ICCO STARS Rwanda Credit Pilot Deep Dive Study

The Strengthening African Rural Smallholders (STARS) program, a five year initiative of ICCO Cooperation and in partnership with The Mastercard Foundation,  aims to transform the lives of 210,000 farmers, 50% of them are women, in Burkina Faso, Ethiopia, Rwanda, and Senegal and will have an overall impact in the lives of over 1 million people. To inform their work ICCO recently published a Credit Pilot Deep Dive (CPDD) which investigates differences in the uptake and impact of newly developed agricultural credit products on smallholder farmers in Rwanda. Using a mixed quantitative and qualitative approach, based on household survey triangulated with focus group discussions (FSG), this study aims to provide the STARS program, and participating MFIs, an enhanced understanding of their client base.

More specifically, the Rwanda CPDD study provides a deeper understanding of the 44,000 (50% women) smallholder farmers, and their households, in the STARS Rwanda program. This CPDD study focuses on two main credit products in Rwanda: banana loans in the Southern Province and Irish potato loans in the Northern Province. The participating farmers have been categorized in three groups to facilitate the analysis of similarities and differences between the groups. The groups are 1) farmers that did not take out a loan, 2) farmers that accessed an informal or semi-formal loan (family, SACCO), and 3) farmers that accessed a formal loan with an MFI or bank.

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