The Huruma Fund supports financing for smallholder farmers in Senegal
Madrid, July 06, 2022.- The Huruma Fund has completed its first investment in Africa by granting a €2.5 million loan to Senegal’s CAURIE microfinance institution, a leader in financing smallholder farmers. With this investment, the Huruma fund aims to generate jobs benefiting more than 9,700 families in Senegal. The fund will support Caurie’s growth in the agricultural sector with the main objective of reaching more than 17,000 smallholder farmers in the next 3 years.
The Huruma Fund is managed by GAWA Capital and financed by the European Union, FONPRODE, COFIDES and private investors and savers.
DIGITIZATION FOR AGRICULTURAL RISK MITIGATION
CAURIE is developing a farm loan digitalisation process, adapting its risk assessment to the location of the farmers, the crop yield and their financial situation in order to reduce the credit risk in the sector. El objetivo es reducir el riesgo crediticio del sector agrícola. Además, Caurie promueve la resiliencia climática entre sus clientes. Es una de las dos instituciones de Senegal que se ha unido a la iniciativa Microfinance for Ecosystem-based Adaptation (MEBA), desarrollada por Naciones Unidas con el fin de aumentar la resiliencia de productores rurales.
The Chief Investment Officer at GAWA Capital, Tomás Ribé, states that “financing Caurie is the first investment of the Huruma Fund in a state classified as a ‘least developed country’ by the OECD and a good example of an institution that is changing to support those most vulnerable farmers due to climate change”.
The Chairman of COFIDES, José Luis Curbelo, highlights, “the opportunity for the Huruma Fund to start operations in Africa, a priority region for Spain and the European Union”. Additionally, he underlines the “significance” of financial inclusion instruments in developing economies, “especially given their ability to reach the most vulnerable segments of the population”.
In the twenty-three years since its inception, Caurie has become the leading microfinance institution in social innovation in Senegal, reaching over 85,000 borrowers. Caurie operates in rural areas (63% of its clients), reaching more than 73,000 vulnerable women, of whom more than 37,000 live in poverty. The institution remained very close to its clients during the pandemic, mobilizing over one million euros for cash transfers and food kits.
With the launch of specific products that adapt to the needs of small farmers, CAURIE has significantly increased financing for agricultural activities in recent years. Currently, Caurie provides loans to more than 9,400 producers, with an agricultural portfolio of over five million euros.
ABOUT THE HURUMA FUND
The Huruma Fund is the first project led by COFIDES within the framework of agriculture blending facilities in the European Union. With the advice of GAWA Capital, it has 120 million euros contributed by the European Union, FONPRODE (the Development Promotion Fund) of the Spanish Agency for International Development Cooperation (AECID), COFIDES and private investors, thanks to the collaboration of CaixaBank Private Banking, which has distributed the fund through its national network. The objective is to provide access to loans to farmers in underserved rural areas in Latin America, the Caribbean, Sub-Saharan Africa and Asia. It includes a Technical Assistance Facility (TAF) to provide consulting services and training related to agriculture, and to help improve the entities the Fund invests in, enhancing the impact on excluded rural populations.
ABOUT GAWA CAPITAL
Established in 2010, GAWA Capital is the leading firm in impact investing in Spain, having mobilised over 204 million euros in public and private investments. Its objective is to improve the lives of low-income communities by promoting investing in social enterprises, while providing their investors with a financial return. GAWA was a pioneer in the introduction of impact investing in Spain, launching three funds which invest in emerging countries with an inclusive approach to market solutions for social issues.
COFIDES, a State-owned company engaging in the management of State and third-party as well as its own funds, pursues a number of aims: internationalisation of Spain’s economy, furtherance of economic development and fortification of the solvency of companies affected by COVID-19. In addition to the Spanish State, its shareholders include Banco Santander, Banco Bilbao Vizcaya Argentaria (BBVA), Banco Sabadell and Development Bank of Latin America (CAF).
This press release was produced with the financial assistance of the European Union. The views expressed herein can in no way be taken to reflect the official opinion of the European Union.
CAURIE was created in 1999 as a Microfinance Program between CRS1 and Caritas Senegal, becoming a supervised savings & credit cooperative in 2009. In less than 23 years, it has become the leading Microfinance Institution in social innovation (>85,000 borrowers), developing a unique “Village Banking (BVL)” group methodology to reach vulnerable women (87% borrowers; 44% live in poverty) in remote rural areas (63% clients) across 13 of 14 regions in Senegal.
CAURIE has significantly increased its financing to agricultural activities in recent years, fostered by the launch of specific agricultural products Reaching more than 9,400 farmers, it has grown Agri financing from EUR 1MM to 5MM in 2017-21, representing now 23% of its loan portfolio. It is currently working on launching new green products to support small farmers and climate change mitigation.
CAURIE is embracing digitalization as a key priority to boost sustainability, launching several digital solutions to improve institutional processes and client service. Currently offering digital loan disbursements & repayments, it is in the process of digitalizing agricultural products’ credit process, adapting its risk assessment based on farmers’ localization, crop activity & financial situation.
CAURIE is promoting climate resilience among its clients, being one of the only two institutions in Senegal joining Microfinance for Ecosystem-based Adaptation (MEBA) initiative, organized by United Nations Climate Change to build resilience for rural producers. It is currently working on digitalizing Agri risk-assessment & launching new green products to support climate-change risk mitigation.
Investment: EUR 2,5 millon
Investment type: Debt
Technical assistance: Pending confirmation
Date of investment: June 2022
Huruma: Transforming Lives
Huruma’s investment in CAURIE aims to transform the lives of smallholder farmers through the following theory of change:
Input: EUR 2,5 MM focused on agricultural financing.
Output: Agricultural portfolio reaches > EUR 8,2 MM and > 17.000 agri clients.
(*) Metrics calculated on the basis of the study estimates “Understanding Impact Performance: Agriculture Investments” (GIIN, 2020).
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