Case study

Improving access to finance through product innovation and the value chain finance approach

Learning and insights from Equity Bank Rwanda

Published by
Palladium / Swisscontact

Lending to agriculture is considered as risky and costly. Banks shy away from the high transaction costs and risks related to agriculture such as crop failure, diseases, market price fluctuations and high fragmentation of smallholder farmers and agribusinesses.

An assessment of the rice, maize, Irish potato, tea, coffee, dairy, poultry and horticulture value chains in Rwanda showed that the key needs across these value chain actors were around access to working capital, capital for acquisition of assets and trade finance.

In order to develop new lending approaches for the agriculture sector, IMSAR partnered with Equity Bank Rwanda (EBR), a lead commercial bank in Rwanda.

This brief describes EBR's approach, the results achieved and the lessons learnt.