From December 3-5, the Trade Hub teamed with Coris Bank International to train 16 bank staff and the Hub’s Burkinabe Financial Advisors on “Financing of Agribusiness Value Chains” in Ouagadougou, Burkina Faso.
Jean-Francois Guay, the Hub’s Finance and Investment Team Lead, and Gerard Mariotte, an international finance consultant, developed and led the training modules for the seminar. Participants learned about different agribusiness value chains, the risks involved in awarding agribusiness loans, and how to structure financing mechanisms—all information that financial advisors need to build a company’s risk profile and reject or approve loan applications.
“I found the participants fully engaged in the training,” said Guay. “As a trainer and finance practitioner, I was impressed by the level of interest and involvement of the participants. I expect Coris Bank to provide more agribusiness lending in the years to come.”
This seminar is an important step in facilitating access to finance for Burkinabe agriculture producers. In Burkina Faso, agriculture contributes 34% of the country’s GDP; however, more than 80% of the rural population practices subsistence agriculture, leading farmers to search for opportunities to scale up production and increase their income from agriculture. However, lack of access to finance prevents the sector from rapid growing. Trainings like this bridge the financing gap between producers and banks.
In September 2016, the Trade Hub signed an agreement to provide technical assistance to the bank in four countries to build the bank’s knowledge of agro-processing and light manufacturing in West Africa. This direct technical assistance is expected to facilitate $20 million in financing for small and medium enterprises in the agribusiness sector.