March 2017
From the editor

Dear RFILC members,

In our March’s newsletter issue, firstly we would like to bring your attention to the World Bank document “Enabling the Business of Agriculture (EBA) 2017”, which offers insights into how laws and regulations affect private sector development for agribusinesses. These globally comparable data and scored indicators encourage regulations that ensure safety and quality of agricultural inputs, goods and services, but are not too costly or burdensome. Their goal is to facilitate the operation of agribusinesses and allow them to thrive in a socially and environmentally responsible way, enabling them to provide essential agricultural inputs and services to farmers that could increase their productivity and profits. Regional, income-group and country-specific trends and data observations are presented for 62 countries and across 12 topics: seed, fertilizer, machinery, finance, markets, transport, water, information and communication technologies (ICT), land, livestock, environmental sustainability and gender. Particularly in chapter 5, EBA finance indicators measure laws and regulations that affect access to financial services for farmers and agribusinesses.

Secondly, a three-day international conference co-organized by  the International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD) and the Italian Ministry of Economy and Finance, with the Brookings Institutions and the University of Warwick, “Investing in Inclusive Rural Transformation: Innovative approaches to financing” took place in Rome from 25-27 January. This conference aimed to fill the gap in the comprehension and sharing of lessons learned to support innovative efforts in the areas of rural and agrifood finance and agrifood investments. More precisely, the conference objectives were: to advance the understanding about opportunities and challenges in mobilizing finance for inclusive and sustainable rural transformation; to Identify new, effective and efficient instruments and partnerships to finance smallholder agriculture development and rural SMEs; and to lay out a country-differentiated, evidence-based policy and institutional agenda to move forward in boosting financing for inclusive rural investments. The background documents, agenda, participants and keynote videos of the event are available here.

Finally, we are delighted to announce an AgriFin webinar on “Agriculture, Banking, and the Digital Economy Merge to Improve South African Agriculture”, which will take place on March 16th at 10 am EST. This webinar presentation will be rounded about Vodacom’s partnerships with institutions funding agriculture and the need for increasing digital infrastructures throughout Africa to help revolutionize many sectors, including the agriculture economy. Click here to register and learn from this webinar how financial institutions can look outside the box for additional lending opportunities.

With best regards,

The RFILC editorial team

We hope you enjoy your visit to the RFILC.

The Rural Finance and Investment Learning Centre is a part of the CABFIN Partnership Project which aims to promote and facilitate capacity building in rural finance. The concerns of rural finance are to ensure that people living in rural areas have access to financial services such as deposit and money transfer facilities, insurance and loan products. Effective use of these services can help to improve livelihoods and reduce rural poverty. The following CABFIN Partners have provided financial support to the RFILC: