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4 Conclusion

In order to develop agricultural and rural finance into a relevant tool to contribute to food security, a holistic approach is needed that addresses not only the farmers' need for finance, but also the investment and finance needs of further actors in the value chain. To include these actors is particularly important since they can make an important contribution to reduce the food losses that occur after harvesting, thus helping to make more food available in the market which potentially may also bring prices down for consumers.

The role of the state, particularly for investments in rural transport infrastructure, needs to be re-emphasized. Getting infrastructure conditions right contributes significantly to both food production and reduction of post-harvest losses.

The financial sector has not done its homework yet: Innovative approaches how to employ public-private partnerships in order to finance public goods and joint service provision for actors in the agricultural value chain remain limited. Only a limited number of banks and microfinance institutions have so far developed and implemented adequate risk assessment and risk management tools in order to increase lending to farmers and other actors in the value chain which all are subject to specific (covariant) agricultural risks. And only a limited number of banks and microfinance institutions have reached a level of efficiency in process organization – which is interlinked with product design – that allows for deeper outreach into rural areas.

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