Access to finance for 12 000 small-scale farmers

Project name:
Development of Value Chain Finance Products

Financial inclusion
Market systems development

Agriculture and Agribusiness
Financial services

Area of Expertise:
Rural and agricultural finance

Zimbabwe Agricultural Development Trust

2015 - ongoing


The Zimbabwe Agricultural Development Trust (ZADT) commissioned Genesis Analytics to develop an inclusive financial product that can support a transition by smallholder farmers to climate-smart agriculture (CSA). The product, under the ZADT’s CREATE Fund, will focus on women and youth.

Small-scale farming is the backbone of the rural livelihoods in Zimbabwe and climate change has adversely impacted the development of smallholder agriculture. Small-scale farmers often struggle to access finance for agricultural production, locking farmers into low input- low output production models.

The farmers have limited means to adapt to this while private-sector financing has a potential role to play in improving adaptation.

The climate-smart product is designed to enable smallholder farmers to build resilience to the impacts of climate change and enable them to:

  • Access finance directly from financial institutions at affordable concessionary rates;
  • Access flexible financial products with repayment periods tailored and adapted to the farmers’ production and marketing cycle;
  • Access a guaranteed offtake market; and
  • Access technical assistance and timely extension services.

The ZADT established the Credit for Agricultural Trade and Expansion (CREATE) fund, a revolving fund accessed by value chain actors through financial institutions. The fund provides working capital to input suppliers and off-takers whose activities ultimately benefit smallholder farmers.

In an effort to increase the fund’s impact, ZADT first contracted Genesis to develop and pilot financial products suitable for direct access by smallholders.  To ensure the design of suitable products, Genesis adopted a two-phase approach. In Phase 1, we conducted a value chain analysis of the smallholder agricultural sector.

Two key insights emerged from the analysis. Firstly, it led to the selection of the mung bean and sesame value chains for product development and testing. Secondly, it identified the financing needs of smallholders in those value chains. Building on the second insight, in Phase 2 we focused on designing a financial product that would best meet sesame and mung bean farmers’ identified financing needs.

Genesis proposed the development of a production credit facility to directly finance smallholder production. The facility will be piloted in the sesame and mung bean value chains, where an estimated 12 000 farmers are expected to access this new credit service of the CREATE Fund.

Importantly, the new facility will support ZADT to directly finance smallholders, contributing to increased productivity, incomes and ultimately improved rural livelihoods.


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