Projects

Strengthening African Rural Smallholders (STARS)

The Strengthening African Rural Smallholders “STARS” project aims to break the cycle of poverty and food insecurity among 210,000 farmers, 50% of whom are women, in rural Burkina Faso, Ethiopia, Rwanda and Senegal, by facilitating access to financial markets and agricultural services.

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Background

According to the Food and Agriculture Organization, a quarter of the world’s hungry people live in Sub-Saharan Africa and 75% of those people are farmers, yet there is a wealth of opportunities for agricultural growth, innovations and varied cultivation if certain roadblocks such as access to finance are removed. Supporting small-scale farmers is thus critical to reducing food insecurity and poverty in Africa.



The Strengthening African Rural Smallholders (STARS) program, a five-year initiative of ICCO Cooperation in partnership with The MasterCard Foundation, is supporting 210,000 farmers (50% women) in rural Ethiopia, Burkina Faso, Rwanda and Senegal, access appropriate financial products by partnering with selected Microfinance Institutions.  STARS is strengthening selected value chains by providing appropriate capacity building and linkage to the right agricultural business development services so that farmers can adopt sustainable agri-business methods and become competitive players in the market.

Strengthening African Rural Smallholders (STARS)

Project plan




The “STARS” project aims to break the cycle of poverty and food insecurity among 210,000 farmers, 50% of whom are women, in rural Burkina Faso, Ethiopia, Rwanda and Senegal, by facilitating access to financial markets and agricultural services.



Sustainability

We will work with Microfinance Institutions (MFIs) to develop innovative risk-mitigating tools so that they provide the necessary loans to farmers in need for cash to diversify their crop or to buy equipment that increases their production.  


Goals overview

The STARS program works with Microfinance Institutions (MFIs) to develop innovative risk-mitigating tools so that they provide the necessary loans to farmers in need for cash to diversify their crop or to buy equipment that increases their production.  Our model has is based on three core activities:



1.To develop and implement innovative,  sector specific agriculture financial products with MFIs for smallholder farmers

2.To strengthen value chains and link smallholder farmers into these chains as well as linking them to financial services at MFIs

3.To broaden the evidence base in rural agricultural finance, value chain development and share lessons learned.


The ones helping out with this project

The donors

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