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Agricultural Lending 2015

A How-To Guide

Agriculture is the main source of income A and employment for the 70 percent of the world’s poor, who live in rural areas. Yet, only 10 percent of gross domestic produce (GDP) in low and middle-income countries is generated by the agricultural sector 1. This results in a severe mismatch between the proportion of people employed by the agriculture sector and the proportion of GDP attributable to agricultural production. In developing countries, most actors in the agricultural sector are small-scale agricultural producers and small, non-farm entrepreneurs involved in a variety of micro-enterprises with diversified, yet limited income sources.

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This toolkit introduces and explains step by step the key elements of success for FI’s to expand financial services to farmers. The content was developed around IFC’s global experience in assisting FI’s with the development and implementation of agricultural finance products. The benefits of this work are synthesized in this guide, along with knowledge and expertise of best practices among both IFC clients and others. The guide includes advice on each step involved and tips on how to address the complex challenges that might arise during the product development process.

The guide has seven chief components

  1. Introduction to Agricultural Finance: This section introduces agricultural finance and identifies the common risks in agricultural production that may impact client repayment capacity.
  2. The Product Development Process: This section introduces the product development process and how an institution could best position itself for sustainable success in rural markets.
  3. Product Development Phase 1 — Preparation: The first step in the product development process involves identifying gaps in an FI’s processes, lending policies, loan appraisal forms, and determining optimal delivery mechanisms for launching new products in rural areas.