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June 2020
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Dear RFILC members,

The COVID pandemic is bringing significant changes to our work and life, among which there are opportunities for the development world. One of the most prominent is digital revolutions. We increasingly share experiences through webinars and cooperate through online communication more conveniently and effectively.

By this opportunity, we would like to warmly invite you to a webinar titled "Review of Integrated De-risking Schemes to Promote Rural and Agricultural Finance in Sub-Saharan Africa", hosted by FAO/CABFIN Partnership and the SAFIN network. This webinar reviews the findings of a recent study by FAO, the Alliance for a Green Revolution in Africa (AGRA), and IFAD that analyses five de-risking schemes in the Sub-Saharan African countries of Nigeria, Ghana, Kenya, Togo and Zimbabwe. The webinar will share findings concerning the operations and performance of these schemes and emerging insights into how they can be improved, scaled-up or replicated in other countries and programming contexts.

Particularly in this month's highlight, we are delighted to present you a publication developed by the FAO and the African Rural and Agricultural Credit Association (AFRACA) under the umbrella of the CABFIN project on Agricultural value chain finance innovations and lessons. It is hoped that this publication will become a useful reference material for trainers and practitioners interested in the diverse experiences and latest innovations in business models, approaches, instruments and arrangements that contribute to improving access to finance for a host of agrifood value chain actors including small farmers, women and youths in Africa.

Following which, we are also happy to announce that on 29th April, FAO and the Asia-Pacific Rural and Agricultural Credit Association (APRACA) organized a virtual meeting to discuss the establishment of a “Global Network for capacity building to increase access of small-scale fisheries to financial services”. The Network envisions becoming a platform for experts working in finance and insurance provision to the fisheries sector. It is planned that the Network would provide advice to regional agriculture and rural credit associations, IFMs, insurers and development projects on specific finance and insurance issues in fisheries and aquaculture, with a focus on small-scale producers. FAO is developing a proposition that would make it attractive for private sector stakeholders in the financial sector to join the Network and identifies specific roles for fisher folk organizations within the Network. More information on the first meeting can be found here.

On top of that, we are delighted to introduce with you three new “blue finance guidance notes”, on Micro-finance, Insurance and Aquaculture Insurance respectively for small-scale fisheries. The Blue finance guidance notes have been prepared under FAO's Blue Growth Initiative. It aims to provide governmental, non-governmental, private and public stakeholders with information, resources and concrete pathways for obtaining finance to support blue growth transitions at local, national, regional and global scales. We hope that the brochures will be useful and contribute to increasing access of small-scale fishers and aquaculture producers to financial and insurance services.

As private capital markets and financial service providers become involved in the agricultural finance market these days, the challenge for governments becomes how to appropriately create, incentivize and regulate space for the private sector. By closing this month's highlight, we would like to share with you the briefing note from ISF Advisors on Role of Government in Rural and Agri-Finance: Transitioning to private sector involvement. The briefing shares experiences from across the world, revealing lessons learned about what actions governments can take, how those actions should be coordinated across levels, which institutions should be tasked with implementing government initiatives and the role that strong commercial incentives play in activating private sector financial service providers.


With best regards,

The RFILC Editorial Team

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The Rural Finance and Investment Learning Centre is a part of the CABFIN Partnership Project which aims to promote and facilitate capacity building in rural finance. The concerns of rural finance are to ensure that people living in rural areas have access to financial services such as deposit and money transfer facilities, insurance and loan products. Effective use of these services can help to improve livelihoods and reduce rural poverty. The following CABFIN Partners have provided financial support to the RFILC:

CABFIN Partnership

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