Ivory Coast: New microfinance services launched for rubber tree planters
The microfinance institution Microcred and the African Society of Rubber Plantations (SAPH) have signed an agreement allowing Microcred to develop a new range of financial products and services in Ivory Coast, Ecofin reports.Microcred will provide a savings product with a seven percent interest rate, directly funded by a direct debit of between five and 30 percent of the product of the planters' sales to SAPH.
These services will extend in a second phase to the financing of a circulation and investment fund, consumer credit, health insurance and mobile payments.
According to figures from the United Nations Capital Development Fund (UNCDF), which works for the promotion of microfinance and local development in the least developed countries, 42 percent of the rural population in the Ivory Coast is living under the poverty line. This number is 23 percent in urban areas.
UNCDF considers microfinance to be an important tool in fighting poverty and has contributed to the introduction of the Microstart programme in the Ivory Coast.
The programme includes several initiatives to increase the capacity of local organisations to provide microfinance services to economically active poor clients and improve the capacity of a local technical service provider to offer ongoing technical assistance, but also contribute to local and global knowledge of the impact of microfinance on clients.