From the Editors,
We are pleased to announce that it has been a year since we have switched to the newly designed Rural Finance Learning Centre website. Since the beginning, the Rural Finance Editorial Team tries to keep up with new issues arising in rural and agricultural finance. However, we would appreciated to hear your opinion about our work and the website. Please send any comments and suggestions to the following email: firstname.lastname@example.org.
In this newsletter, we are delighted to share with you three documents worthy of your attention. Firstly, the World Bank publication Agricultural Innovation Systems: An Investment Sourcebook draws on the emerging principles of agricultural innovation system (AIS) analysis to identify, design, and implement investments, approaches, and complementary interventions that appear most likely to promote agricultural innovation and equitable growth. While the sourcebook discusses why investments in AISs are becoming so important, it gives most of its attention to how specific approaches and practices can foster innovation in a range of contexts. The information in this sourcebook derives from approaches that have been tested at different scales in different contexts. The book provides a menu of tools, operational guidance, examples, and practical lessons.
Also from the World Bank, the paper Improving the Rural Investment Climate for Businesses: Key to Rural Income Generation provides insights on farm and nonfarm enterprises collected through Rural Investment Climate (RIC) surveys in four countries: Yemen, Burkina Faso, Nigeria, and Mozambique. The report assesses the weaknesses and strengths of all RIC components, and recommends measures to address these weaknesses, identifying similar business obstacles for farm and nonfarm enterprises and critical areas for RIC improvement. The results of the RIC assessments are based on analyses of obstacles perceived by rural entrepreneurs and on RIC indicators. To have maximum synergy effects, farm and nonfarm enterprises should be promoted together.
Last but not least, the WOOCU technical guide on Using Mobile Technology to Expand Financial Inclusion: The Credit Union Experience provides an overview of how credit unions use smartphones, point-of-sale (POS) devices and cellphones to provide increasing levels of financial access and convenience to the unbanked and underserved. This guide highlights how each device fits into Credit Union’s strategy for increasing financial inclusion, touching on specific credit union experience in different countries and contexts.
With best wishes,
The RFLC Editorial Team