07 May
8

Federations Plan to Pilot AgriFinance in CUs

  • Date : Tuesday May 07, 2013
  • Venue : Bangkok

Federations Plan to Pilot AgriFinance in CUs

 The Regional workshop on AgriFinance was successfully completed on January 26-30 in Bangkok, Thailand. It was attended by 27 credit union experts from 11 countries (Bangladesh, Bhutan, Cambodia, India, Indonesia, Mongolia, Myanmar, Nepal, Philippines, Sri Lanka, and Thailand). The workshop introduced the credit unionmbusiness solution no. 20- Credit Union AgriFinance Methodology. Written in their action plan, the participants indicated piloting the program to select credit unions in their respective countries. As observed, farmers rely on agriculture for their livelihoods, which are growing more uncertain due to the threats of climate change, the recent food and fi nancial crises, and falling investments in agriculture. All are also being aff ected by human-made climate change. Farmers are the worst suff erers. The seasons, the time to plant, the time to harvest are changing. Much of the indigenous knowledge of farmers is no longer always applicable. It seems that every year, they lose their yield to floods or storms. The marginal farmers become most vulnerable. They become the poorest of the poor.

Although access to financial services may prove crucial, credit unions need to fi ll the needs of the farmer-members to improve their lives. Financial access alone may not be  sufficient to alleviate farmers from poverty. ACCU recognizes that credit unions provide loans to farmers. However, there is a need forcredit unions to be more active in making use of the available technical expertise of specialized agencies to address watershed development, livelihood promotions, organic farming, agriculture extension services, environmental impact assessments, training and capacity building, education, skills development and fi nancial literacy among farmers. Almost one third of the world’s populations are members of farming households in Asia. The graduates will serve as promoters of AgriFinance in their respective countries. The methodology is designated as Business Solution No. 20.

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