December 07, 2016

Inter-American Institute for Cooperation on Agriculture Meeting

FAST Project Manager Matt Whiteman moderated a session at an IICA workshop on December 7, 2016 in Washington DC. The workshop was entitled "Challenges and opportunities for financing agricultural value chains in Latin America", and the panel focused on financing of agricultural value chains by non-banking financial institutions.

The objective of the workshop overall was to share information about the situation, challenges, opportunities, and innovations related to the financing of selected agricultural chains in seven Latin America and the Caribbean countries, based on that information, to identify public-private interventions designed to promote financing in agricultural chains in Latin America.

The panellists were:

  • Wilfredo Necochea Tello, Latin American Guarantee Fund (FOGAL), Perú
  • Paula Sánchez, Associate Director, Campo Capital S.A.S., Colombia
  • Leela Ramoutar, Deputy Programme Manager, Private Sector Facilitation and Industrial Development, CARICOM
  • Samuel Zamora, ENLACE Group Consultant, S.A. de C.V., El Salvador 


The recommendations from the full workshop will become available in the coming weeks, but some key messages from the panel were the need to challenge participants at the workshop and others to develop and support systems that…

  • create national, regional and municipal securities,
  • are flexible and have a structure that allows them to be agile in responding to needs,
  • offer lower commissions for farmers,
  • offer longer repayment terms, of up to three years,
  • diminish perceived risk through land tenure,
  • make room for better management and mentoring for value chains,
  • support for more good science and more evidence-based policy,
  • encourage the organization of producers who trust each other.

It was stressed the importance to profile and study success stories in each country. Indeed, there is a need to be creative, but there are things that already work. We need to understand the power of positive deviance to replicate these experiences.

FAST wishes to congratulate IICA for the tremendous work they have done on this workshop, which was the culmination of two years of organization and research. FAST also thanks IICA for facilitating our participation. In the coming weeks and months, FAST looks forward to being involved in implementing the recommendations that come out of this process.