Year of Publication: 2019
The agriculture sector, a major source of food and livelihood for up to 80% of the population in Pacific Island Countries, is under-funded. Lending to the sector is less than 2%, despite its contribution to gross domestic product (GDP). Transforming the Pacific agri-food system to address the major socio-economic challenges – malnutrition, high dependence on imported foods, unemployment and climate change – will require targeted public and private investments. Financial institutions and governments must work together to offer innovative financial instruments that enhance access to banking services, especially in the rural areas. Inclusivity is a win-win strategy.
Policy action needed:
- Provide adequate public financing for implementing agricultural policies and priority programmes
- Design a business and financial ecosystem for agro-based micro-, small and medium-sized enterprises (MSMEs) to flourish – foster strategic partnerships and simplify processes
- Promote blended financing mechanisms to mobilise public and private capital and apply a value chain lens to agricultural financing
- Make financial services accessible and affordable, especially for remote rural communities – invest in financial technology and mobile banking services
- Build capacity of producer organisations and MSMEs – financial literacy is critical.