Rabo Rural Fund in 2020: Focus on sustainable growth
Drought, heavy rainfall, plant diseases, volatile prices on the global market, and on top of all that: the coronavirus pandemic. Farmer’s organizations around the world faced some major challenges in 2020. Especially if they found themselves in the ‘missing middle’ – grown too large for support from Rabo Foundation, but still too small for standard bank loans. Rabo Rural Fund helps these organizations continue growing.
How Rabo Rural Fund works
We’re active in the most economically, socially and ecologically vulnerable countries in Africa, Asia, and South- and Central America. There, farmers' organizations produce grow crops such as spices, vegetables, nuts and quinoa. They are deeply rooted in their communities, and play a key role in creating jobs and generating incomes and food security. They also often have difficulty finding commercial investors. But where normal banks see only risks, the Rabo Rural Fund sees opportunities. Especially opportunities to make local food production sustainable, and to increase the income of smallholder farmers. We invest in the growth of agricultural enterprises in order to contribute to sustainable economic development.
Farmer’s organizations can come to us for loans and bank guarantees. In 2020, 88% of our loans were trade loans – short-term loans which are used for the buying and processing of goods. But we also provided bank guarantees and long-term loans.
We strive to take full advantage of our knowledge and large international network. Because in addition to financial breathing space, it’s also important for farmer’s organizations and smallholder farmers to become more professional, increase their quality and productivity, produce more sustainably and find sales markets for their products.
A third key to our success is our local consultants, especially in South- and Central America. They speak the language and know the local customs and environment. That allows them to quickly form a bond with the farmer’s organizations. Our local consultants also maintain close contact with our customers, so we can quickly identify new challenges and potential solutions.
$ 51.4 million
total disbursement in impact lending
56 businesses financed
in 15 countries in Africa, Asia, Central America and South America
234,000 smallholder farmers
reached via the producer cooperatives and SMEs we financed in 2020.