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Rural Agriculture Finance and Food Security Practitioner Learning Program (PLP) Image

We believe in the power of enterprise to reduce global poverty.

Rural Agriculture Finance and Food Security Practitioner Learning Program (PLP)

The number of undernourished people worldwide has topped 925 million. The many factors responsible for this figure include high domestic food prices, lower household incomes, and increasing unemployment, all of which have significantly reduced access to food for the poor. However, research has shown that a healthy agricultural sector can provide an economic buffer during financial crises, and that financial services responding to the food security needs of rural households can lead to more successful outreach and have a greater impact on the poor.

The Rural Agriculture Finance and Food Security Practitioner Learning Program is an action-learning project focused on approaches to and connections between rural and agricultural finance and household well-being, including food security. The envisioned impact is that rural households and enterprises will have increasing finance options that serve their needs and contribute to a vibrant rural economy both on and off the farm.

Learning Products

  • A blog created by Catholic Relief Services (Sierra Leone) and Floresta (Tanzania) documenting how village savings and loan associations contribute to household food security.
  • A screencast by the Aga Khan Rural Support Programme-India examining the impact of customized loan products for animal husbandry activities on food security for rural clients.
  • A video by the Kazhi Kadaimaidai Farmers Federation (India) documenting the effect of value-added services on food security for rural households in Tamil Nadu, a state in southern India.
  • An online case study by the Kazhi Kadaimaidai Farmers Federation (India) and the Aga Khan Rural Support Programme-India examining the impact of warehouse receipts programs on agricultural value chains and food security in India.
  • A podcast by Food for the Hungry (Kenya) discussing the potential benefits of a loan guarantee financial product for rural livestock traders, and the envisioned impact of this product on food security.

Initiative Partner

This initiative is made possible by the generous support of the American people through the United States Agency for International Development (USAID). The contents are the responsibility of the SEEP Network and do not necessarily reflect the views of USAID or the United States Government.

Participating Organizations:

Catholic Relief Services (Sierra Leone)

Catholic Relief Services (CRS) was founded in 1943 by the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops to assist poor and disadvantaged communities overseas regardless of race, nationality or creed. CRS's mission statement calls the agency to alleviate human suffering, advance full human development, and foster charity and justice in the world. CRS's Savings and Internal Lending Communities (SILC) program targets poor smallholder producers with the purpose of building their capacity to increase agricultural productivity by establishing several Farmer Field Schools (FFS).
Floresta (Tanzania)
  Floresta reverses deforestation and poverty in Tanzania by transforming the lives of the poor. Their work includes community mobilization, training in environmental conservation, saving, and loans. Floresta's Village Community Banks (VICOBA) program is run in groups of 30-40 members each in 25 communities across 3 regions; Siha, Moshi Rural, and Same. The members benefit through rural saving, loans, and credit schemes, all of which Floresta provides training in. Through VICOBA groups, Floresta has implemented other initiatives such as organic farming, energy efficient stoves, soil conservation, tree planting, ecotourism, and capacity building.
 Aga Khan Rural Support Programme (India) 
   Aga Khan Rural Support Programme (AKRSP) works as a catalyst for the betterment of rural communities by providing direct support to promote activities and develop models for sustainable natural resource use and development of human resources. They have innovated and pioneered several efforts in areas such as participatory irrigation management, joint forest management, rain water harvesting, watershed development, preventing salinity ingress, agriculture development, micro-enterprises, and alternative energy to empower rural women and marginalized communities. AKRSP is also engaged in promoting savings and credit groups and linking them with banks for enhanced financial needs. 
Food for the Hungry (Kenya)  
   The goal of Food for the Hungry (Kenya) is the end of severe poverty in the neediest, most vulnerable communities of Kenya. FH's programs seek to improve livelihoods through economic growth and to strengthen the resiliency of partner communities. FH is able to facilitate these goals through a combination of experience, local knowledge and understanding, and technical backstopping teams, both in-country and internationally, that will ensure programmatic excellence.
 Kahzi Kadaimadai Farmers Federation (KKFF)  
   Starting as a farmers' self-help group after the 2004 tsunami, KKFF was formed as a farmers' credit organization, working with a bank to provide credit access. KKFF provides credit for agricultural activities as well as quality resources such as seed, fertilizers, and pesticides, as well as advisory support to members to enhance productivity. KKFF has partnered with Ekgaon Technologies to provide weather alerts and forecasts to farmers on their mobile phones to reduce risk in agriculture production. KKFF and Ekgaon are now working on an information technology- enabled agro-advisory system for supporting and promoting nutrient management practices among farmers.


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