Rural and Agricultural Finance: Taking Stock of Five Years of Innovations

  • Date Posted: January 5, 2012
  • Authors: Jason Agar
  • Organizations: ACDI/VOCA
  • Donor Type: US Agency for International Development

This paper researches and categorizes the principal challenges facing the agricultural and rural sectors, and takes stock of the financial services initiatives around the world since 2006 that form part of the “innovations frontiers” in addressing these challenges. The paper first defines a model for agricultural and rural finance, recognizing the interactions between agricultural value chains, non-farm enterprises and households. It frames the discussion from the perspective of demand for finance by defining the key problems in the value chain or household. The paper then categorizes financial innovations that show promise in addressing these problems as well as those related to the policy environment, that affect the performance of the agricultural sectors and the well-being of rural households. Be sure to see the related resources below for the excel annex that lists the innovations categorized in the paper.