Training Toolkit Overview

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1 Introduction The Training Toolkit for Financial Market Assessments for the Agricultural Sector (FMAAS) provides trainer support and learning materials designed to introduce market assessment principles and tools to financial institution staff and professionals working in the agricultural sector. Drawing on the experiences of developing country financial institutions that have successfully increased and maintained their delivery of agricultural finance, the toolkit offers five dynamic learning modules containing presentations, case studies, exercises, discussion materials, and assessment tools, all supported by detailed trainer notes for delivering content using a participatory, objective-based learning methodology. FMAAS TRAINING OBJECTIVES By the end of the Financial Market Assessments for the Agricultural Sector training, learners will: Recognize critical challenges in the development of agricultural finance products and the role of financial market assessment in overcoming those challenges Analyze the strategies through which financial institutions are sustainably delivering agricultural finance Identify principles, data sources and tools that can be used to estimate the demand for agricultural finance products, and design and deliver these products in a cost-effective manner Examine the opportunities and limitations of public private collaboration for increasing access to agricultural finance How to use this overview This overview provides information to potential learners, training providers and sponsors about how the Training Toolkit for Financial Market Assessments for the Agricultural Sector (FMAAS) can help them meet their objectives for learning about, or providing training or support in agricultural finance. It explains why FMAAS training is important, describes how learners, trainers, and sponsoring institutions can benefit from the Training Toolkit, and outlines the training content, structure, and methodology. In this overview, you will find answers to the following questions: 1. Why is the FMAAS training important? 2. How can learners, training providers and sponsors use FMAAS training? 3. How is the training organized and what materials are provided for learners and trainers? 4. What is the training methodology? 5. What background do participants need in order to benefit from the training? 6. How can the FMAAS training be adapted to meet your needs? 7. What evaluation and post-training follow-up tools does the toolkit include? 8. What are the main module themes and takeaways? FMAAS 1

2 1. Why is FMAAS training important? Given the importance of the rural economy and the agricultural sector for economic growth and poverty reduction, rural and agricultural finance are now being widely acknowledged as the main frontiers of financial systems development. (Agricultural Finance: trends, issues and challenges, GIZ, p. 8) With growing evidence that agricultural markets in developing countries are expanding, many investors, including rural households and smallholder families, are working hard to increase agricultural productivity and sustainability. The promise of agricultural markets for poverty-reducing economic growth is gaining recognition among donors, governments, and policy makers. But a large agricultural finance gap remains in the provision of credit and other financial services for agricultural stakeholders and rural households. Most financial institutions have traditionally considered agricultural finance especially for smallholder farmers too risky and difficult to be profitable. This perception has been fueled by weak enabling environments and unfamiliarity with both rural market and client conditions, and commercially-successful approaches to addressing agricultural finance needs. Now, more favourable market conditions, increasing investor demand, and supportive public sector policies and programs are encouraging banks and other financial institutions to explore new ways to provide sustainable, profitable financial services to this growing market segment. The FMAAS Training Toolkit offers the skills and knowledge in financial market assessment that banking staff, government officials, NGO technical assistance providers, and others need to respond to the agricultural finance gap and help rural investors capitalize on expanding agricultural markets to earn better incomes and improve their well-being. 2. Financial Market Assessments for the Agricultural Sector targets executives and other officials from financial institutions or public organizations who can use its principles and tools to shape:! product design and delivery strategies for financing agricultural activities with growth potential and! public interventions facilitating access to agricultural finance as part of the mixed bundle of financial and nonfinancial services required by poorer rural households. How can learners, training providers and sponsors use FMAAS training? FMAAS 2

3 Learners Learners are those who want to participate in a training that would increase their knowledge and skills about FMAAS and enable them to apply best practice to the development, improvement or expansion of agricultural financial services by financial institutions. Managers and professional staff in the banking and financial services industry, involved in the design and delivery of financial services products for agricultural finance, will learn how to develop cost-effective, profitable product design and delivery strategies for financing agricultural activities with growth potential. Managers, officials and policy makers in regional, national, and local government ministries and financial sector supervision and regulatory bodies, with a mandate related to enabling sustainable and inclusive rural financial systems, and rural and agricultural market development, will learn to shape policy interventions that facilitate access to agricultural finance. Private, public and non-governmental technical assistance providers involved in supporting access to finance and rural economic development will learn how to support financial institutions and the public sector in achieving their agricultural finance objectives. Training Providers Training providers are trainers, training institutions and projects that already know about FMAAS and are looking for tools to help them build capacity in others. Training providers include trainers of banks, microfinance organizations, and other public, private and NGO financial services providers involved in agricultural finance product design and delivery, and rural financial inclusion, as well as training and institutional capacity building organizations supporting capacity building for client-centred agricultural finance product design and delivery, agricultural value chain finance, rural financial inclusion, and/or public private partnerships for finance and rural economic development. By using the FMAAS training toolkit, these training providers will have access to a comprehensive package of training materials for empowering participants with the knowledge, skills and abilities they need to pursue viable solutions for increasing access to agricultural finance. Sponsors Sponsors are public and private organizations that are interested in supporting agricultural development and might be interested in financing training events, supporting learners, or recommending this training to projects and partners that might find it useful. FMAAS 3

4 International development donors, UN and other multilateral organizations, foundations and NGOs supporting development programming in areas such as access to finance, sustainable agricultural, rural livelihoods, women and youth economic empowerment, agricultural and value chain market development, and rural public-private partnerships, can sponsor or recommend FMAAS training in order to help promote access to agricultural finance through capacity development within their project partners. International and domestic private businesses and their corporate social responsibility (CSR) units involved in supporting access to agricultural finance for the expansion of rural market shares and/or the promotion of rural economic development, can sponsor or recommend FMAAS training to help promote access to agricultural finance as a direct or complementary outcome that contributes to their commercial and/or CSR objectives. 3. How is the training organized, and what materials are provided for trainers and learners? The Financial Market Assessments for the Agricultural Sector training is based on five interrelated modules (see Figure 1 below) covering topics that underpin the design and delivery of market-based agricultural finance products. Figure 1: FMAAS Modules Under the guidance of a training facilitator, participants work through each module using slidebased lectures, class discussions, case studies or handout exercises, and supplementary readings and FMAAS 4

5 reference materials for further study. This favours an interactive exploration of key issues to heighten relevance to participants specific training objectives. By the end of the FMAAS training, participants will: 1. Recognize critical challenges in the development of agricultural finance products and the role of financial market assessment in overcoming those challenges, 2. Analyze the strategies through which financial institutions are sustainably delivering agricultural finance, 3. Identify principles, data sources and tools that can be used to estimate the demand for agricultural finance products and design and deliver these products in a cost-effective manner, 4. Examine the opportunities and limitations of public private collaboration for increasing access to agricultural finance. Most of the modules include teaching blocks of 45 minutes to an hour each, with an equivalent time for case study discussions and/or exercises (see Table 1 below). All modules end with a 15 minute wrap-up and question and answer session. Table 1: FMAAS modules, duration and objectives Module 1: Analyzing agricultural markets Duration: 2 hours 50 min Module 2 : Principles for the design of agricultural finance products Duration: 2 hours 15 min Module 3: Tailoring a financial risk management strategy for the agricultural portfolio Duration: 2 hours 15 min Module 4: Defining a cost-effective product delivery strategy Duration: 2 hours Module 1 objectives - by the end of this module participants will: 1. Analyze recent market trends in agriculture and agricultural finance 2. Differentiate between agricultural finance and general finance from a client s perspective 3. Identify four weaknesses in the current supply of agricultural finance 4. Examine data sources and an analytical process that can be used to identify growing clients niches in the agricultural sector and estimate market size Module 2 objectives - by end of this module participants will: 1. Examine common financing needs for clients engaged in different agricultural value chain segments 2. Recognize critical complementarities between general finance and agricultural finance products 3. Identify opportunities for market insights to inform the design of products that have a strong value proposition 4. Apply lessons learned to create a process for gathering market insights that can inform effective product design and delivery Module 3 objectives - by the end of this module participants will: 1. Identify risks that are unique to agricultural finance 2. Build a process for embedding risk management into product design 3. Analyze strategies and tools being used by financial institutions to manage risk in agricultural finance products 4. Compare strategies for covering the cost of risk management Module 4 objectives - by the end of this module participants will: 1. Articulate three common principles for cost-effective delivery of agricultural finance products 2. Draw lessons from institutions varied approaches to financial product delivery 3. Identify major factors influencing the financial viability of a delivery FMAAS 5

6 Module 5: Publicprivate collaboration potential to launch agricultural finance products Duration: 1 hour 50 min strategy 4. Design a product delivery strategy that applies lessons learned This final module ends with a training-wrap up. Module 5 objectives - by the end of this module participants will: 1. Review recent incentives that drive public and private sector interest in working together to promote rural and agricultural financial services 2. Compare roles played by public and private actors in recent innovative collaboration models 3. Debate the role and effectiveness of subsidies in enabling agricultural finance 4. Share ideas for applying at least one new principle, process or tool acquired during this training in each of the participant s context As detailed in the module-specific facilitators guides, modules are structured to give facilitators flexibility to choose which components to include based on the time available and participants needs and interests. A Master Case Study Guide provides facilitators with details of case studies of varied lengths covering a variety of regions, sectors, and products, which permit them to tailor modules according to the particular training context, duration, and target participants. The training toolkit includes everything required to present the FMAAS training. Table 2 lists the materials that the trainer can provide to participants, as well additional materials that the trainer can use to deliver and adapt the training based on learner characteristics and objectives, geographic location, and the time available for providing the training. Table 2: Training Toolkit Content Training Toolkit Content for Participants for Trainers Training Materials (General) 2.1 Glossary and Acronyms Table 2.2 References Table 2.3 Training Evaluation Summary 2.4 Certificate of Completion (upon completion) 3. Training Materials (By Module) 3.1 Slides 3.2 Handouts (H) / Case-Studies (E) 3.3. Recommended Readings 3.4 Evaluation Form 4. Facilitators Guide (F) 4.1 Guide (By Module) 5. Supplementary Training Materials 5.1 Master Case-Study Guide Note: Letters in brackets are used to identify different materials handouts (H), case study exercises (E) and facilitators guides (F) During the training, participants will receive printed copies of the relevant materials. Electronic copies on CD Rom or memory stick will also be provided, with training materials organized by FMAAS 6

7 folder for each module, containing the slide presentations, handouts (case studies and/or exercises) and recommended readings. An initial introductory folder will contain this training toolkit overview, the glossary and reference documents. 4. What is the training methodology? FMAAS trainers provide learners with international best practice course content through slidebased lectures, with examples, handouts and case studies based on real life examples from all regions of the world to highlight how sustainable and inclusive agricultural financial services can be delivered. Trainers have access to a package of case studies from Africa, Asia and Latin America, reflecting different contexts and approaches to the delivery of a variety of financial services, including credit, insurance, and leasing. Modules are structured so that trainers can select different case studies to ensure the best fit with participants needs. As facilitators provide an overview of each topic and highlight issues through an examination of these materials, participants are encouraged to share their own experiences regarding what works and what does not in the context of agricultural finance markets, and to related course content to their own jobs and responsibilities. The training follows a participatory, objective-based learning methodology based on five principles of adult learning (see Appendix 1: How the Financial Market Assessments for the Agricultural Sector Training responds to adult learning principles). Module slides and the facilitator s guide clearly outline the objectives of each module and conclude with key takeaways. All presentations and activities are structured around meeting these objectives and reinforcing learning through a variety of approaches. Each module is designed to be presented over a period of between 1.5 and 3 hours, meaning the entire training could be delivered over a period of 2 to 3 days, although the training is designed to have breaks in between modules to facilitate review after some period of rest (i.e., deliver one module per day over a course of five mornings or evenings, or schedule breaks in between modules). The modules are divided between teaching blocks and time for case study discussions and/or exercises. Each module begins with an overview of the previous module s key messages (takeaways), giving trainers an opportunity to assess participant recall and fill in any blanks. Modules end with a key takeaway discussion and question and answer period, to provide trainers and participants with an opportunity to revisit earlier material and correct misunderstandings. 5. What background do participants need in order to benefit from the training? To fully benefit from the Financial Market Assessments for the Agricultural Sector training, participants should have a basic understanding of financial services and rural finance concepts. These may include agricultural finance, value chain finance, microfinance, development finance, banking and/or rural economic development. Some knowledge of agricultural market development services and agribusiness would also be helpful. 6. How can the FMAAS training be adapted to meet your needs? FMAAS 7

8 The Financial Market Assessments for the Agricultural Sector training is presented in the form of a training program toolkit that is easily adaptable for various settings and contexts. In its basic format, the toolkit is suited to workshop/classroom based presentations to financial services and policy professionals. Materials do not require internet connectivity although video options are presented if technology and bandwidth permit. The workshop based approach could easily be supplemented by practical field excursions (e.g. to visit an active agricultural finance provider or discuss with smallholder farmer stakeholders) and/or panel discussions with practitioners, academics and others. The training could also be presented in more formal, academic settings, using referenced materials, recommended readings and longer case studies for review. Students could be provided with specific exercises in agricultural market assessment, financial product design and delivery, risk management analysis, and structuring of possible public-private collaboration opportunities. The facilitator`s guide and accompanying master case-study guide contain different options that enable trainers to adapt both the timing of the training and its content to accommodate different time constraints (2, 3, 4 or 5 days); regional preferences (Africa, Asia and Latin America), and product orientations (credit, insurance, leasing, etc.). 7. What evaluation and post-training follow-up tools does the toolkit include? The FMAAS training kit contains an end of course evaluation form in which participants are asked to share their thoughts and suggestions on the structure, content, and delivery of the training. The evaluation will enable trainers and the FAO to gather feedback to inform the delivery of future courses and to include suggestions on content and improvements for subsequent versions of the training toolkit and new training products. Each module begins with an overview of the preceding module s key messages, giving trainers an opportunity to assess participant recall and fill in any blanks. Similarly, the end-of-module wrap-up and question and answer periods enable trainers and participants to revisit earlier material and correct misunderstandings. If desired, a short test using essay or multiple-choice options may be prepared to examine participant recall and enable participants to monitor achievements during the training. Similarly, a test may be provided at the end of the training to allow participants to demonstrate their understanding of the training content. The peer engagement which takes place during the modules, and the references and recommended readings provided in the toolkit are expected to generate opportunities for participants to reach out to their peers and engage in relevant communities of practice. At a future date, the FAO expects to develop a post-training alumni network and facilitate ongoing sharing of experiences and professional development. Finally, using a human resources management approach, supervisors or HR departments could debrief participants following the training and hold them accountable for training their peers and/or applying the knowledge/skills learned. 8. What are the main module themes and takeaways? Table 3: FMAAS themes and takeaways Module 1: Analyzing Themes: Opening; Market trends; The opportunities; Analysing markets to agricultural markets identify a specific target group; Closing FMAAS 8

9 Module 2: Principles for the design of agricultural finance products Module 3: Tailoring a financial risk management strategy for the agricultural portfolio Module 4: Defining a cost-effective product delivery strategy Module 5: Publicprivate collaboration potential to launch agricultural finance products Key Takeaways 1. Quantitative analysis can help identify target markets engaged in agricultural value chains with growth potential. 2. Quantitative analysis reduces the scope of the product design process, making it more manageable 3. The growing availability of quantitative data makes the analysis of agricultural financial markets more cost-effective. 4. Financial institutions should screen potential market opportunities for alignment with their mission and comparative advantage. Themes: Opening; Value proposition in context; Product design in practice; Casestudy exercise; Closing Key Takeaways 1. Financial market assessment helps financial institutions design products with a value proposition that is better than the current scenario. 2. To build a strong value proposition, one must understand individual clients needs as well as their relationships with key value chain stakeholders. 3. Qualitative research techniques, such as in-depth interviews and rapid prototyping, are critical to cost-effective product design. 4. Prototype testing is an iterative process that should include clients and key stakeholders affected by clients use of the product. Themes: Opening; Agricultural risk management in context; Risk identification processes; Portfolio risk; Cost-effective mitigation; Case-study exercise; Closing Key Takeaways 1. For an agricultural finance product to be sustainable, risk management must be embedded in its design. 2. Leveraging existing capacities and tools helps minimize the cost of embedded risk management. 3. Even when risks are properly assessed, mitigation measures may lie outside a financial institution s capacity. 4. Financial market assessment should identify the most relevant risks as well as potential partners with informational and risk management advantages. 5. Risk management in product design is an iterative process that continues even after the product is launched. Themes: Opening; Common principles; Non-financial services; Management expectations; Case-study exercise; Closing Key Takeaways 1. To facilitate cost-effective product delivery, use local channels and build winwin collaborative relationships. 2. Transfer the cost of non-financial services away from financial institutions to specialized partners. 3. Since cost-effective solutions are often found in unexpected places, financial market assessment needs to identify all relationships and communication channels in a targeted market. 4. Knowing management expectations on rates of return and profits at the beginning of the process will enable the design of a feasible delivery strategy. Themes: Opening; Reviewing the investment landscape; Collaboration examples; Collaboration summed up; Module closure; Full training closure FMAAS Key Takeaways 1. The business and development case for including agricultural finance in the portfolio of products offered to poor rural households has never been stronger. 2. There are welfare-improving business opportunities for formal financial institutions to capture market share from the informal sector currently dominating agricultural financial markets FMAAS 9

10 3. The experience of for-profit financial institutions confirms that a profitable agricultural portfolio can be developed serving a poorer rural clientele when there is: a. knowledge of client needs, market and value chain dynamics that feed into product design b. appropriate risk management techniques, and c. cost-effective delivery strategies d. knowledge of potential partners in rural areas 4. Quality financial market assessment will generate information about clients and markets as well as existing channels and relationships that might be leveraged to deliver a cost-effective financial product. 5. Win-win partnerships are critical to the sustainable provision of nonfinancial services which complement and support agricultural finance product delivery. 6. Although pioneering financial institutions have demonstrated what is possible, much greater scale is required to reap the full economic and social development potential of agriculture in developing countries. FMAAS 10

11 Acknowledgements The Training Toolkit on Financial Market Assessments for the Agricultural Sector is part of FAO s Training Materials for Agriculture and Rural Finance developed by FAO s Rural Infrastructure and Agro-Industries Division (AGS). Financial support came from the Capacity development in rural finance (CABFIN) partnership, composed of IFAD, UNCDF, GIZ, World Bank and FAO. The training material was prepared by Emilio Hernandez, Ph.D., Agricultural Finance Officer, Agribusiness and Finance Group, AGS. The contribution of the participants in the workshops held around the world have also been highly useful in improving and updating the Toolkit. The major source of material of this Toolkit is drawn from reference material provided, the experience of the author and of many agricultural finance and agribusiness innovators that have shared their experience with referenced development agencies, FAO and its partners. It is also important to note the support given by Ms Eugenia Serova, Director, and Calvin Miller, Senior Officer and Group Leader, in the AGS Division. Disclaimer/Copyright This document is made available without further editions to the materials originally submitted by its authors. The designations employed and the presentation of material in this information product do not imply the expression of any opinion whatsoever on the part of the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO) concerning the legal or development status of any country, territory, city or area or of its authorities, or concerning the delimitation of its frontiers or boundaries. The mention of specific companies or products of manufacturers, whether or not these have been patented, does not imply that these have been endorsed or recommended by FAO in preference to others of a similar nature that are not mentioned. The views expressed in this information product are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily reflect the views or policies of FAO. FAO, 2014 FAO encourages the use, reproduction and dissemination of material in this information product. Except where otherwise indicated, material may be copied, downloaded and printed for private study, research and teaching purposes, or for use in non-commercial products or services, provided that appropriate acknowledgement of FAO as the source and copyright holder is given and that FAO s endorsement of users views, products or services is not implied in any way. All requests for translation and adaptation rights, and for resale and other commercial use rights should be made via or addressed to FAO information products are available on the FAO website ( and can be purchased through FMAAS 11

12 Appendix 1: How the Financial Market Assessments for the Agricultural Sector Training responds to adult learning principles Principle Description Material, content and methods respond by: 1. Relevance Adults are motivated to Establishing at outset how training relates to what learn when they see how participants do or would like to do they can use what they are Communicating how each new topic, session, and learning in their daily resource can help meet identified needs lives. Providing opportunities to apply new information to real situations 2. Attention Adults want to see relevance quickly and use what they learn right away. Too much of any one thing will bore them. A diversity of learning methods helps maintain interest and engagement. 3. Reinforcement Application and the delivery of knowledge through multiple channels, help adults remember what they learn. 4. Activity Adults learn the most by doing, and their selfconfidence increases with practice. 5. Accountability Adults are motivated with concrete goals, including accountability to themselves and others. Patterning in-class exercises on real-life scenarios Demonstrating how training as a whole contributes to agricultural finance outcomes at the beginning of Module 1 and how each module contributes to at the beginning of each new session Clarifying expected objectives at the beginning of each new session Creating opportunities to apply new knowledge, skills and/or attitudes Selecting case studies, role plays, scenarios, etc. that are appropriate for particular objectives Drawing out different participant s perspectives Using different ways to demonstrate how training content can be applied by participants in their jobs Organizing, summarizing and regularly reviewing core concepts (recap and takeaway) When possible, using multi-media and other options for engaging multiple senses Promoting exchanges of views among participants and asking questions that encourage recall Setting achievement-based objectives Creating opportunities for participant activities Organizing activities to engage all participants Allowing time to reflect on what has been done and how it can be applied to participant s jobs Using clear objectives to focus and refocus attention Tracking progress throughout the training Pausing frequently to test understanding through questions and activities Allowing participants to evaluate their own learning and see what they have achieved If possible, providing post-training cohort engagement and follow-up opportunities e.g. alumni networks, list serves, etc. FMAAS 12

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