Access to financial services supporting resilience of small-scale fisheries and aquaculture

Saturday, September 3, 2022

During the session on finance hosted by CAFI SSF, Rare and Environmental Defense Fund, we were able to hear experiences from on the ground challenges faced by small-scale fishers(SSF) face when accessing financial services. A direct testimony from fisher representatives from India, Mauritius, Kenya, Indonesia, Uganda, Chile, St. Vincent, and Honduras shared similar difficulties to access financial services from mainstream financial service providers. Below are few reasons expressed by representatives

  • In a few cases, the barriers are due to the requirement of collateral, while in others it is a lack of a credit history or proper bookkeeping records that do not show a long enough history of profitability.
  • In most of the cases, this has pushed the fishers to informal credit schemes, that sometimes mean making impossible choices between lenders that offer loans at speed and of the right scale, but at high interest rates (mainly moneylenders), and in other cases under formal community-based schemes loans are offered at better rates but move at too slow a speed.
  • It was unanimously agreed by all participants and shared that lack of access to financial services/products has greatly hindered the ability of SSF to transition their operations from subsistence production to profitable growing businesses that can provide a livelihood for them and their families.
  • Towards the end of the session, the group started thinking about solutions that ranged from small behavior changes, like better book-keeping and formalization of small-scale fishers, to take support for capacity building of fisherfolk associations/cooperatives from CAFI SSF Network initiatives. The session organizers agreed to follow up with the group later and come up with actionable proposals.Thereafter presentation made by CAFI SSF on importance of credit, microfinance, and insurance services, to give insights on how it works, models for provision of financial services shared, and case studies on successfully implemented microfinance programme in Vietnam and mutual insurance of Japan and a cooperative-commercial insurance service partnership particularly for small-pond area shrimp farmers.The presentation included the Network’s engagement with regional partners in Asia & Africa, and initiatives on a capacity building programme for stakeholders associated with small-scale fisheries and aquaculture sector.

You may access the detailed presentation below