Agri- Pro Focus Zambia is this week expected to conduct a market analysis on microfinance services in Zambia.
Agri-Pro Focus Zambia country assistant Nchimunya Kasongo said the organisation was a network of agricultural professionals initiated by finance agencies and knowledge institutes with the aim of promoting farmer entrepreneurship.
Ms Kasongo said although microfinance institutions (MFIs) provided a lending alternative to banks, the institutions seemed to face challenges in providing lending to smallholder farmers, and that was the reason why market analysis on microfinance was organised.
She said a study was commissioned to conduct a market analysis on microfinance services in Zambia led by the Centre for Microfinance (C4M)) with the objectives of generating market intelligence on the products and services offered by MFIs in Zambia.
Ms Kasongo said the study analyzed the constraints the rural target group, such as small holders, has to access micro-finance opportunities and constraints to improve the link between smallholders (SMEs) and MFIs.
“The study also provides recommendations on how to overcome constraints and take advantage of opportunities to improve financial service provision to rural communities, and analyzing the demand for micro-finance services and products in Zambia,” she said.
She said the network seeks to support farmers to become strong entrepreneurs who were able to make better informed choices for their businesses.
Ms Kasongo said it was in this context that Agri-Pro Focus organised market analysis on microfinance services in Zambia to agribusiness, micro-finance and financial sector for a dissemination and validation meeting of the preliminary results of the study.
“The Agri-Pro Focus network with its members organizes activities that support farmers in growing their business, to complement the work and allowing them to scale up their innovative approaches in supporting farmers in Zambia,” she said.
Agri-Pro Focus Zambia is hosted by SNV Netherlands development organisation in Zambia to assist members in building relationships and finding a common ground with regards to farmer entrepreneurship and food security.