Together with the Frankfurt School of Finance and Management, we pave the Way for Agricultural Loans in Nigeria
The collaboration with the Frankfurt School of Finance & Managementwas established in spring 2020 during a visit to Germany and Luxembourg. The aim of the cooperation is to facilitate cross-border partnerships. It also aims to facilitate systemic exchange and knowledge transfer between the Nigerian Microfinance Platform (NMP) actors and best practice institutions in Europe.
AFOS partners with the Frankfurt School of Finance to align our work in Nigeria with global best practices. For example, through its Sustainable World Academy and international advisory services, the Frankfurt School works with the AFOS Foundation and the Microfinance Agricultural Learning and Development Centre (MLDC) to deliver world-class learning and development programmes. These address gaps in the microfinance sector, particularly in the promotion of sustainable agricultural credit. As AFOS Foundation, we have entered into an agreement with the Frankfurt School to facilitate the training of microfinance banks in Nigeria.
We start with a Summer School, the Microfinance Masterclass
We start with an annual summer school – a microfinance masterclass run by MLDC with the support of the AFOS Foundation during the project period. This is a mixed (physical and virtual component) four-week programme consisting of eight modules.
The classroom modules are conducted by the local advisors of the Frankfurt School of Finance & Management in Nigeria. The online sessions are conducted virtually from Frankfurt. The aim of the programme is to raise awareness of agricultural finance in the microfinance sector and to enable microfinance banks to provide sustainable loans for agriculture. It also aims to create links with smallholder farmers so that they can access agricultural credit from trained microfinance banks.
The pilot was launched in Lagos State on 28 March 2022. The introductory sessions continued first in Ibadan for the South-West Zone. The meetings for the North Central Zone will start on 5 September in the Federal Capital Territory (FCT). At each of the events in each zone, the 8 modules of the programme are completed, including during the pilot in Lagos.
Participants are important Decision-Makers
The training of 180 loan officers and managers, who are key decision makers in their respective MFBs, will be conducted in five political zones of Nigeria. The project is designed for a class size of 30 persons (2 participants per MFB). Thus, in addition to the banks that participated in the pilot in Lagos, 15 banks from each of the zones can participate.
Selected Contents that Facilitate the Granting of Agricultural Loans
Participating MFBs were selected based on the Agricultural Finance Survey for Microfinance Banks in Nigeria conducted by AFOS in October 2021. Through the training, they will better understand the challenges of agricultural lending and the success factors and experiences of microfinance banks lending to agriculture. The results of the survey are an important factor in the design of the 8 learning modules of the agricultural credit training programme. The training helps microfinance banks understand the smallholder business and agricultural finance. This is the only way to increase credit to agriculture and agricultural production in Nigeria.