The objective of the 4th European Microfinance Award "Microfinance for Food Security" is to highlight and stimulate initiatives that represent breakthroughs in promoting food security.
The prize of €100,000 will be awarded on 15th November 2012, during European Microfinance Week.
The Award wants to focus on finance initiatives that can enhance agricultural production, productivity and diversification, support food transformation, increase women’s access to agriculture productive means, strengthen distribution networks, ensure adequate food storage and preservation, enhance commercialisation, support defence mechanisms for speculating attacks in situations of price fluctuation, that can contribute to build ‘shock-absorber’ systems avoiding pre and post-harvest food crop loss and that can foster organic and sustainable farming.
The challenge of improving food security is complex and, at the same time the stakes are high for financial institutions that support the needs of small farmers. Many MFIs are curbing their agricultural portfolios due to the risks imposed. A big challenge facing rural financial institutions is to reduce transaction costs, mitigate the risk of the loan portfolio, and find new forms of guarantees. Innovative interventions tackling these challenges are an important focus of this award.
The closing date for applications is 1st July 2012.