On 5-6 May 2019, SAFIN, the International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI) and the Inter-American Institute for Cooperation in Agriculture (IICA) co-hosted a forum in San José, Costa Rica to discuss the policy, institutional and market challenges in the agri-finance ecosystems of countries in Latin America and the Caribbean.
The forum was organized to take stock of key issues around the ongoing evolution of agri-finance institutions in the region, which have been the subject of less recent comparative analyses than other regions. The discussion was framed by a paper prepared by IFPRI and IICA, which offered a historical snapshot of the development of agri-finance institutions in the region, raising some key questions for a future-oriented knowledge agenda.
The event was attended by officials and experts from state-owned banks, para-statal financial institutions, the private sector, farmers' organizations, and cooperatives from across the region as well as SAFIN partners including Fundación Capital, Oiko Credit, and the Americas office of the International Cooperative Alliance.
The audience confirmed the questions raised in the IFPRI/IICA paper and crafted a knowledge and action agenda to support the needed transformation in food systems in the region, specifically regarding the roles of second and first tier institutions specialized in agricultural or rural finance and the various trajectories of fintech and value chain finance.
The participants expressed appreciation for the space for knowledge sharing provided by the event. SAFIN and other co-organizers will build upon this in the coming months.