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Support to Investment


RuralInvest is a free multilingual methodology and toolkit designed to help with the preparation of sustainable agricultural and rural investment projects and business plans. It is participatory, interactive, bottom-up and decentralized way, involving communities, entrepreneurs, government field technicians, project staff and local financing institutions.

Developed by FAO with the support of national and international development partners, RuralInvest contributes to FAO's Strategic Objective to enable inclusive and efficient agricultural food systems.

Any agency, project, organization or private institution managing funds or mobilizing resources for small- and medium-scale agricultural and rural investment can apply RuralInvest to develop:

  • Income-generating projects in agriculture, livestock, fisheries, fish farming, forestry, agro-industries, tourism, transport services, handicraft manufacturing, retail stores, wholesale services, storage services, etc.
  • Non-income-generating projects (or social projects) to improve living standards in rural areas, including health centres, schools, environmental protection, roads, drinking water supply, etc. 

Advantages of RuralInvest:
• free toolkit available in eight languages;
• participatory and interactive approach involving all 
   stakeholders in project development and analysis;
• guidance through each step of the project life cycle;
• user-friendly software with comprehensive help features;
• automated technical and financial calculations; and 
• analytical tools that facilitate quality review and approval.

Multiple projects and comparative analysis are able to be managed throughout the project life cycle.

Applying RuralInvest. FAO provides tailored courses, designed to strengthen an institution's ability to use RuralInvest, that generally last five to ten days, depending on the module(s). A second round of training usually follows once participants have been able to test their skills. The toolkit is currently available in eight languages and has been successfully introduced in ten countries. 


Studying RuralInvest

Training on RuralInvest

Support after training

1. Exploring RuralInvest methodology

2. Request for training

3. Tips on using RuralInvest software

- E-learning course on preparing effective investment project proposals.

- Module 1: Participatory identification of investment needs.

-Module 2: Preparing and using project profiles.

- Module 3: Detailed project formulation, analysis, results monitoring and building of project database.

To discuss your institution’s training needs, please contact:


Click here for a demonstration on the RuralInvest software.

- Video tutorials to improve understanding of key concepts.

- Training of trainers instruction material.

- Examples of applying the RuralInvest methodology and software.


Video tutorials for users of RuralInvest

The video tutorials will further complement efforts of reducing face-to-face training needs by providing additional web-based help and guidance with respect to some of the more difficult concepts.

Three tutorials were developed so far, each addressing a key topic which presents particular challenges for those training others in using the software and practitioners.

The priority topics comprise: (1) the identification and selection of appropriate units of production and units of sale; (2) the concept and definition of cycles of production and ‘blocks’ (a key variable used within RuralInvest) and; (3) interpreting and reviewing output reports. Through animation, views of the software, verbal explanations and illustrative examples the tutorials demonstrate the steps to follow, to understand the concepts and minimize errors and to make good use of the analytical results, thus enhancing the long-term sustainability of the RuralInvest toolkit.

These topics were identified from both a global RuralInvest user survey conducted in 2012, and from test cases submitted for evaluation by all participants following their training.   All three tutorials are available in English, French, Spanish, Portuguese and Russian languages, thus meeting current country demands.

Access tutorial 1: Units of Production and Units of Sale (also in Portuguese)

Access tutorial 2: Cycles of Production and Blocks (also in Portuguese)

Access tutorial 3Understanding Reports (also in Portuguese)