Capital investment of €480,000
since 2013Partner website
The Sénégalaise des Filières Alimentaires (SFA) develops an inclusive value chain from the production and marketing of rice and encourages rice production by smallholders in the Senegal River Valley as part of a long-term partnership duration. The SFA thus contributes to the autonomy objective of Senegal which still imports 75% of the rice consumed today.
Created in 2013, the SFA produces white rice from paddy cultivated by small producers in the Senegal River Valley. The company thus controls the entire value chain. It allows producers to benefit from a stable price and access to suitable financing by playing a pilot role in securing the income of producers through a model of contract farming and the development of an inclusive rice sector.
The SFA settled in the river valley to develop the local rice value chain and thus meet the national challenges of food self-sufficiency. The SFA thus participates in the promotion of local production, drawing on the country’s resources and skills. “SFA has played a big role in helping us get out of the rut by providing us with credits to grow larger areas. SFA provides us with the inputs on time and supports us. I have teamed up with my brothers to cultivate a larger field and I share the benefits with my family”. (Cheikh, producer)
SSNUP programme finances its first agricultural project in Senegal
To support small-scale farmers, the Swiss Agency for Development and Cooperation and the Luxembourg Directorate for Development Cooperation and Humanitarian Action, under the coordination of ADA, have launched the SSNUP (Smallholder Safety Net Upscaling Programme). With a budget of €55 million over 10 years, the programme aims to sustainably strengthen the safety nets of smallholder farmers in Africa, Latin America and Asia by stimulating the development of agricultural value chains.
The programme draws on the technical assistance knowledge and expertise of impact investment funds already active in this area. The Grameen Crédit Agricole Foundation is one of the impact investors in charge of the SSNUP implementation. It will provide its expertise in technical assistance to the organisations it supports – microfinance institutions and social enterprises– in order to design and develop financial and non-financial solutions for agricultural risks mitigation and transfer of the different value chain actors.
An impact agricultural project in Senegal
The first organisation supported by the Foundation within the programme is SFA (Sénégalaise des Filières Alimentaires), a social enterprise that works for the development of an inclusive rice value chain in Senegal. Created in 2013, SFA produces white rice from paddy cultivated by small producers in the Senegal River Valley. It provides them with technical support through training on best agricultural practices and facilitates their access to the market and to financing by putting them in relation with local lenders.
Despite the technical support provided by SFA, the small-scale producers’ yields remained below their potential. This is mainly because farmers are still reluctant to implement the agricultural practices promoted by SFA without experiencing their positive effects first.
The SSNUP will strengthen this technical support for producers through a technical assistant mission with a budget of €11,000. This 6-month project aims to create 20 demonstration fields in SFA’s operation areas, in which best agricultural practices will be implemented. These reference fields will allow training some sixty producers on the best practices to optimise their production and to demonstrate to all producers in the area the positive impacts of these practices on agricultural yields and production quality. Exchange sessions and training led by the trained producers will enable them to share their learning with over 2,000 small-scale producers.
The expected results of this project are based on 3 pillars: capacity building of the trained farmers; increasing production and its quality for the trained farmers; increasing the income of the trained farmers and their households. This high impact project will contribute directly to the rice value chain development and food security in Senegal.
The Foundation has signed a new financing agreement with SFA
The Grameen Crédit Agricole Foundation has signed a new financing agreement with the Sénégalaise des Filières Alimentaires (SFA), a partner of the Foundation since 2013, in the form of an equity investment. With this new equity investment amounting to € 137,000, the Foundation consolidates its support to SFA, a social company that develops an inclusive value chain through the production and commercialisation of rice.
The SFA supports the production of quality rice by small farmers in the Senegal River Valley through long-term contract farming arrangements and by giving them access to financing and technical support. The paddy is transformed in white rice and is sold on the Senegalese market under the brand Terral. Thus, the SFA contributes to the goal of self-sufficiency in Senegal, which today depends on imports for over 75% of its rice.
Created in 2008, under the joint impetus of the directors of Crédit Agricole S.A. and Professor Yunus, winner of the 2006 Nobel Peace Prize and founder of the Grameen Bank, the Grameen Crédit Agricole Foundation is a multi-business operator that contributes to the fight against poverty through financial inclusion and entrepreneurship with a social impact. As an investor, lender, technical assistance coordinator and fund advisor, the Foundation supports microfinance institutions and social enterprises in nearly 40 countries.
A first successful year for the Solidarity bankers programme
By Carolina Herrera, Grameen Crédit Agricole Foundation
At the initiative of the Grameen Crédit Agricole Foundation and Crédit Agricole S.A., Solidarity bankers missions are offered to Crédit Agricole Group employees on behalf of microfinance institutions or companies with a social impact supported by the Foundation.
Senegal, Morocco, Haiti… : a great success for the first year
Less than a year after its launch in 2018, the success of the program confirms the commitment and willingness of employees to support projects with a social impact. This is the first time that a partnership of this type has been launched by Crédit Agricole and the Grameen Crédit Agricole Foundation. The objective is twofold: on the one hand, to enhance the skills of Crédit Agricole Group employees and, on the other hand, to provide additional support to the Foundation’s microfinance institutions and partner companies with one- to two-week missions in the field.
In 2018, six missions were launched, three of which were carried out in 2018 and three planned for 2019. For example, a mission took place in Cambodia with the support of Crédit Agricole’s International Retail Banking (BPI) to support the human resources management of Chamroeun, a partner microfinance institution serving more than 27,500 clients. Another mission was carried out in Senegal, in partnership with Crédit Agricole Franche-Comté, in favour of Laiterie du Berger, a social enterprise in which the Foundation is a shareholder. In addition, with the support of the Regional Bank, the Solidarity Banker who carried out the mission left for 2 years to support Kossam, the Dairy’s project to structure the dairy sector in Senegal.
A mission launched in 2018 will be carried out in July 2019 in cooperation with Crédit du Maroc and Crédit Agricole SA to improve the Al Karama Foundation’s anti-money laundering and anti-terrorist financing systems (AML-FT). The institution currently supports more than 26,200 clients in Morocco. Another mission launched in 2018 will be carried out in Haiti to support Palmis Enèji, a social enterprise that offers clean and accessible cooking and lighting solutions to Haitian households. Crédit Agricole Corporate Investment Bank supports the Solidarity Banker, who will carry out the entire mission in terms of skills sponsorship.
Cambodia, Kenya, Tajikistan… in 2019 the programme scales up
To date, six missions have been launched in 2019. A mission in favour of Kossam, the Laiterie du Berger project, which aims to develop a sustainable dairy sector in Senegal. The Solidarity Banker will be responsible for supporting Kossam in the deployment of a digital “commcare collection” application. Another mission is planned to support the financial management and organizational structure of Cirque Phare (PPSE) in Cambodia. PPSE aims to promote the social inclusion and empowerment of young people through Cambodian culture and arts. A mission will take place in favour of ACRE Africa, which provides crop insurance services to smallholders. The Solidarity Banker will be responsible for analysing the organisation’s new business strategy.
For these first missions launched in 2019, the selection process for Solidarity Bankers has been finalised. To date, three new missions are to be filled: a mission to support the “business model” of Humo, a microfinance institution in Tajikistan; a “management control” mission to support Musoni, a microfinance institution in Kenya; and a “digital” mission to support SFA, a social enterprise in Senegal.
Other missions are currently being planned with the support of the Crédit Agricole Group’s entities and Regional Banks. With this scheme, the Group reaffirms its commitment to support employees’ solidarity initiatives and work alongside the Foundation to promote more inclusive and sustainable finance.
In 2018, the Foundation consolidated its presence in West Africa with 8 new loans
In the course of the previous year, the Grameen Crédit Agricole Foundation strengthened its presence in West Africa with 8 new loans, 3 of which to new partners.
In Mali, the Foundation financed Kafo Jiginew, a cooperative network of savings and loans banks that provides retail financial services (savings, loans, microinsurance, transfer of funds and other services) to the largest number of persons in Mali to improve their living conditions. The institution has 48,000 working clients at this time, 92% of whom live in rural areas. The Foundation granted a loan in local currency equivalent to €3 million over five years to this institution.
In Benin, the Foundation granted a loan in local currency equivalent to €1.4 million to a new partner, PEBCo Bethesda which is geared to improving the living conditions of people by providing quality financial and non-financial services. The institution provides loans to groups and individuals. It has ca. 95,000 active borrowers, 64% of whom are women and 33% live in rural areas.
In Togo, the Foundation also financed a new partner, Assilassimé, with a loan in CFA francs equivalent to €500,000. Assilassimé is a programme created in 2012 by Entrepreneurs du Monde for marginalized people. The institution provides them financial (microcredit) and non-financial (training, individualized support, social media optimization) services. It has nearly 30,000 clients at this time, some 97% of whom are women.
In Burkina Faso, the Foundation moreover made three investments in existing partners in 2018, bringing the total amount of its commitments in that country to more than €4 million, or 13.8% of its commitments in Sub-Saharan Africa at the end of December 2018. More specifically, ACFIME received a loan in CFA francs equivalent to €305,000 over a period of three years. This is a microfinancial institution that helps to bridge the gap not covered by large MFIs which operate across the country, with loans granted by ACFIME having a very strong potential social impact. It has 18,600 clients at this time, 90% of whom are women. For its part, PAMF-BF received a loan in local currency equivalent to €1 million over a period of three years. The core activity of the institution, which has some 28,400 clients, is to grant loans in Burkina Faso so as to help meet better the financial needs of low-income segments of the population with reinforced protection or their members or users. Finally, ACEP Burkina received a loan in local currency equivalent to €1.5 million over a period of three years. Acep is a microfinance institution specialized in the financing of microenterprises and very small existing companies in urban centres and their inner suburbs. The credits granted are intended essentially to finance the working capital and investment needs. The institution has 11,000 active borrowers at this time.
Finally, in Senegal, the Foundation granted a loan in local currency equivalent to €762,000 to Caurie Microfinance, a socially responsible and financially viable MFI geared to making a lasting contribution to the economic and social promotion of poor microentrepreneurs, mainly women. Caurie has 71,000 clients at this time, 98% of whom are women. The Foundation has also granted a €100,000 loan to Sénégalaise des Filières Alimentaires in the form of a shareholders’ current account. SFA is a social business which is developing an inclusive value chain from the production and marketing of rice, in which the Foundation has had a shareholding stake since 2013.