Webinar Talk Series 2023: Financial Inclusion Policies in the Fisheries Sector

Thursday, April 20, 2023

Event Summary

The event was attended by more than 80 practitioners from public- and private financial service providers, fisheries and aquaculture government organizations, academic institutions, and NGOs from the Asia-Pacific and African regions. The Chief Guest for the event was Dr. Raymon VanAnrooy, Senior Fishery Officer/Team Leader, Fisheries and Aquaculture Division (FAO). Dr. VanAnrooy shared his thoughts on why inclusive finance is important for a Blue Transformation. He began with highlighting the deteriorating food security and nutrition context that needs to be addressed and how we all need to work together towards a world free of hunger by 2030. He elaborated on the role of aquatic foods in achieving food security and on objectives of a Blue Transformation. He shared with participants on how FAO is currently working in several countries within Africa on the FISH4ACP project to improve financial services for fishery and aquaculture value chains in collaboration with AFRACA. He emphasized that a Blue Transformation can only be achieved if opportunities are provided for fishers, fish farmers and value chain SME’s to grow and financial inclusion is the key. Financial inclusion broadens and deepens the provision of financial services, promotes targeted financial products, and improves services for the poor and vulnerable fishers and fish farmer households.

The distinguished speaker panel from three financial institutions; National Bank for Agriculture and Rural Development (NABARD, India), represented by Dr. Prakash Dash, General Manager, CRDB BANK PLC.,(Tanzania) represented by Mr. Maregesi Shaaban, Head of Agribusiness and Vietnam Bank for Social Policies (VBSP), Mr. Le Thanh Chung, Deputy Director, presented the fishery sector status and potential for development in their respective countries. They provided an overview on financial inclusion policy interventions for the fisheries sector introduced by their respective financial institutions, presented finance innovations and showed how government support is enhancing their fisheries finance programs.

The discussions concluded with key points highlighted by the Secretary General’s from AFRACA and APRACA, Dr Thomas T Essel and Dr Prasun Kumar Das. They made the following observations:
i) There is a need for transformation within the fisheries finance ecosystem, by supporting business development services in fisheries.
ii) The establishment of Networks of stakeholders involved in fisheries finance in countries within Asia and Africa region is important. The Networks can be instrumental to bridge the gap in technological assistance, support the introduction of better production and management practices, and increase access to finance, including through promoting digital finance services for the small-scale fisheries value chains.
iii) The development of partnerships amongst financial institutions and other non-financial actors associated with the fisheries and aquaculture value chains is needed.
iv) Financial institutions need to improve their data collection and reporting on financial inclusion, to demonstrate the impact of their financial services on the development of fisheries and aquaculture production, management and value chains.



The Global Network for capacity building to increase access of small-scale fisheries to financial services, also called CAFI SSF Network is organizing a webinar titled “Financial Inclusion Policies in the Fisheries Sector” on 20 April 2023 at 3.00 pm (Bangkok time). This event is co-organized in association with the Asia-Pacific Rural and Agricultural Credit Association (APRACA), Africa  Rural and Agricultural Credit Association (AFRACA)  and Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO).

Based on (FAO 2022), the primary sector of capture fisheries and aquaculture employs 58.5 million people, of whom 35 percent are engaged in aquaculture while the remaining 65 percent engage in capture fisheries production. The Asian region alone constitutes around 50 million people employed in the sector, of whom 90 percent are linked to small-scale fisheries (SSF). These fishers operate in remote areas where it is difficult to obtain access to mainstream financial services. Majority of SSF communities are unable to provide collateral and as a result cannot access credit from formal financial institutions. Consequently, fishers and their families experience lower productivity and incomes from their work, greater job and food insecurity, increased vulnerability to economic shocks and natural disasters, and social displacement as they may migrate in search of work.

The demand for financial services in the fisheries sector is diverse. The fishers and fish value chain stakeholders need suitable range of financial and insurance products and services such as saving account and credits. Considering drastic seasonal variations (peak and lean fish catch seasons), closed fishing season and consequently the multiple economic challenges faced by this sector, it creates a major financial constraint for fisher population to meet their working capital and lifecycle needs. These constraints can be relieved and supported through an inclusive and innovative banking policy and strategy for implementing fisheries sector programs across regions.

CAFI SSF – Webinar Talk Series brings to its member organizations and interested participants experience sharing from three financial institutions within Asia and Africa region, that have successfully strategized and implemented large-scale inclusive financial policy initiatives to support their respective countries for Financial Inclusion Programs and provide access to fisheries finance.

The detailed concept note and agenda are attached.


  • Raymon VanAnrooy: Senior Fishery Officer/Team Leader, Fisheries and Aquaculture Division, Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations, Italy
  • Prakash C Dash: General manager, Strategic Planning and Product Innovation Department, National Bank for Agriculture and Rural Development, India
  • Maregesi Shaaban: Head Agribusiness, CRDB BANK Plc., Tanzania
  • Le Thanh Chung: Deputy Director, International Cooperation and Communication Department, Vietnam Bank for Social Policies, Vietnam

CAFI SSF Webinar is organized for all stakeholders involved with SSF finance and insurance.