14 October 2020
2 October, 2020 Son La (Vietnam) – Despite the unprecedented challenges of #COVID-19 in our work, we are glad to share that we conducted a field visit to Son La Region in Vietnam last month. This field visit was part of the smallholder lending program that is launched in June 2020, together with our consortium partners Lien Viet Post Bank (“LVPB”), VietED and GREAT.
During the field visit, FACS conducted several in-depth focus group discussions with tea and ramie smallholders, agribusiness, LVPB branch office and other stakeholders. The outcomes of the field visit included the identification of the financing need, crop cycles, cashflow and potential risk factors and mitigants. The next steps will include the development of a number of financial products specifically tailored to the cashflow capacity of tea and ramie farmers in Son La. Furthermore, a credit risk guarantee will be provided by GREAT to reduce the credit risk for LVPB in the first loan cycle and to obtain learnings that are valuable to scale up the program to other areas and supply chains.
The GREAT partnership fits well with the Financial Access strategy to reduce the large gap between the supply and demand in smallholder finance by connecting smallholder farmers in agri supply chains in a scalable manner to affordable, formal finance. Vietnam, with its large rural population and financially underserved agricultural sector, is a key focus country for Financial Access. The GREAT program offers us the opportunity to expand our activities in Vietnam and to deepen our impact in smallholder finance in Southeast Asia.