Farmer-to-Farmer Access to Finance Program
Activities and Approaches
Focusing on Kenya, Tanzania, and Sri Lanka, the F2F Access to Finance Program will work with local partner organizations and volunteer hosts to field pro bono experts from the U.S. agriculture, corporate, and banking sectors to address systemic capacity constraints for farmers and lenders in each targeted country and unlock finance for improved agricultural production leading to utilization of agricultural technologies and increased sales and incomes.
IESC is mobilizing volunteer experts to complete 251 assignments, reaching 36 hosts and 52,710 beneficiaries. Voluntary assistance will achieve the program objectives by:
Volunteers will improve farmers’ bankability via pre-loan preparation such as business plan development, financial management training, and improvements in productivity and market access, such as identifying appropriate equipment or technology and how to obtain Volunteers will mentor youth and women with entrepreneurship training, and link farmers and agribusinesses to lenders.
Catalyzing Product Innovation
Volunteers will build capacity of rural SACCOs, MFIs, banks, and government enablers (such as youth forums and development banks) to catalyze product development, application of technology, and market outreach for agricultural This assistance will help hosts; understand the needs of farmer borrowers, mitigate the risks of agricultural lending, and to better reach women and youth as customers.
Providing Post-Loan Support
Volunteers will coach borrowers to manage cash, repay loans, and increase savings, along with complementary assistance to improve production and sales, including efficient utilization of the inputs, equipment, or technology that was financed.
The International Executive Service Corps (IESC) serves as the lead implementer for the Farmer-to-Farmer (F2F) Access to Finance program (2018-2023) to address deficits in the financial ecosystem hindering investment and growth in agriculture for individual farmers, as well as micro, small, and medium sized enterprises through delivery of volunteer technical assistance. IESC has designed a thematic F2F program to generate sustainable, broad-based economic growth and create jobs in the agricultural sector with a special focus on assistance to women and youth. IESC is joined by Grameen Foundation, with outstanding experience in digital finance and technology for the agricultural sector, to provide voluntary technical assistance and address the gaps in the financial ecosystem.
The F2F Access to Finance program will generate $1.7 million in rural loans; increase sales of hosts by $2.8 million; and increase net annual incomes of hosts by $71,000. Specific areas of focus in each core country include the following:
Development, application, and expansion of digital financial services for women and youth in agriculture.
Capacity building, training, access to technology, and innovative financial products to support women and youth in agriculture.
Training for extension officers and lenders, and creating linkages between farmers and the private sector to increase access to finance, focusing on the horticulture and dairy sectors.
Project Duration: 2018-2023
Award: $6.25 million