FINCA serves more than 100,000 clients in the Eurasian country of Georgia. Sixty-two percent of these borrowers live in rural areas, and many work in agriculture to earn a living and provide for their families.
Earlier this year, FINCA Bank Georgia partnered with a local insurance company to enable smallholder farmers to simultaneously obtain special terms on agricultural (“agro”) loans and crop insurance. This partnership tackles three challenges faced by smallholders:
- A farmer in Georgia previously had to apply for agro loans and crop insurance at separate points in time and with separate institutions. Those with limited means were often financially excluded.
- Farming is seasonal by nature, which puts strain on farmers working to pay off debt prior to harvest.
- Agricultural activities rely on favorable weather. This creates risk beyond a farmer’s control.
By offering a one-stop solution that is designed for smallholders, requires no repayments until the agricultural business generates an income, and bundles agro loans with crop insurance for risk mitigation, FINCA is helping Georgian farmers become unstoppable.
Tea Lakobashvili is one such farmer. She lives in a small village called Tsinandali in eastern Georgia. As a widow, Tea and her young daughter depend on her 7-hectare vineyard to make a living. This year, she applied for and received the bundled loan from FINCA Georgia. She describes her experience:
Applying for the loan wasn’t complicated. The process was really fast. I am glad that this product exists because as a farmer, it gives me the security and peace of mind knowing that I am covered if a natural disaster strikes my vineyard. I feel so much calmer now.