MicroSave received a EURO 975,000 grant from the EU to provide technical assistance (TA) to carefully selected MFIs and microfinance banks in Kenya, Uganda, Ethiopia and Ghana between August 2012 and December 2014 to develop agriculture financing products targeting smallholder farmers in diverse value chains.
MicroSave in partnership with Cordaid has provided targeted TA to selected 7 MFI partners focusing on different agriculture value chain. These include Opportunity Bank Uganda (Sugar cane farming), UGAFODE Microfinance Ltd (Beef production) in Uganda, SMEP DTM Ltd in Kenya (Poultry farming) and Opportunity Kenya Ltd (Fresh milk) in Kenya, ACSI (Wheat) and Wasasa Microfinance (Coffee farming) in Ethiopia and Sinapi Savings and Loans (Maize) in Ghana. The TA support so far provided includes market research training and field based research to identify needs of smallholder farmers and financing opportunities for the MFIs.
Further, Cordaid has provided the partners with simplified risk assessment skills and tools to help MFIs manage risks in agriculture lending. Additional support in agricultural linkages and pilot test is planned. Two of the partners, ACSI and Sinapi have launched lending projects to smallholder farmers in maize production (Northern Ghana) and wheat production (Amhara region) and so far have reached 2,000 clients in the first two months of pilot test. By the end of the project, MicroSave and Cordaid aim to have supported the MFIs develop viable agri-financing products, reached at least 10,000 smallholder farmers with financial services and agriculture oriented financial literacy.