Blended finance and smallholder agriculture: Lessons from an Oxfam study
When and where
The desire to understand what role blended finance can play in building inclusive agri-finance ecosystems has been a key driver of the joint effort of OECD and SAFIN partners to build a knowledge base on blended finance and agriculture in the past year. In this context, understanding what impact blended finance programmes have had so far on agri-SMEs and smallholder farmers is a critical concern. As confirmed by the blended finance and agriculture “landscape report” commissioned by the net-work in March 2019, data and analytical systems designed to measure development impact are as weak in this domain as in others where blended finance is increasingly applied, if not more.
A similar concern lies behind a recent paper by Oxfam on the theme of “Accountability Deficit? Assessing the effec-tiveness of private finance blending in ensuring that small-scale farmers are not left behind,” coauthored by Hanna Saarinen and Claire Godfrey. The paper is part of a broader effort by Oxfam to raise critical questions around the role of private finance in investing towards the Sustainable Development Goals. It looks at recent examples of blended finance projects involving development finance institutions and development partners from the European Union, the Netherlands, and the US. Its findings suggests caution in assuming likely benefits from the use of blended finance on smallholders’ access to finance and investment.
In this webinar, jointly organized by SAFIN and the FAO community of practice on rural finance, Hanna Saarinen will discuss findings and recommendations for practice and for further lines of inquiry.
Hanna Saarinen, EU Policy Advisor, Investments in agriculture, Oxfam International
Hanna Saarinen has more than 15 years of experience in private, public, and non-governmental sectors. Five of those she spent in Southeast Asia devoting herself to land rights and governance, with particular focus on strengthening the role of local civil society on land tenure issues. Since 2015, Hanna has worked for the Oxfam EU Advocacy Office in Brussels, where her mission is to influence the Euro-pean Union’s development policies related to agricultural investments and food security. Her educational background is in eco-nomics, business administration and social psychology.