Many farmers are severely constrained in crop production by a lack of access to credit. Warehouse receipts can provide the collateral needed for short-term loans, allowing farmers to store their harvests and fetch higher prices at more optimal selling times.
This month's Ag Sector Council seminar will address the evolving role of information and communications technology (ICT) and inventory credit, as manifested through warehouse receipts and e-warehouse systems. The seminar serves as a follow-up to “Warehouse Receipts for Food Security: Benefits and Challenges
”—the November 2011 Ag Sector Council event—and incorporates new learning in this area from the ICT perspective.
Panelists from USAID and the Grameen Foundation will explore the potential of warehouse receipts as a financial tool to help poor farmers. Judy Payne (USAID/BFS) will discuss how ICT can be used to strengthen collateral systems, extension services, and relationships between poor smallholder farmers and agribusinesses. Scott Heller (USAID/DCA) will provide an overview of warehouse receipt systems and their evolution over the past several years, highlighting DCA's role in agricultural finance. Lastly, Erin Connor (Grameen Foundation) will showcase an e-warehouse pilot project that aims to help smallholder farmers in Kenya optimize the income generated from their crop yields. The project, implemented in collaboration with Farm Concern International (FCI) with support from USAID, is leveraging mobile technology to provide farmers with access to finance, markets, and information on grain harvesting and storage.
USAID Bureau for Food Security
USAID Development Credit Authority