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Adventures in Smallholder Financing: A Tale of Two Innovative Lending Approaches


AgriFin is pleased to share the recording from the first webinar in its new series, Financing Farmers for an Uncertain Future: New Paths Forward. The series of webinars focuses on innovative approaches to expanding financing to farmers and agribusiness. 

The first webinar was titled "Adventures in Smallholder Financing: A Tale of Two Innovative Lending Approaches."

The webinar featured two leading agricultural lenders, One Acre Fund and Root Capital. The webinar considered their respective operating models, and how they effectively provide lending to smallholder farmers. The goals of the webinar were to showcase the very different approaches of each of the financial institutions and enable webinar attendees to gain insights into how they may learn from these innovative approaches to financing farmers.
 
Access PPT presentations from One Acre here and Root Capital here:
 
About the Organizations
 
One Acre Fund
One Acre Fund believes that smallholder farmers living in remote places need support in more than one area. One Acre Fund provides a complete set of services within walking distance of the farmers we serve. Their service bundle includes financing for farm inputs, distribution of seed and fertilizer, training on agricultural techniques, and market facilitation to maximize profits from harvest sales.
 
Mike Warmington has worked in finance and microfinance for more than a decade. He is currentlyDirector of Microfinance Partnerships for One Acre Fund, a social enterprise working with more than 400,000 farmers in East Africa. The microfinance partnerships team aims to increase the overall availability and impact of smallholder financial services working through partnerships with financial service providers. Prior to One Acre Fund, Mike was Head of Operations at MicroLoan Foundation, working in Malawi and Zambia. Before working in the finance sector, Mike spent two years as an analyst at Dexia Bank, a Belgian bank specializing in project finance.
 
Root Capital 
Root Capital is an agricultural impact investor that grows rural prosperity in poor, environmentallyvulnerable places in Africa and Latin America by lending capital, delivering financial training, and strengthening market connections for small and growing agricultural businesses. 
 
Ben Schmerler is responsible for overseeing all philanthropy fundraising, building relationships andengagement strategies with existing and potential donors, investors, government institutions and value chain actors. He provides management, oversight, and leadership towards achieving Root Capital's strategic objectives. Previously, Ben was a senior global supply chain manager at Fair Trade USA, and he has spent many years working and bicycling across the planet. Ben is a member of the Sustainability Council for the Specialty Coffee Association of America (SCAA) and owns a small espresso bar in Boston. He holds a B.A. in environmental policy and political science from the University of Washington and speaks French, Spanish, and Wolof.
 

Financing Farmers for an Uncertain Future: New Paths Forward - Webinar series information here.