IFAD RESEARCH SERIES 10 - Inclusive Finance and Inclusive Rural Transformation
IFAD RESEARCH SERIES 10 - Inclusive Finance and Inclusive Rural Transformation (2017); ISBN 978-92-9072-709-5
40 Pages Posted: 11 Dec 2018
Date Written: November 14, 2017
This paper provides an overview of concepts, issues and research on the relationship between financial inclusion and inclusive rural transformation. When considering how the growth of demand for financial services is related to the broader processes of structural and rural transformation, the evidence shows that agricultural credit provides positive returns, but still with small farm and gender biases. Liberalization of financial markets may not have had the desired spillover effects into rural credit, so there may be justification for public intervention. Effective microcredit programmes might also need to be coupled with outreach and technical assistance in order to achieve desired goals and objectives. In addressing how innovations in rural finance contribute to making access to financial services and rural transformation more inclusive, the report focuses on demand relationships. Farmers who use credit have moderately inelastic to elastic demands. Policies that curb interest rates or otherwise lower the cost of credit may encourage credit demand. Research on risk rationing suggests a behavioural aspect to credit that needs to be considered. Policies that fail to consider collateral and risk may fail if risk-rationed farmers will either not borrow at all, or borrow less than optimal amounts of credit. Policies targeting inclusive finance for inclusive transformation should be targeted towards specific problems. If subsidies are required, they must be smart – in the sense of minimizing market distortions – and are best targeted towards lenders as incentives to increase loans in poverty or underserved communities, women borrowers and indigenous peoples. When markets fail, agriculture governments should consider state-run government-sponsored enterprises. Finally, agricultural lenders, including microfinance institutions, must reconsider their approach to disciplined savings and lending activities. Many farmers with credit demand will not borrow because the payment terms do not consider the risk or match the liquidity cycle of planting and harvesting.
Keywords: Financial Markets, Financial Inclusion, Rural Transformation
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