Innovations in rural and agriculture finance
Most rural households lack access to reliable and affordable finance for agriculture and other livelihood activities. Many small farmers live in remote areas where retail banking is limited and production risks are high. The recent financial crisis has made the provision of credit even tighter and the need to explore innovative approaches to rural and agricultural finance even more urgent. This set of 14 briefs clearly points out the importance of business realities faced by small farmers, including low education levels, the dominance of subsistence farming, and the lack of access to modern financial instruments. These conditions mean that new and innovative institutions are required to reach small farmers. Emerging communication technologies provide new opportunities for rural banking by reducing business costs and alleviating information asymmetries. New financing instruments, such as weather index-based insurance and microinsurance, also have great potential for managing the risks faced by small farmers. In addition, bundling financial services with nonfinancial services like marketing and extension services offers new opportunities for small farmers to increase their productivity and incomes. Finally, an enabling policy environment and legal framework, enforcement of rules and regulations, and a supportive rural infrastructure all contribute immensely to making sustainable access to finance a reality. Table of Contents: •Innovations in rural and agriculture finance: Overview by Renate Kloeppinger-Todd and Manohar Sharma •Financial literacy by Monique Cohen •Community-based financial organizations: Access to Finance for the Poorest by Anne Ritchie •Rural banking in Africa: The Rabobank approach by Gerard van Empel •Rural banking: The case of rural and community banks in Ghana by Ajai Nair and Azeb Fissha •Rural leasing: An alternative to loans in financing income-producing assets by Ajai Nair •Determinants of microcredit repayment in federations of Indian self-help groups by Yanyan Liu and Klaus Deininger •M-PESA: Finding new ways to serve the unbanked in Kenya by Susie Lonie •Biometric technology in rural credit markets: The case of Malawi by Xavier Giné •Credit risk management in financing agriculture by Mark D. Wenner •New approaches for index insurance: ENSO insurance in Peru by Jerry R. Skees and Benjamin Collier •Microinsurance innovations in rural finance by Martina Wiedmaier-Pfister and Brigitte Klein •Combining extension services with agricultural credit: The experience of BASIX India by Vijay Mahajan and K. Vasumathi •Bundling development services with agricultural finance: The experience of DrumNet by Jonathan Campaigne and Tom Rausch
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