Research, Innovation and Inclusive Finance: the Recipe for Agricultural Productivity and Food Security
April 2018 marked the end of a project in Burkina Faso to give farmers access to agricultural innovations and financial services, led by Développement international Desjardins (DID) with support from the International Development Research Centre (IDRC) and in collaboration with Burkina Faso's institution of the environment and agricultural research, the RCPB network of caisses populaires and a group a researchers from Université Laval.
The aim of this 36-month-long project was to demonstrate that farmers need better access to financing so they can acquire and integrate new innovations into their agricultural operations. DID and its partners developed a model to test the role financial services can play in distributing and scaling up innovations to improve small-scale agricultural operations in Burkina Faso.
Integrating all links in the value chain
A key part of the project was establishing dialogue between the various players in the agricultural development industry (farmers, farmer associations, agri-food entrepreneurs, researchers and government departments). The project had four objectives:
- Identify farmers' technical package (innovations ranging from inputs to storage bags) and successful farming practices
- Design an innovative credit product adapted to farmers' needs (CIPA-Crédit pour l'intensification de la production agricole)
- Disseminate farming production techniques
- Strengthen farmer associations
The project yielded promising results. Access to CIPA has helped:
- Increase acreage
- Encourage environnementally friendly practices
- Improve performance and production while reducing post-harvest losses
- Improve farmers' sales
- Improve household food security and reduce vulnerability
Want to know more about the lessons DID has learned through this project and the other initiatives carried out in the area of agricultural development in the past years? Read our Roadmap for making inclusive finance a driving force for rural development and food security. Looking forward to reading your comments or questions!