Agricultural finance for rural areas, a challenge faced by the FUGPN-Mooriben in Niger

Agricultural finance for rural areas, a challenge faced by the FUGPN-Mooriben in Niger
N°36-37

Financing agriculture and family farms, in particular, is a crucial issue in Africa. Following the withdrawal of the state decades ago, farmers’ organizations have had to take up the issue and develop their own strategies. Indeed, alongside other non-financial services that are required to support production and marketing activities, credit fulfils a central economic function, that of financing the individual needs of producers as well as those of their organizations. In Niger, financial services that
are accessible to farmers are still underdeveloped: microfinance, in particular, meets the needs of very few extremely poor rural people. In 2011, only 2.6% of Niger’s population was estimated to have a bank account (Source: BCEAO). Against this background, over the last fifteen years, the FUGPN-Mooriben farmers’ organization has deployed a range of diverse and complementary strategies to meet the financial needs of its members, as part of an “integrated package of services” as described in the September 2010 issue (No. 23) of Farming Dynamics. This paper explains how Mooriben managed, in spite of the challenges, to secure a range of financial services suited to its members.

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