The world needs more food for its growing population and smallholding farmers produce most of it in the developing world.
But smallholders, who are often poor, find it difficult to produce more food if they don’t have enough money to buy the tools, seeds and other material necessary for the job.
Loans are often complicated to get, have high interest and have to be paid back in a short period. All of this makes it nearly impossible for poor farmers to borrow money and improve their food production and lives.
But Lou Munden, co-founder of The Munden Project, today said that a new scheme could revolutionize finance for farmers and help to support an increase in food production and sustainable land uses.
“For better or worse, finance is how our society usually takes small ideas and makes them big,” said Munden in a video presentation to researchers attending the World Agroforestry Centre’s Science Week in Nairobi, Kenya.
The scheme, called Inari, “will blend a diversity of loans based on their risk and reward profiles so that private investors can buy them in bundles,” said Munden. “It makes no sense to create a ‘one size fits all’ system that forces strict adherence to a single practice or set of practices.”