Alternative Approaches to Collateral to Increase Women’s Access to Rural and Agricultural Finance

Tuesday, June 29, 2021

June 29, 2021 3:30 pm – 6:00 pm CEST

Agricultural lending is considered “high risk” by formal financial institutions, as farmers are more vulnerable to changes in weather, rainfall levels, pests, and infestations, as well as price fluctuations. As a result of these perceived and actual risks, loans for smallholder farmers require high rates of collateral. This situation is exacerbated for rural women, who often do not inherit and possess assets or properties that can be accepted by formal financial institutions as conventional forms of collateral.

This virtual dialogue of the Parliamentarians Actions for Gender Equality and Resilient Food Systems in Response to Covid-19 series will bring together parliamentarians, financial institutions, and other main stakeholders to discuss the importance of developing alternative approaches for risk sharing and management that can increase women’s access to finance through alternative collateral requirements.

This dialogue will seek to:

1) Raise awareness on the specific constraints and challenges faced by rural women in accessing finance along with their interlinkages with rural poverty and food insecurity, as well as potential opportunities to ensure women’s financial inclusion.

2) Share existing public policies and strategies in the African region to develop nonconventional collateral approaches targeting rural areas, in order to enhance the capacity of parliamentarians to engage with financial institutions and other stakeholders to strengthen national financial markets through the promotion and adoption of regulatory and legislative frameworks.

3) Promote an exchange of knowledge, experiences, and good practices among parliamentarians, international organizations, financial institutions, women’s organizations and other relevant stakeholders on specific measures and approaches to promote rural women’s access to finance.

This is the fifth virtual dialogue in the Parliamentarians’ Actions for Gender Equality and Resilient Food Systems in Response to COVID-19 series. It will be held on June 29, 2021, from 15.30 to 18.00 CEST.

This virtual dialogue is part of a series of dialogues organized by the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO), International Institute for Sustainable Development (IISD), Women in Law & Development in Africa (WiLDAF) and Oxfam as part of their policy support to the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) Network of Parliamentarians on Gender Equality and Investments in Agriculture and Food Security. The objective of the series is to enhance the role of African parliamentarians in mitigating the gender-differentiated impacts of COVID-19 on food systems.

Interpretation in English, in French and in Portugese will be available.