Agricultural Lending Toolkit

Expanding access to agricultural finance in Africa




USAID is a United States federal government agency primarily responsible for administering civilian foreign aid.


Increase the availability of agricultural credit by providing technical support to financial institutions wishing to establish agricultural lending units.



Three financial institutions are equipped to expand credit opportunities in the agricultural sector; they have incorporated the Agricultural Lending Toolkit methodology into their outreach strategies and are using it to segment markets, develop and deploy products, and train staff.

Through Enclude’s short-term technical assistance, Sinapi Aba Trust received tools to expand their agricultural lending and trained a dedicated team focused on the agricultural portfolio. Sinapi Aba Trust also applied the Toolkit’s market research methodology to develop a deeper understanding of the rice value chain.  Sinapi Aba Trust reports the following increases in its agricultural portfolio since receiving the Toolkit:

    • 2012 baseline: 660 clients and 148,615 GHS outstanding
    • 2013 update: 3,170 clients and  1,485,104 GHS outstanding


The Toolkit methodology is now being deployed in five commercial banks in Nigeria.


Through Sinapi Aba Trust’s use of the Toolkit, 2,500 more Ghanaian men and women received loans to grow and expand their agribusiness than in the preceding year.


Conducted market research among financial institutions in Kinshasa and Lubumbashi in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC).

Designed and authored the Toolkit with support from Chemonics International. The Toolkit details all the phases to successfully build an agricultural lending unit in a financial institution, including research and planning, credit product development, and implementation.

Field-tested the Toolkit with two commercial banks in DRC through institutional diagnostics and training sessions on agricultural value chain finance.

Field-tested the Toolkit with Sinapi Aba Trust, a leading MFI in Ghana. The testing also included an institutional diagnostic and agricultural value chain finance training sessions.

Developed an accompanying Trainer’s Guide and suite of training materials.


As we developed the USAID Agricultural Lending Toolkit and adapted its methodology within more than ten financial institutions across sub-Saharan Africa, we learned that financial institutions are largely unaware of the business potential of the agricultural sector. They are unfamiliar with the problems and realities related to production, products, and the political and economic organisation of local agriculture value chains. These experiences across diverse landscapes are the basis of our holistic approach to agricultural lending. As financial markets grow more competitive in emerging markets, it is critical to design agricultural MSME strategies in the context of the broader economy.

Sub-Saharan Africa


The exercise built our confidence in ag lending since agricultural is perceived to be a highly risky venture, hence we tailored products such as production loan, small equipment loan and marketing loan that were designed to meet actors’ needs.

Sinapi Aba Trust