In each country, AKAM-affiliated entities collaborate with other AKDN agencies to help increase farmers’ yield. In the Kyrgyz Republic, 48 percent of people work in the agricultural sector, which accounts for nearly 18 percent of the gross domestic product. Harvesting of the main crops such as wheat, sugar beets, potatoes, cotton, tobacco, vegetables and fruit, as well as raising livestock, is the main occupation in the country.
FMFC is the largest microfinance provider in the southern region of the Kyrgyz Republic. It operates in provinces that have some of the highest poverty rates.
Given FMFC’s mandate to target the poor and underserved, it maintains a strong rural and agricultural focus, with agricultural and livestock loans representing half of all disbursements by number.
The Kyrgyz Republic’s agricultural products include cotton, vegetables and fruits. The largest crop is assorted types of animal fodder to feed livestock. The second largest crop is winter wheat, followed by barley, corn and rice. Animal husbandry is the main economic input in the mountainous regions and so sheep, goats, cattle and wool are popular products to sell, as are chickens, horses, pigs and in some areas, yaks. This means that not all clients are equally affected by weather conditions or disease outbreaks.
In Côte d’Ivoire, Première Agence de Microfinance Côte d’Ivoire (PAMF-CI) has continued to expand outreach in rural areas where the microfinance penetration rate is extremely low and where poverty is high. Consequently, 62 percent of its loans are in rural areas for the agriculture sector. Agriculture is a mainstay of the economy, employing two-thirds of the population and accounting for 18 percent of the country’s GDP. However, access to agricultural finance is low, particularly among PAMF-CI’s focus areas. Therefore, the focus of PAMF-CI’s rural expansion has been small agricultural loans – in 2020, 60 percent of all new loan disbursements were for agriculture.
PAMF-CI also collaborates with other AKDN entities, such as Ivoire Coton, to provide loans to cotton farmers. These help them improve their cultivation practices and enhance agricultural productivity. To continue to support its target market, PAMF-CI expects small agricultural loans to remain an important share of its lending activity.