Agriculture and rural finance
Agriculture is one of the most important economic sectors and the largest employer in the global south. Three out of four poor people in developing countries live in rural areas, and most of them depend directly or indirectly on agriculture for their livelihood. Agricultural development remains the main catalyst for economic progression, employment creation, food security and poverty reduction. Despite its crucial importance for most developing economies, agricultural productivity and investment into agriculture remain at low levels, mainly due to limited access to financial services. Without access to formal finance for improved technology and inputs many farmers and agricultural enterprises remain stuck in low investment and low return production cycles. Appropriate financial instruments used at the right time could stimulate greater efficiency, improve product quality and consequently increase the incomes of the rural population.
Despite increasing demand, financial institutions in developing countries often do not offer suitable products and hesitate to expand into the agricultural sector. Reasons for this trend include high transaction costs, information asymmetry and the general vulnerability of the sector to external events such as extreme weather, climate change or disease.
For more than 30 years GFA has been known as a leading consulting company for agricultural and rural development all over the world. To master complex tasks in changing markets and environments, GFA supports its customers in developing and implementing innovative tailor-made solutions.
Our holistic approach combines sound agronomic, private and financial sector knowhow with market intelligence and business development services. GFA’s strategic business areas ‘Agricultural and Rural Development’ and ‘Financial Systems Development’ cooperate closely to turn agricultural clients into bankable enterprises and to support financial institutions in reaching out to rural customers. On the one hand, GFA supports financial institutions in developing a better understanding for the financial needs and business risks of small agricultural enterprises. We assist banks in creating innovative financial products, exploring new delivery channels, improve risk management procedures and train staff on how to lend to the rural sector. On the other hand, GFA supports small farmers and agribusinesses with financial and agronomic education, promoting value chains, market linkages as well as outgrower schemes while taking environmental and social implications into account.
Based on GFA’s longstanding cutting-edge technical expertise in the fields of agricultural development and small business finance, we have developed a set of field-proven agrilending tools, training concepts and methodologies which ensure the application of best practices and provide our clients and partners with tailor-made solutions.