May 2016
From the editor

Dear followers,

We would like to start May’s newsletter with the World Bank report Enabling the Business of Agriculture 2016: Comparing regulatory good practices”. This report provides a tool for policymakers to identify and analyze legal barriers for agribusinesses and to quantify transaction costs of dealing with government regulations. The report presents results for 40 countries, for the first time using indicator scores to showcase good practices among countries in different stages of agricultural development. It also presents interesting insights on the relationship between efficiency and quality of regulations, discriminatory practices in the laws and whether regulatory information is accessible. Regional, income-group and country-specific trends and data observations are presented on six topics: seed, fertilizer, machinery, finance, markets and transport.

We would also like to point your attention to USAID’s “Guide to the Use of Digital Finance in Agriculture”, which provides a quick and easy-to-use tool to understand how digital finance can help address some of the challenges that smallholder farmers are experiencing today such as lack of access to financial services and convenient payment systems. Digital finance offers a way to expand access to the formal financial system by taking advantage of the rapid growth of digital and mobile telephone infrastructure and the advent of branchless banking. These services are related to saving money, accessing credit and insurance, and performing transactions via digital channels such as mobile phones, cards, computers and tablets. Therefore, the

Finally, the 2nd Microfinance and Rural Finance Conference: Financial Inclusion and Emerging Markets Finance will take place in Aberystwyth from 5th to 6th July, 2016. It will be hosted by the School of Mangament and Business, Aberystwyth University (UK), in cooperation with the School of Finance, Southwestern University of Finance and Economic (China), and York University Schulich School of Business. The Microfinance and Rural Finance Conference is a forum for presentation of research results, practices, innovations in the fields of microfinance and SME finance. Contributors and participants include academia, researchers, financial service providers and policymakers.

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: