Over 500 million smallholder farmers worldwide* play a critical role in world food production, but most are vulnerable to the effects of climate change such as droughts or floods, volatile pricing and unfair competition.
Investment in agriculture is one of the most effective ways of reducing rural unemployment and poverty, and contributes to local food security. Yet smallholder farmers often lack access to finance. The demand for smallholder finance is estimated at over US$ 150 billion.**
To help address this issue, Oikocredit increases access to loans, equity investments and capacity building that help strengthen social and sustainable organisations that work with smallholder farmers.
Our agricultural partners help farmers increase productivity, crop diversity and provide access to markets, often at better conditions than they would otherwise be able to get. This leads to increased income and stronger, more financially stable farming businesses, contributing to the empowerment of smallholder farmers to improve their lives.
How do we create impact in agriculture?
Oikocredit supports smallholder farmers while promoting standards and certification encouraging practices such as crop diversification and climate smart agriculture.
We report on the certifications of our agriculture partners as the premiums they result in are relevant to helping secure a better income for farmers and benefit their communities.
We also collaborate with peer organisations to champion responsible agriculture and responsible financing for agriculture.
The biggest crops in our agriculture portfolio*** are:
*FAO 2017, The Future of Food and Agriculture
**Initiative for Smallholder Finance, RAF Learning Lab, and Dalberg 2016, Inflection Point: Unlocking Growth in the Era of Farmer Finance
***Based on the top five crops in investment amounts and in number of partners as at 31 December 2020