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Linking women small-scale farmers and microentrepreneurs in rural Peru with formal value chains

Jul 9, 2014

The Multilateral Investment Fund (MIF), a member of the Inter-American Development  Bank (IDB) Group, recently approved a technical cooperation grant of more than $900,000 for a project with the Fortalecer Savings and Credit Cooperative in Peru that will give 1,500  small-scale rural farmers access to tailored financing, improve their skills and products, and link them to profitable markets. The project is focused on women farmers and seeks to address additional hurdles they face in conducting their business. 

Agriculture is the most important economic sector in many rural areas of Peru. Despite the sector’s prominence, small-scale producers and microentrepreneurs involved in agricultural value chains receive low incomes from their production. The low incomes are linked to the low competitiveness of rural small-scale producers, which in turn is driven by three central problems: limited access to tailored financing, low productivity, and poor linkages to markets. For women small-scale producers, the obstacles are even greater, since many of them do not own land and have limited access to financing, productive assets, and technology. Additionally, they bear the main responsibility for the non-remunerated work of caring for children and other household activities. 

To address these challenges, the approved project will work in three main areas. First, it will support the design and launch of new credit products adapted to rural farmers’ needs. Second, it will provide training for them to improve their productivity. Finally, the project will give women farmers better access to technical assistance and financial education.

The MIF will help improve the productivity of farmers to integrate them into formal value chains and give them access to profitable markets. Moreover, it will develop Fortalecer’s capability for financing rural value chains. In turn, Fortalecer will support the work of 10 first-tier microfinance institutions that will channel funding to rural producers in 14 value chains. Each value chain will be selected based on its product, its market, and its production process, as well as the rural components of the process and the participation of women.

This project complements a Social Entrepreneurship Program (SEP) loan of $1 million that aims to provide medium- and long-term financing to Peruvian rural value chains. The SEP’s financial contribution will be essential to strengthen partner institutions and to enhance the productivity of farmers and give them access to profitable markets through tailored financing.

In addition to financial support, this project will generate new knowledge about how second‐tier and first‐tier financial institutions can promote tailored agricultural finance while accounting for the gender makeup of rural value chains.

About the MIF

The Multilateral Investment Fund (MIF), a member of the Inter-American Development Bank (IDB) Group, is funded by 39 donors and supports private sector-led development benefiting low-income populations and the poor—their businesses, their farms, and their households. The aim is to give them tools to boost their incomes: access to markets and the skills to compete in those markets, access to finance, and access to basic services, including green technology. A core MIF mission is to act as a development laboratory—experimenting, pioneering, and taking risks to build and support successful micro, small, and medium business models. More information can be found at

About Fortalecer

The Fortalecer Savings and Credit Cooperative is a second‐tier financial institution that began operations in 2000. Fortalecer provides financial and non‐financial services to partner institutions that target low-income populations. A large proportion (70 percent) of members’ loan portfolios is composed of enterprises run by women, 51 percent of which are located in rural areas. Fortalecer has established partnerships with both national and international institutions that promote inclusive economic and social development in rural and marginal urban areas of Peru. More information can be found at 
«November 2020»