Pathways to Prosperity: 2019 Rural & Agricultural Finance State of the Sector report

Published 08 May 2020

Current blended finance approaches will not be enough to achieve the SDGs, especially with the shockwaves of COVID-19 threatening to erode decades of progress against poverty.

In this guest article for NextBillion, we make the case for why blended finance solutions that align impact and financial sustainability at a marketplace scale are needed now more than ever. We also share the origin story behind Aceli’s design, and how the questions that guided that journey will have implications beyond just the agriculture sector.

Read the full article here.

In this COVID-19 Emergency Briefing Series, ISF Advisors and the Mastercard Foundation Rural & Agricultural Finance Learning Lab looks at how the COVID-19 crisis is likely to affect different types of rural households in emerging markets and what the cascading effects may be on markets, food security, and national security.

The series builds on the 2019 Pathways to Prosperity report and provides tangible recommendations to critical decision makers on how rural agricultural livelihoods can be supported. This brief looks at how the COVID-19 crisis will impact small and medium agricultural enterprises (agri-SMEs) in emerging markets that, in many value chains, are squeezed between a drastic decline in consumer demand and difficult operating conditions along the supply chain.

Read the full COVID-19 brief.

The last three years have seen a rapid acceleration in technology-driven innovation, which has powered changes in existing rural finance models, enabled providers to develop new service delivery models, and facilitated the bundling of services in new ways. We have also seen a more diverse influx of service and capital providers, which has reshaped the market.

But despite this progress, there remains a large, persistent gap in smallholder and agricultural SME finance. 

The Pathways to Prosperity report from ISF Advisors and the Mastercard Foundation Rural & Agricultural Finance Learning Lab presents new, dynamic frameworks for accelerating progress towards closing the $170 billion smallholder financing gap and achieving inclusive rural transformation.

Explore the research and download the report here.