Members of the Council on Smallholder Agricultural Finance (CSAF) have provided USD 682 million in loans to 774 businesses in 65 countries during 2016. This financing helped to fuel an estimated USD 7.6 billion in combined annual revenue for these, which connected 2.3 million smallholder farmers in developing countries to local and international markets. 

Established in 2014, CSAF convenes the world's leading agricultural lenders, including Triodos Investment Management, to exchange ideas, identify best practices, and develop industry standards. Its members are focused on creating a thriving, sustainable, and transparent financial market to serve the financing needs of agricultural SMEs in low- and middle-income countries.

Michael van den Berg, Fund Manager Triodos Sustainable Trade Fund, is actively involved in this industry initiative: “One of the 2016 highlights is the 44% increase in lending to African agricultural businesses. This demonstrates that it is possible to finance these businesses that are often excluded from the formal financial system, as they are viewed as too small or too risky. 2016 was also a challenging year. Especially when it comes to overall credit risk. All CSAF members, including Triodos Investment Management, experienced that the businesses we finance are exposed to complex and often interrelated challenges. Increasingly unpredictable climatic conditions and extreme weather events, volatile market prices, and shifting tax and trade policies have a ripple effect throughout agricultural supply chains. This only strengthens our commitment to continue to support the growth and development of a diverse finance market for agricultural businesses, thereby catalysing the huge benefits this brings for millions of small-scale farmers.” 

To learn more about the trends, opportunities and challenges associated with smallholder agricultural finance, visit or download the full 2016 State of the Sector report below.

CSAF Sector Report 2017 Document 4.1 MB