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 Strategy

Area of Expertise:
Rural and agricultural finance

Zimbabwe Agricultural Development Trust

2015 ongoing


The Zimbabwe Agricultural Development Trust (ZADT) aims to address the challenge of small-scale farmers who often struggle to access finance for agricultural production, locking the farmers into low input- low output production models. 

Small-scale farming is the backbone of the rural livelihoods in Zimbabwe. However, small-scale farmers often struggle to access finance for agricultural production, locking farmers into low input- low output production models. 

The ZADT aims by to achieve this by supporting financial institutions to lend into the smallholder agricultural sector. In pursuit of this aim, 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 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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