Strengthening linkages between small actors and buyers in
the Roots and Tubers sector in Africa


Second National Training on ‘’Agricultural Value Chain Financing’’- Rwanda


Musanze, Rwanda

On 3 May 2017, as part of the EU African Roots and Tubers Project, a second two-day training of the series  ‘’Agricultural Value Chain Financing’’, has been organized in Musanze, Rwanda.

The project is being implemented in Rwanda, in support of the potato value chain. More specifically, producers and processors of Irish potatoes have been receiving support in the development of inclusive business models, through several capacity building initiatives. One very critical area that requests an intervention at project level is the lack of access to financial services for both producers and processors, to invest on their activities and take advantage of the growing markets.

There is evidence in Rwanda that that existing financial services providers (banks, credit unions and MFIs) do not reach this segment of the market due to unaffordable interest rates and lack of guarantees of the potential clients. 

Most financial institution have traditionally seen agricultural finance – especially for smallholder farmers – as excessively risky and too difficult to provide in a profitable manner.  This perception has been fueled by weak enabling environments and a lack of familiarity with both rural market and client conditions and with commercially-successful approaches to addressing agricultural finance needs. 

This training was meant to facilitate the provision of financial services to the potato value chain. 

The event, held by the Project Coordinator as trainer, targeted managers and professional staff in the banking and financial services industry, involved in the design and delivery of financial services products for agricultural finance.  

This training equipped learners to develop cost-effective, and commercially viable product design and delivery strategies for financing agricultural activities with growth potential. 

The audience also included managers, officials and policy makers from the Ministry of Agriculture and the Ministry of Commerce with a mandate related to enabling sustainable rural financial services provision and rural and agricultural market development.  

In addition, the workshop provided potatoes processors and buyers with knowledge on potential financial products and services that would fit their needs, as well as alternatives to collateral-based lending.

As result of the workshop, participants highlighted key messages and recommendations that ensure potato seed quality and create awareness among small holder farmers on the agriculture insurance products as a sustainable solution.  

The workshop report will be available soon.