Training in agricultural and rural finance (FAR)

***Blended learning (online + in-person)***
English edition

> Online session - 17 May to 11 June 2021 – 30 places available
> In-person session - October 2021 – 15 places available




**Blended learning (online + in-person)** 
The programme in agricultural and rural finance (FAR 2021) will be held in 2 sessions: online session from May 17th, 2021 (4 weeks) and in-person from October 11th, 2021 (1 week).

Following the success of the French edition, which was held in-person in Burkina Faso in 2019 and as online in 2020, the objective of this new edition in English is to provide a unique forum to explore, reflect and exchange ideas and strategies for the rural and agricultural sector, with a particular focus on the impact of climate change, especially in Africa.

Experts will present specific activities and results, thereby making it possible to both identify and analyse the experiences in order to draw lessons in terms of best practices throughout the globe.

This programme is organised by ADA (Appui au Développement Autonome), the Ministry of Foreign and European Affairs of Luxembourg (MAEE) and the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) through the CABFIN project, which aims to improve capacity building in rural finance.

Target Group

The programme is intended for senior managers of financial institutions and public bodies who are in the position to use the principles and tools provided to formulate strategies to design and deliver products which contribute to the financing of agricultural value chains. The programme is dedicated to participants coming from organisations working in Africa.



4 weeks at your own pace (estimation of 5 to 10 hours of work per week), the online session also includes online discussions with other participants and speakers and knowledge progress tests.

The online session is introductory and grouped into 2 parts for a total of 5 modules:

Part 1: "Financial products and markets":
- Market assessment and product design
- Digital financial services for smallholder families
- Tailoring agricultural value chain financing mechanisms

Part 2: "Risk Management Strategies":
- Risk management in agricultural finance
- Agricultural insurance

4 simultaneous plenary sessions (webinars). One session per week will be held on topics related to current challenges in agricultural finance like lessons learned from the Covid-19 pandemic, Innovations in agricultural finance for smallholder farmers, Green finance, Investments in SMEs.

The in-person session will complement and deepen the online session on different topics related to rural and agricultural finance. It will be accessible to the 15 most assiduous participants of the introductory online 2021 session.

This training should take place in an East African country during the 2nd week of October 2021. This will be the week before the African Microfinance Week (SAM 2021).

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General information

Dates: The online session will take place over 4 weeks, from May 17th to June 11th, 2021 and the in-person session will take place over 1 week, from October 11th to 15th, 2021 in an East African country (dates and place to be confirmed).

- For the online session: free of charge, selection on application.
- For the in-person session: the 15 best participants in the online session will be automatically accepted for the grant to participate to the in-person session. Grants to participate in the programme are available from the Luxembourg Ministry of Foreign and European Affairs. This grant includes training fees, accommodation and meals during the training week. Participants must cover all other costs (transportation, visa and all other costs).

Registration/admission: Registration closed on 29 March 2021. If you would like to receive further information on upcoming sessions, please email

Language: The online session will be held in English only. 

Working hours: The online session includes 5 modules to be completed at your own pace, with an estimated 5 to 10 hours of work per week for 4 weeks. It also includes webinars, online discussions with other participants and speakers and knowledge progress tests. 
For the in-person session, the programme will last one week and it will include in-depth training courses as well as plenary sessions. More details on the in-person programme will be provided in due time.

Contact: Nausica Fiorelli or Caroline Morilhat:


Find in this section all past editions of the Agricultural and Rural Finance (ARF) training.

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Find in this section all the reviews of participants and trainers from past editions.

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If you are interested in participating in future editions of the training, please contact



FAR2021 online - last days! Thank you to the 40 participants and 12 experts for their dedication 

10 June 2021


The FAR 2021 agricultural and rural finance programme ended yesterday with the 5th and last e-learning module on agricultural insurance and the final webinar on green microfinance.
A total of 40 participants (executives from financial institutions and government agencies) from 14 African countries took part in the training.
In addition, 12 experts from FAO, ADA, IFAD, USAID, Rabobank, Incofin, Oikocredit and Microenergy, among others, presented concrete activities and results on given themes, in order to draw lessons from best practices.

FAR 2021 training in English has started!

17 May 2021



On Monday 17 May, the first edition of the Training in agricultural and rural finance (FAR 2021) in English began. 40 participants from 14 African countries took part in the online training which will last until 11 June (4 weeks). All participants have more than 400 years of experience in microfinance and rich exchanges have already taken place on the online platform's forums.

The first module and the first webinar "The impact of Covid-19 pandemic on agricultural finance" were moderated by Massimo Pera from FAO, who is the pedagogical advisor of the programme together with Soulemane Djobo from ADA.

Participants' reviews

Olivier KwizeraOlivier Kwizera
Agri-Project Manager, AB Bank Rwanda PLC (Rwanda)

What was the most interesting, surprising, and useful aspect of the FAR training?
FAR online training provides comprehensive learning opportunity for agricultural finance, with summary reading materials and further readings to deepen the understanding of agricultural finance; the training is conducted at each participant’s own pace but extra period was added to facilitate all participants complete the program (flexibility).

How are you going to apply what you learned from this training in your organisation?
The acquired knowledge from FAR training, I will apply it to improve the loan product designed by my Financial Institution in terms of blending it with crop and livestock insurance, as well as designing more products for various interesting value chains.

If you had to summarise your experience in one sentence, what would you say? 
FAR training improved my knowledge and understanding in agricultural finance in general through direct learning from courses as well as through others’ experiences.


Asano Mah Brenda AchangohAsano Mah Brenda Achangoh
Branch Manager, Rural Investment Credit S.A (Cameroon)

What was the most interesting, surprising, and useful aspect of the FAR training?
The interactive platform for questions and answers with the opinion of participants and facilitators was so interesting. What was surprising to me was the automatic update of points on the platform each time an exercise was accomplished and the deduction of points for delay in accomplishment of task. A useful aspect I noted was the webinar seminars which could bring participants to the classroom as though it was face to face.

How are you going to apply what you learned from this training in your organisation?
I will apply what I learnt in my organisation, with the assistance of top management, as follows:
- Training seminars and workshops could be organised to build the capacity of other staff;
- I will do writeups so staff could read even at free time;
- Meetings could be held with top management so as to present positive proposals.

If you had to summarise your experience in one sentence, what would you say? 
I had a great time with the E-learning interactions, exchange of ideas and experiences, work combined with studies, assignments and  meeting was great!


Brian NyabadzaBrian Nyabadza 
Managing Director, Qupa Microfinance (Zimbabwe)

What was the most interesting, surprising, and useful aspect of the FAR training?
The most interesting aspect of the training were the insights on how to understand and cater for the various value chain players in a manner that ringfences the whole financing mechanism. While I had previously been exposed to this approach, the in-depth discussions as presented in the reading material really drove the point home, making me realise the genuine opportunity therein. A very useful thing about the course was the introduction to FAOSTAT and FINDEV databases. What was surprising was the manner in which agricultural insurance was dismantled for the comprehension of even a layman.   

How are you going to apply what you learned from this training in your organisation?
I have already begun using the product design concepts to review and update my institution's product offering. A key insight I have already used so-far is the fact that products are difficult to develop against limited customer knowledge. Our approach has as such evolved to include the customer feedback quite a lot and then iterating on the prototype. As a result, we have recently upgraded our horticultural loan product making it a bullet repayment as harvest as opposed to monthly installments that assumed other non farm income. We are struggling a bit with the core banking system and I think in the medium term it will need a replacement.

If you had to summarise your experience in one sentence, what would you say? 
The training was very insightful, the content was relevant and largely implementable.