The Common Fund for Commodities (CFC) has become an affiliate of the Council on Smallholder Agricultural Finance (CSAF).
Founded in 2012 as a forum for lenders to share learning, CSAF is the leading global network of lending practitioners promoting an inclusive financial market for producer organizations and small- and medium-enterprises (SMEs) in the agriculture sector in developing countries. CSAF has three workstreams focused on:
- Market Growth to meet the growing demand for financing among inclusive agricultural SMEs;
- Responsible Lending Practices to ensure that market growth contributes to positive impact on agricultural businesses and the long-term sustainability of the sector;
- Social & Environmental Impact that contributes positively to farmer and worker livelihoods as well as to agricultural and agro-forestry landscapes and ecosystems.
CSAF includes 16 members and affiliates sharing the values of a sustainable and inclusive financial market for agricultural business. From 2013 to 2019, CSAF members cumulatively lent USD 4.25 billion to 1,419 organizations, reaching 3.4 million smallholder farmers, of which 33% are women farmers. The vast majority (79%) of borrowers are served by a single CSAF member, which emphasizes the additionality of members’ financing.
At the core of CSAF’s vision lies a thriving finance market that serves agricultural businesses and supports their positive impact on smallholder farmer and environmentally sustainable practices globally. CSAF’s members and affiliates are committed to responsible lending practices and transparent reporting. Moreover, these institutions seek to participate in a community of practice by constantly sharing their experience, helping to develop industry standards and engaging with other stakeholders.
The key contributions of the CSAF can be found in its annual “State of the Sector” report, a comprehensive study, which provides great insights on the trends of the agri-SMEs financing market. The 2020 report highlights the impact of COVID-19 and CSAF members response to the crisis. On a more general level, it presents value chains and regional trends. Furthermore, CSAF’s newest initiative Aceli Africa is presented. Launched in September 2020, this is a market incentive facility aimed at addressing the challenging economics of serving agricultural SMEs, and at mobilizing USD 700 million in lending to this segment in East Africa by 2024. By modeling “prices into the market” and compensating lenders for the positive social and environmental impact of lending, Aceli Africa enables the alignment of lending economics and the impact objectives of increasing capital flows to inclusive agricultural SMEs.
CSAF members focus on preserving a portfolio of loans and independently seek to accomplish their own mission to finance high-impact agricultural enterprises. By joining CSAF, the CFC aims to continue supporting the sustainable growth of the industry, contributing to strengthen and diversify the commodity sector in developing countries, and transform it to be a major contributor to poverty alleviation and sustained economic growth and development.
For more information on CSAF, please go to: https://csaf.org/