FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Members of the Council on Smallholder Agricultural Finance (CSAF) today announced that they provided $564 million in loans to 658 small and medium-sized businesses in 64 countries during 2014, an increase of 56 percent from 2013.
Lending growth was driven by continued geographic expansion, particularly in Africa and Latin America, diversification into new crops, and a wider range of financial products and services. CSAF members target agricultural businesses in the rural “missing middle” — too large for microfinance but considered too small and too risky by commercial banks — that typically require loans ranging from $50,000 to $2 million.
Businesses accessing finance from CSAF members linked 1.2 million households to formal markets by purchasing from them approximately $3 billion worth of agricultural products, from coffee, cocoa and cashews to sorghum, soy and sesame. Many of these enterprises also provided individual farmers with reliable and affordable access to credit, equipment and training to facilitate adoption of sustainable production practices in the face of climate change.
Formally launched in April 2014 by seven social lenders — Alterfin, Oikocredit, Rabobank, responsAbility Investments AG, Root Capital, the Shared Interest Society and Triodos Investment Management — CSAF provides a global forum for leading impact-oriented agricultural lenders to exchange learning, identify best practices and develop industry standards. In 2014, Incofin Investment Management joined CSAF as an affiliate.
CSAF’s complete 2014 lending and impact indicators are available in its recently released annual report, which was prepared by its members with research support from the Initiative for Smallholder Finance, a multi-donor effort designed to demonstrate how specific products and services can expand the reach of financing for smallholder farmers. For more information and to download the full report, please visit www.csaf.net/impact/reports-case-studies/.
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For more information
Liam Brody, Senior Vice President
About the Council on Smallholder Agricultural Finance
The Council on Smallholder Agricultural Finance (CSAF) is an alliance of leading social lenders, also referred to as impact-first agricultural lenders, focused on small and growing businesses within the agricultural sector. In collaboration since 2012, CSAF’s founding members — Alterfin, Oikocredit, Rabobank, responsAbility Investments AG, Root Capital, Shared Interest Society and Triodos Investment Management — convene on a pre-competitive basis to exchange views and promote industry standards, responsible lending practices, and social and environmental impact for smallholder agricultural finance. For more information, visit www.csaf.net.