Financial institutions are hesitant to engage the agricultural sector due to the perception of high risk. To address this challenge, WOCCU works with local institutions and consumers to strengthen the full ecosystem for agricultural finance.

We work with individual small-scale farmers to grow their businesses, as well as with more advanced commercial enterprises looking to grow into export markets. At the institutional level, our programs help risk-averse financial institutions to develop viable products and services for the agricultural sector. At the SME-level, we work across the value chain with input and service providers, transporters and others. 


Loan risk mitigation in Peru

While implementing the USAID-funded Peru Credit Union Market Integration Program (2006-2009), six FENACREP credit unions successfully deployed value chain finance throughout 18 distinct value chains. By the end of the activity, the credit unions disbursed $1.58 million in loans to 3,668 producers, with only a 2.65% loan delinquency rate. This success in Peru led WOCCU to formalize our value chain methodology with the help of SEEP and USAID.  


Loan facility expansion in Guatemala

In Guatemala, through the USAID Cooperative Development Program (CDP): Improving Small Rural Producers’ Income through Integrated Access to Financial Services and Agricultural Markets (2010-2017), WOCCU increased loans by $52 million. Assets also increased by $60 million and, most dramatically, savings increased by $57 million. The project’s success convinced the national credit union association in Guatemala, the Federación Nacional de Cooperativas de Ahorro y Crédito de Guatemala (FENACOAC), to permanently house a rural finance division at its home office.  


Catalytic grants in Haiti

WOCCU’s USAID/Haiti HIFIVE Project worked with financial institutions to expand delivery of agricultural finance to prioritized geographic areas and productive value chains.  By the end of the program in 2015, 32 financial institutions were offering value chain finance and agricultural lending increased by 503%, from $5 million in 2012 to $33 million in 2015.  


Financial products for semi-commercial farmers 

In our USAID CDP multi-country program in Guatemala and KenyaWOCCU developed a structured set of tools, policies, and procedures to roll out agricultural products enabling financial institutions to improve access to finance for semi-commercial farmers. In Guatemala, WOCCU is working with FENACOACseven of their member cooperatives, and 26 producer groups and exporters to roll out to all 25 credit union members in the country; as a result, loans have increased by $52 million (more than $34 million in agriculture loans to more than 13,000 members); assets increased by $60 million; savings increased by $57 million; and the agricultural loan portfolio increased by 23%, with a baseline of 5% of total loan portfolio, all while maintaining a delinquency rate below 4%.  

Agricultural finance in Kenya 

Currently, in Kenya, the methodology developed in Guatemala is being deployed across seven SACCOS and 180 producer groups and other organizations. WOCCU is also facilitating a partnership between KUSCCO and WOCCU’s partner in Guatemala, FENACOAC, to share experiences and lessons learned on agricultural financing and rural outreach, including mobile money. As of September 2017, more than 135,055 loans have been made in the amount of $127 millionWOCCU is also digitizing the financial tools so they can be available over mobiles devices to cost-effectively and more efficiently reach smallholder farmers.