View of field in Rwanda

Evidence review for agricultural SME finance

Synthesis paper Firms

This evidence review maps the existing body of practitioner and academic evidence on lending to agricultural small and medium-sized enterprises in developing economies and identifies research and learning priorities to fill key gaps.

Market interventions and policy reforms to mobilise agricultural finance can be most effective when based upon evidence, including data, practitioner insights, and third-party evaluations. Such evidence is limited when it comes to the agricultural small and medium-sized enterprise (SME) finance sector.

This evidence review for agricultural SME finance was conducted in partnership with the Council on Smallholder Agricultural Finance (CSAF), a network of 20 social impact investors that collectively lend US$ 700M+ to agricultural SMEs on an annual basis and come together to share learnings and develop best practices for lending to agricultural SMEs in emerging markets.

Through this project, IGC and CSAF are working together to expand the knowledge base of what does and does not work for mobilising additional capital into the agricultural finance sector and how to steer that capital for greatest impact.

The executive summary examines the key findings from the review.

The literature review summarises evidence submitted by practitioners as well as the current state of the academic literature on agricultural SME financing.

The data analysis document synthesises findings from an analysis of CSAF members’ lending data.