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The Smallholder and Agri-SME Finance and Investment Network (SAFIN)

Building an inclusive ecosystem for finance and investment in rural areas

Inclusive and sustainable rural transformation is critical to achieve the 2030 Agenda, particularly ending hunger and promoting sustainable food systems. Agricultural small and medium enterprises (SMEs) are often the engines of rural economies and are present at every step of agricultural value chains, from the farm to our plates.

Despite the vital role that agricultural SMEs play in food systems, they struggle to access finance that is tailored to their specific needs. Small-scale lenders, such as microfinance institutions, often provide too little financing, while commercial lenders often find it too risky to lend to these enterprises.

With the right investment, agri-SMEs can transform food systems, enhance small-scale farmers’ resilience to shocks, pivot their business models in response to crises, innovate and generate economic opportunities in rural and urban areas.

Agri-SMEs operate in a fragmented financial landscape, where the institutions that finance them and other actors that can help them flourish do not effectively communicate or coordinate with each other.

The Smallholder and Agri-SME Finance and Investment Network (SAFIN) builds bridges between these different players. By connecting, convening and working collectively, SAFIN fosters effective and inclusive ecosystems in which diverse institutions work in concert to increase the flow of capital for agricultural SMEs.


Asset Publisher

Julia Zaremba

Administrative Assistant

[email protected]

Nadia Martinez

Senior Coordinator, Smallholder and Agri-SME Finance and Investment Network

[email protected]

Michael von During

Technical Specialist, Smallholder and Agri-SME Finance and Investment Network

[email protected]

Emily Kitongo

Knowledge Management and Communication Analyst, Smallholder and Agri-SME Finance and Investment Network

[email protected]

Related news

Related blogs

Asset Publisher

Weathering the storm: How finance provides a lifeline for SMEs in times of crisis

August 2022 - BLOG

The impacts of the war in Ukraine, coupled with the pandemic and climate change, are threatening the survival of small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) the world over. Finance is a critical lifeline, but can rural agri-SMEs access it?


Related publications

Related publications

SAFIN Annual Progress Report 2022

June 2023

Rapid inflation in 2022 exacerbated the financing challenges faced by enterprises in the midstream of agricultural value chains.

Agritech and Fintech Providers in East and Southern Africa: A landscape assessment

May 2023

This report examines the universe of agritech and fintech providers that influence access to finance in East and Southern Africa, exploring their potential to become commercially viable and achieve scale.

Access to Finance for Farmers’ Organizations: Evidence from a multi-country survey

April 2023

This report offers new evidence to inform the design of suitable and timely financial products for farmer organizations, based on a survey of 220 farmers’ organizations in West Africa and Asia and the Pacific.

Related events

Asset Publisher

SAFIN Annual Plenary Meeting 2022

November 2022 - EVENT

Under the theme “Opportunity in an evolving landscape,” this year’s event will focus on practical ways to turn the current food crisis into an opportunity for agri-SME finance and investment.

Agri-SME Finance: Navigating volatility in the wake of the war in Ukraine

July 2022 - EVENT

Join IFAD, the Smallholder and Agri-SME Finance and Investment Network (SAFIN), the International Finance Corporation (IFC) and the Good Food Hub to discuss the key impacts, challenges and unexpected opportunities for the future of financing agri-SMEs during times of crisis.