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FAO and Boulder Institute of Microfinance sign MoU to promote rural financing to improve food security

The collaboration will support implementation of FAO's Strategic Objectives and support capacity development, knowledge management, and private sector dialogue

29/09/2015 - 

29 September 2015, New York - UN’s Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) and Boulder Institute of Microfinance pledged to work together towards promoting broad access to financial services for the rural poor and to promote partnerships that increase responsible agricultural investments.

The MoU was signed on behalf of FAO by Maria Helena Semedo Deputy Director-General, Natural Resources and Robert Christen, President, Boulder Institute of Microfinance on 29 September at the FAO Liaison Office in New York. The collaboration between the organizations will support implementation of FAO’s Strategic Objectives and support capacity development, knowledge management, and private sector dialogue.

Thus this partnership responds to the  FAO's Director-General, José Graziano da Silva's  appeal to the private sector during the Committee on World Food Security (CFS) in Rome last October.

“Investment is a private decision. It’s your decision. You are the only ones responsible for investments, which however need an enabling environment,” said Graziano da Silva.

The collaboration intends to enhance effective implementation of initiatives related to rural and agricultural finance and investment, financial services for the rural poor, and public-private collaboration initiatives to promote responsible and inclusive private agricultural investments.

“Help these principles become part of the environment considered necessary for investment,” Ms.Semedo said, referring to the Principles for Responsible Investment in Agriculture and Food Systems (RAI).

The Partnership activities include:

(a)        Design and deliver joint training programs on rural and agricultural finance

(b)        Jointly explore policy research topics that study the links between rural financial systems, financial inclusion and food and nutrition security, when possible in the context of specific countries;

(c)        Organize and participate in joint advocacy and communication events that convene public and private actors to discuss challenges and opportunities

This MoU is a step forward for both the agencies in support of a multi-agency effort to implement the "Improving Capacity Building in Rural Finance" (CABFIN) project.

The Boulder Institute of Microfinance

The Boulder Institute of Microfinance strives to bring together and promote the best experiences, publications, and future leadership of a unique community of organizations from around the world. Boulder Institute of Microfinance combines the extensive analysis of established practices with critical analysis needed to foster solutions to the challenges that emerge in expanding access to financial services for the poor around the world. It has become a recognized leader in the delivery of effective capacity development programs that promote financial inclusion and the strengthening of sustainable microfinance institutions in developing countries since 1994.

FAO and Boulder Institute of Microfinance share the goal of promoting well-functioning and inclusive rural financial systems as an important element in the process of improving food and nutrition security.