo rural, el artículo examina la forma cómo deben operar las instituciones de microfinanzas para facilitar el acceso estable a fuentes de financiamiento formales; la forma cómo se administran los riesgos; el papel que desempeñan las garantías; el tipo de desarrollos institucionales que son más apropiados para el acceso al financiamiento. En ese sentido, los criterios de éxito para las instituciones que proveen de microfinanciamiento, que se consideraron en el presente estudio, son tres:

  1. La sostenibilidad de las instituciones financieras (hasta qué punto pueden sostenerse con criterios de rentabilidad comercial). Si las instituciones no aparecen como comercialmente rentables, su viabilidad de mediano plazo es incierta, ya que dependerían de la voluntad de los donantes y no del éxito de la actividad económica que desarrollan los prestatarios de la institución.
  2. La cobertura. Si las instituciones pueden trabajar de manera exitosa con una muy baja cobertura, no provocarían un impacto significativo. Este debiera ser otro objetivo al evaluar el funcionamiento de las instituciones.
  3. La focalización, el que estén apuntando a los segmentos más pobres de los sectores rurales. No interesa otorgar mecanismos preferenciales de atención de las políticas públicas o de donantes privados a los sectores no-pobres de las sociedades latinoamericanas.

El análisis muestra que la experiencia, en especial las buenas prácticas ha permitido mejorar la sostenibilidad de las instituciones y crear mejores mecanismos de información; pero lamentablemente la cobertura aún se muestra insuficiente y la focalización no se ha abordado de manera sistemática. En todo caso, el tema institucional aparece como un aspecto relevante y poco considerado hasta ahora. Por un lado, los bancos comerciales y los green-field banks pueden desempeñar un rol más significativo en el desarrollo de las microfinanzas. Los primeros, basados en experiencias exitosas al abordar el microcrédito hacia el sector agrícola; y los segundos, como nuevas opciones prometedoras derivada de su experiencia en las economías en transición. Por otro lado, Las instituciones de microfinanzas (IMFs) desempeñan un rol más significativo en la medida que obtengan más financiamiento de origen comercial y capten más recursos del mercado.

Interesa también relacionar la experiencia de las IMFs con la de otras instituciones como los mencionados anteriormente, la banca comercial y los green-field banks. En los casos analizados en el presente artículo, correspondientes a Brasil, Bolivia, Colombia, Chile, El Salvador y México, también se presentan la experiencia de los de bancos comerciales que han desarrollado filiales para la atención de la microempresa, lo que abre un nuevo cauce para las microfinanzas.

Author Alejandro Gutierrez
Publisher Naciones Unidas, CEPAL
Number of Pages 76 pp.
Primary Language Spanish (es)
Region / Country Global, Americas, Central America, South America
Keywords Agricultural Microfinance, Rural Finance, Financial Policies
Related Resources
Lessons for Rural Finance from the Microfinance Revolution Book Chapter 2002

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This paper aims to highlight which institutional and technological developments hold promise for rural finance. The author argues that over the last two decades, we have essentially witnessed a disintegration of state-owned rural institutions. It is noted that the presence of public agricultural support institutions and state owned intermediaries shrank due to reductions in government expenditures and organisational reforms. Moreover, private commercial banks and other financial intermediaries have not rushed to rural areas to fill the vacuum left by state-owned credit programs despite the liberalisation of interest rates.

Yet, the paper highlights, a microfinance revolution is unfolding in urban areas. The coverage of urban microfinance institutions has substantially increased and some of these institutions have been able to deliver services in a financially sustainable manner.

The question this paper aims to address is what lessons can be learned from the successful urban microfinance institutions and applied to rural areas.

This paper begins by discussing the decline of rural finance supplies and the demise of development banks. It also considers promising dimensions, in the form of some sources of optimism that come from theoretical development and recent policy reforms. The paper then moves on to analyse the challenges for rural finance and looks at the role of incentives, information and institutions.

The key part of the paper looks at the lessons that can be learnt from microfinance institutions. In particular it points to the success of some microfinance institutions in achieving gains in outreach and sustainability in making financial services available to poor households and businesses. The paper states that experience confirms that a hospitable policy environment, appropriate innovations in financial technologies, and improvements in the institutional design of financial organisations can allow important improvement in expanding the supply of formal financial services to broader sections of the population.

Also provided is a list of basic principles that differentiate microfinance institutions successful in rural areas and those not:

  1. They do not lend only to agriculture; they consider the global demand for financial services on the part of rural/farm households;
  2. They further address idiosyncratic risk by relying on the income diversification strategies of households;
  3. They do not condition loans to specific fund uses; instead they measure repayment ability in terms of household cashflows and they allow borrowers discretion in the use of loan funds;
  4. They rely on more individualised and detailed screening efforts – including risk adjusted forecasts of crop yields and prices;
  5. They introduce greater flexibility in terms and conditions of loan contracts that respond to the special circumstances of agricultural activities;
  6. They attempt to further reduce transaction costs for borrowers;
  7. They reduce the threat of moral hazard by requiring greater borrower equity contributions to the project;
  8. They base cashflow forecasts and risk assessment not only on average historical outcomes, but also on worse-case scenarios and forecasts about future conditions
  9. They invest in better understanding of macroeconomic and sectoral patterns, in order to address the threat of systemic risk.
Do rural banks matter? Evidence from the Indian social banking experiment. Paper 2002 English (en)

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Between nationalisation in 1969 and liberalisation in 1992, the Indian central bank took control of the placement of banks as a means of advancing social objectives. During this period more than 50,000 new branches were built primarily in unbanked, rural locations. This represented a seven-fold increase in the proportion of rural locations which were banked. This paper evaluates the impact of this experiment on rural development. The authors conclude that the policy did lead to a reduction in rural poverty and inequality directly via the growth of the non-farm sector and indirectly through agricultural wages.

Document  -  English (en)

Author Burgess, R.; Pande, R.
Publisher IMF - International Monetary Fund
Number of Pages 45 pp.
Primary Language English (en)
Region / Country Global, Asia, Southern Asia
Keywords Rural Banks, Rural Development
Related Resources
Rural Finance in Developing Countries Article 2000

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The establishment of formal agricultural credit systems in most developing countries over the recent decades was motivated by the belief that widespread shortages of short- and long-term finance constituted a constraint that arrested agricultural growth and development. The absence of what was perceived as affordable formal credit was also blamed for delaying, if not preventing, a timely adoption of new productiont echnologiesa nd the disseminationo f nonlabor intensivei nputs such as fertilizer, thereby slowingd own the growth and developmento f the agriculturals ector. The "infant industry" argument was frequently raised to support intervention in financial markets in favor of the sector as a whole or in support of specifics egmentso f it (small-scalef armers, promotiono of new technologies such as line of credit to finance shallow tube',ells, and so on).

El entorno en los mercados financieros rurales Paper 2000

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El documento presenta el entorno en el cual se desenvuelven los mercados financieros rurales. El objetivo del documento es analizar las características de las condiciones naturales, sociales, macroeconómicas, sectoriales e institucionales en Bolivia, Chile y Perú, identificando las oportunidades y restricciones que ellas generan en el desarrollo de los mercados financieros rurales.

El mayor periodo de vigencia de las reformas implementadas y la mayor actividad en la política sectorial aplicada han contribuido a que Chile presente comparativamente los indicadores macroeconómicos y sectoriales más favorables que Bolivia y Perú, no obstante, la promoción de los mercados financieros a los pequeños productores rurales son altamente dependientes al entorno institucional - llámese marco regulatorio, formas de supervisión y desempeño global del sistema financiero - en que aquellos se desenvuelven.

En tal sentido, a pesar que la reforma financiera ha sido implementada en todos los países estudiados, adoptando esquemas de regulación y supervisión acordes a lo sugerido en la reunión de Basilea de 1998, Bolivia contempla en mayor medida un marco regulatorio específico y general que promueve el desarrollo de instituciones de microfinanzas, seguido de la legislación peruana y finalmente Chile, donde no se contempla normatividad referida a este tipo de instituciones financieras.

Por tanto, se concluye que la variable institucional se constituye en el principal aspecto del entorno y que la normatividad específica para instituciones financieras dirigidas a microproductores, promueven favorablemente el desarrollo de ellas y con ello la generación de productos financiero innovativos para este segmento de mercado.

Author Alvarado, J.; Galarza, R.; Cajalvica, J.
Publisher Inter-American Development Bank
Number of Pages 33 pp.
Primary Language Spanish (es)
Region / Country Global
Keywords Policy Environment, Rural Financial Market, Macroeconomic Environment
Related Resources
Nueva Institucionalidad para el Financiamiento Rural Article 1998

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This resource appears in: Rural outreach

Las experiencias y lecciones derivadas de las intervenciones del Estado en el financiamiento agrícola durante las últimas décadas, ha conllevado a profundos cambios tanto en la forma de abordar el tema, como a un replanteamiento del rol que debiera tocarle al Estado en el mismo. De esa forma, el abordaje del tema ha cambiado de una visión orientada exclusivamente a la canalización de recursos públicos subsidiados a través de programas de crédito dirigido, hacia una visión más amplia del desarrollo de los mercados financieros rurales (MFR), que facilite la realización de transacciones financieras en las áreas rurales.

Asimismo, el Estado en general, también se encuentra en un proceso de disminución de sus intervenciones directas (mayormente a través de créditos), para intervenir ahora más como un facilitador del ambiente económico y el marco legal y regulatorio que pueda estimular la expansión de los servicios prestados por instituciones financieras privadas (bancarias o no bancarias).

De acuerdo al autor, en este proceso de transición en los ‘abordajes y de acomodos’ en el papel del Estado, aunque han surgido nuevas y/o se han reformado instituciones especializadas en microfinanzas, persisten importantes vacíos en los MFR. Esos vacíos se relacionan con la escasa provisión de crédito para pequeños productores rurales cuyos ingresos aún dependen predominantemente de la agricultura, la falta de préstamos a mediano y largo plazo y pocas facilidades de depósitos en las áreas rurales.

La ausencia de esos servicios financieros tienen importantes implicaciones en el desarrollo agrícola , en general, y para los pequeños agricultores, en particular. El objetivo de este documento es ensayar una visión comprehensiva de los principales temas involucradas en el desarrollo de sistemas de financiamiento rural, enfatizando en los principales puntos que de alguna forma generan debate en la perspectiva actual sobre el tema.

De esa manera el autor analiza los siguientes puntos:

  • El cambio del crédito agrícola dirigido al desarrollo de los mercados financieros rurales, donde se mencionan los factores del fracaso de la intervención directa de parte del estado, las características de los servicios financieros rurales, el problema del acceso de la población rural a estos servicios, y recomendaciones de intervención gubernamental para el desarrollo de los mercados financieros rurales.
  • La expansión de la red de distribución de servicios financieros en las áreas rurales (una condición necesaria pero no suficiente), donde se mencionan los factores de éxito de algunas instituciones financieras en la provisión de servicios financieros en áreas rurales; y también se analizan a los agentes de distribución de servicios, como instituciones financieras no bancarias, la banca comercial privada y otros agentes de financiamiento agrícola.
  • El ambiente económico propicio como condición para la realización de transacciones financieras y la operación de intermediarios financieros en las áreas rurales; donde se analizan el marco legal y regulatorio para las microfinanzas, la seguridad contractual, los seguros para combatir riesgos en la agricultura, y el papel de los donantes.

Se recomienda la lectura de este documento en especial a aquellos encargados de diseñar políticas de desarrollo de los mercados rurales, tanto en entidades publicas como en organismos de cooperación.

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