AFRACA hosts the 5th World Congress on Rural & Agricultural Finance in Dakar

Dec 16, 2016

The theme of the conference was “Contribution of Agricultural and Agrifood Industries to sustainable Development: What role should Rural and Agricultural Finance play?”.

The African Rural and Agricultural Credit Association (AFRACA) hosted the 5th World Congress on November 24th - 25th under the broad theme: "Contribution of Agricultural and Agrifood Industries to sustainable Development: What role should Rural and Agricultural Finance play?". In the context of rapid demographic growth and climate change, and in order to key-in to attaining the objectives of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), it is essential to improve rural and agricultural finance to boost agricultural production and meet a growing consumption demand.

The Congress brought together various stakeholders from around the globe to share experiences on emerging and cross cutting issues in the industry, as well as to showcase best practices and innovations in the rural and agricultural finance space worldwide. Agricultural and rural finance institutions are key stakeholders in addressing these challenges as they provide rural people and agricultural communities with financial services. The Congress additionally promoted international and inter-regional cooperation to revolutionize finance for the agricultural value chains.

The first panel on "Current and future challenges faced by the Agricultural Industry in Senegal", introduced the local agricultural sector and future prospects as part of the Emerging Senegal Plan (ESP). This was followed by a panel on "Demographics, Agriculture and Agriculture Industry in Africa" which provided a general overview of major economic and social aggregates, and the impact of climate change on smallholder farming and food security. In the third panel, participants discussed "Agricultural Innovations and Technologies in Agriculture and Rural Finance" stressing the role of new techniques and technological innovations with an emphasis on those whose effectiveness have been demonstrated, such as mobile money services for small-scale farmers.

The fourth panel on "The Future of Farmers, Producers and Organizations (FPO)? Challenges, Opportunities and Strategies" discussed various models of integrating family agriculture in supply chains. Lastly, the panel on "Risk Management in Agricultural Financing: best practices and challenges" examined systems for mitigating agriculture risks such as insurance schemes, farm scoring, and public guarantees.

This Congress was co-organized with sister Rural and Agricultural Credit Associations (RACAs) from around the World, namely: the International Confederation of Agricultural Credit (CICA), Near East North Africa Regional Agricultural Credit Association (NENARACA), Asia and Pacific Regional Agricultural Credit Association (APRACA) and the Latin American Association of Development Financial Institutions (ALIDE). It also received support from various partners including the Food and Agricultural Organization of the United Nations (FAO), the International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD), and the African Development Bank (AfDB), and brought together over 250 participants from within the continent and abroad.