SEFAS facilitates relationships between organic and sustainable producer organisations and financial service providers in Central America. 

Origin

SEFAS has its beginnings in a study carried out by  the Centre for Rural Development Studies (CDR) in 2007.

The study identified the main obstacles to the growth of organic agriculture in Central America. The lack of financing possibilities adequately adapted to the sector´s needs stood out as a fundamental obstacle.

SEFAS complements the work of technical assistance programs specialising in improving market access, by facilitating producer organisations´ access to financing, and thereby also improving their links with markets.



Strategy

SEFAS fosters the rapprochement between organic and sustainable producer organisations and the services offered by financial entities. In the long term it aims to reduce the dependence on an ever-scarcer international cooperation and donor funding, and replace it with more time-resistant models characterised by autonomy and sustainability in the organic and sustainable production sectors. The strategy promotes an integral articulation between sellers, technical assistance providers, organised producers and financial service providers.  It contributes to risk-reduction for the producer and financial service providers and to capacity building for demand response and market access.

Target Groups

  • Organised organic or sustainable producers: with access to (or the possibility of accessing) export markets, supermarkets, local markets and fairs.
  • Financial service providers: that aspire to promote environmentally and socially sustainable production by financing the economic activities of said organised producers.
  • Companies: that commercialise organic and sustainable products.

Specific Objectives

For Financial Entities: Promote knowledge and understanding of the organic and sustainable sectors as potential clients, in order that these institutions may begin or improve their services to this sector. Contribute to risk and cost reduction of the financing of organic and sustainable agriculture through technical assistance and financial product design.  Favour women producers´ access to credit

For Producers and Traders: Create financial service and credit-negotiation capacity by improving organisational capacity, business strategy, and knowledge and understanding of the financial sector, with the aim of  creating bankable potential credit clients. Improve organisational capacity and economies of scale.

 

Services Offered by SEFAS
  • Systematisation and dissemination of existing models for sustainable agriculture financing.
  • Active promotion of links between producer organisations and financial institutions, through specially designed workshops and direct linking and assistance in negotiations.
  • Strategic alliance meeting platform for financial institutions, producer organisations, buyers, and technical assistance providers.
  • Information about the organic and sustainable agriculture sectors, designed for the financial sector.
  • Information about the financial sector, designed for the organic and sustainable agriculture sectors.
  • Technical assistance for producers in finance-related topics, preparation for access to finance.
  • Technical assistance to financial service providers in credit product design for sustainable agriculture.

See Activities and Services for more information

 

 

 



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