Brussels, 3 March 2014/ CTA/ ACP: A roundtable discussion at the ACP House this week will focus on how to revolutionise finance for agri-value chains, highlighting key opportunities for rural farmers as well as financiers in Africa, the Caribbean and the Pacific.

While the agricultural sector remains one of the broadest economic sectors in ACP countries, banks and other financial institutions often see high risks, due to a lack of understanding of the sector and food markets. They are often reluctant to lend to small scale or rural farmers, citing high transaction costs and agricultural risks – crop failure, diseases and market fluctuations for instance – as reasons.

The result is a serious and long lasting rural finance gap that keeps the economic potential of agriculture underused.

Wednesday’s session – the 35th in the CTA's Brussels Policy Briefing series – will look at how to address this challenge through value chain financing.

Basically, a value chain is a series of activities that add value to a final product, from the production stage, to processing, and ending with the marketing or sale to the consumer. Value chain finance puts money into the entire chain of transactions. This means that financers take into account the potential of the entire value chain, and not just the credit worthiness of a single individual.

Panellists will discuss the concept of agricultural value chain finance, new opportunities for financiers, and the new context of value chain finance in Africa – including the development of ICTs that support innovative applications.

They will also examine the innovations in financial instruments and services and will present concrete examples of more current applications on the ground that demonstrate the potential of value chain finance for shaping African agriculture.

Confirmed speakers include: Calvin Miller from FAO Agribusiness and Finance Group, Lamon Rutten from CTA, Saleh Usman Gashua from Afraca, Hans Bogaard from Rabobank, Hans Balyamujura from ZED Group Limited, Adam Gross from Nepad Business Foundation.

The Brussels Briefing event kicks off 9h00 on Wednesday 5 March 2014 at the ACP Secretariat, in Brussels. It is organised by the Technical Centre for Agriculture (CTA), together with the DG Development and Cooperation of the European Commission (EC/DEVCO), the ACP Secretariat and the European NGO group Concord.

For more information and to register, visit:

– CTA/ ACP Press