Developing and offering new products enables MFIs to serve a larger number of clients and therefore puts them in a better position to fulfil their social mission to provide services to populations excluded from conventional financial services. The new products bring in other sources of income which, in turn, helps to boost the financial sustainability of MFIs.
The microfinance industry has come a long way since the days when MFIs proposed a single product – microcredit – to a single client base - micro-entrepreneurs. Today, MFIs are capable of delivering financial products which are more elaborate and which provide a better response to the needs of their different client segments.
ADA supports MFIs throughout the product development cycle, from the identification and design of the product through to its development and commercialisation. Projects have been set up with our partner MFIs, notably around the following subjects:
Would you like to introduce a new product? and we can look together at how we can support your project!
Using case studies and examples from the field, we have developed a training course on the improvement and diversification of new products: Product innovation and diversification.
You will also find a course devised by the CGAP in French-speaking Africa called New product development (in French only).
A training course on the development of agricultural financial products has been developed with the FAO. It provides microfinance institutions with an introduction to the principles and key criteria used in market evaluations and the design of financial products for agriculture.
Mohamed Nadi, who is Manager of the Microinsurance Programme at AXA Assurance Morocco, took part in this course in October 2015 and you can read his testimony here!
The case study, Innovations for inclusive agricultural finance and risk mitigation mechanisms, published jointly by FAO and ADA, details the unique downscaling experience of Crédit Agricole du Maroc (CAM). The analysis presented here aims to highlight principles to be applied by different actors to facilitate rural and agricultural financial services around the world.
An exchange of know-how on inventory credit, known as warrantage, was held in Ouagadougou in Burkina Faso from 28 November to 8 December 2016. Two workshops were run jointly by three organisations: Fondazioni For Africa and the Confédération Paysanne du Burkina Faso, and American NGO Innovations for Poverty Action which was focused on the presentation of the results of a study of the impact of warrantage on the living conditions of rural populations in Burkina Faso carried out by IFPRI researchers. ADA was there to take stock of the warrantage trials run in Burkina Faso and to meet the parties involved (NGOs, financial institutions, State projects, etc.).
The warrantage system lets farmers store part of their harvest in a secure warehouse in the village for a 6-8-month period. The stock thus set aside serves as collateral allowing rural households access to credit from a financial institution: microfinance institution and/or retail bank. The amount of credit generally corresponds to 80% of the stock value at the time of harvest. The warehouses are secured using two padlocks. One key is held by the farmers’ organisation management committee and the other by the financial institution. The two parties make regular inspections together to check the quality of the stock.
Maize, millet, sorghum, rice, groundnut, cowpea and sesame are the main speculation crops stored under warrantage in Burkina Faso at present. The use of grain as collateral has a number of advantages. Firstly, it is easier for rural populations to offer financial institutions bags of grain as security, rather than title deeds or financial or material guarantees. For the financial institution, a stock of agricultural produce is easy to divide up and liquidate in the event of payment default.
Over the past ten years or so, a growing number of farmers’ organisations in Burkina Faso, usually backed by technical and financial partners, have introduced this system to help rural households make better use of their resources and thus improve their living conditions.
During the 2015–2016 campaign, more than 300 farmers’ organisations in Burkina Faso ran a warrantage system, giving around 7,000 farmers access to credit. Approximately 58,000 bags were stored as collateral to loans for a total of 450 million FCFA, granted by a range of financial institutions: Coris Bank, UBTEC, UMECAP and RCPB, an ADA partner.
These two workshops were an opportunity to talk to the various stakeholders that implement this credit system in Burkina Faso and to capitalise on their experience while identifying solutions for the main challenges that come with warrantage, such as:
Gauthier Malnoury (3rd from left), project manager at ADA, was part of the panel of speakers.