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Theory of change / Rabo Rural Fund

CASE

Farmers’ cooperatives that have outgrown donations and microfinancing from lenders such as Rabobank Foundation, but are not yet eligible for regular bank loans, find themselves ‘caught between a rock and a hard place’.

The Rabo Rural Fund aims to fill that gap by reinforcing agricultural businesses with access to financing, networks, relevant market knowledge, and innovative solutions. That helps the companies to grow, and the affiliated smallholder farmers with them.

This is our contribution to the sustainable economic development of the organizations, the farmers, and their local communities.

Our goals

  1. Provide access to financing, networks, knowledge, and innovative solutions.
  2. Make cooperatives and agricultural businesses more efficient and professional.
  3. Contribute to the sustainable economic development of the organizations, the farmers, and their local communities.

Where normal banks see only risks, the Rabo Rural Fund sees opportunities. Especially opportunities to make local food production sustainable, and to increase the income of small-scale farmers. The Rabo Rural Fund serves more mature cooperatives and agricultural businesses in Africa, Asia and Latin America.


How do we do that?

Contribution to Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs)

We are not the only organization that places high value on sustainable growth; the goal enjoys support around the world. It is also reflected in the United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). By supporting producer organizations, we contribute to:

Rabo Rural Fund in 2018

Farmers organizations

50
$ 41,9 

million in investments in 15 countries

Producer organizations 

SMEs

Africa 

Asia

Latin America 

Rabo Rural Fund


Financial strength facilitates growth

The financial strength of a producer organization determines how likely it is to be able to obtain commercial financing locally. The Rabo Rural Fund helps organizations to build up their financial strength. 52% of the organizations financed by Rabo Rural Fund are active in the coffee sector. 2018 was a difficult year for these organizations due to the low market prices for coffee. The development of savings and credit organizations since 2017:

of the organizations earned a profit

92%

of the organizations earned
more profit than
the year before

51%

Had less income

49%
45%

have a sustainability policy

Reinforcing agricultural businesses



Better access to the global market 

For many products, such as coffee and cocoa, the organization and the farmer can earn more in the export market than at the local market. The development of organizations since 2017:

This gives organizations the opportunity to look for a good market, and are not forced to sell their products at a local market for lower prices due to a lack of funding. Offering low-cost financing also makes it possible for the organization to invest in new machines and processing methods, and therefore to add value, improve access to the global market, and offer smallholder farmers a better price for their products.

Through financing from the Rural Fund, cooperatives and organizations can bridge the gap between the moment of purchasing from the farmer and the sale to local or international buyers. 

Rabo Rural Fund

50%

expanded their internal organizations


The stronger the organization, the more opportunities it can offer to its member smallholder farmers. This increases the likelihood that the farmers can grow, earn higher incomes, and improve their living conditions. Smallholder farmers benefit from the investments Rabo Rural Fund makes in producer organizations.

Smallholder farmers reinforce their position

Producing more and better products for higher incomes

of the farmers participated in a training course

36%

The farmers received a higher price than that paid in the local market.

Higher prices make the difference. Farmers are dependent on the income from their products for more than 50% of their livelihood.

Smallholder farmers can grow with help from the producer organizations, as the organizations provide farmers with access to better prices for their products, knowledge, and new markets. Training courses teach farmers better agricultural techniques and methods for organic production. This helps farmers grow better products and achieve higher yields, which in turn raises their incomes.

Rabo Rural Fund

Onze doelen

  1. Toegang tot financiering voor achtergestelde boerenorganisaties, en haar leden
  2. Sterkere, zelfstandige lokale boerenorganisaties die betere diensten kunnen verlenen
  3. Bijdragen aan de ontwikkeling van duurzame voedselwaardeketens om ervoor te zorgen dat ook kleinschalige boeren hiervan profiteren
  4. Bevorderen van betere leefomstandigheden van kleinschalige boeren
  5. Bijdragen aan het versterken van de lokale economie en voedselzekerheid



In Nederland investeren we in sociale ondernemers die net als wij geloven in de kracht van gemotiveerde mensen. Met kennis, geld en ons netwerk geven we deze ondernemingen een duwtje in de rug. En daarmee ook de mensen die minder makkelijk, maar daarom niet minder graag aan het werk komen.

Hoe pakken wij het aan?

Bijdrage aan de duurzame ontwikkelingsdoelen (SDG’s)

Wij zijn niet de enige die het belangrijk vinden dat boerenorganisaties financieel sterker worden, dit is ook terug te zien in de SDG’s. 
Rabo Foundation draagt internationaal bij aan de volgende SDG’s

Rabo Foundation in 2018
Hoe meten we
onze impact?

Boerenorganisaties

50
€ 27,1 

miljoen aan investeringen
in 22 landen

Producenten organistaties  

Spaar- en kredietcoöperaties 

MKB
 

Afrika 

Azië

Latijns Amerika
 

Ontwikkelingslanden

Ontwikkelingslanden

Onzekere tijden in de koffiesector

De koffiesector had het zwaar in 2018. Door de lage koffieprijzen in de wereld en klimaatfactoren als teveel regen en droogte. De sector had ook meer te maken met plantziekten en bodemdegradatie. Koffiecoöperaties (45% duurzaamheidsbeleid) blijven de organisaties worstelen met de gevolgen van de klimaatverandering.