In a first-ever initiative to bridge the knowledge gap and introduce appropriate financial instruments to propagate the provision of financial services in the agricultural sector, a series of four “Agri Value Chain Financing Conclave” is scheduled by the Assam Rural Infrastructure and Agricultural Services Society (ARIAS) under Assam Agribusiness and Rural Transformation Project (APART).
The conclave will take place in four zones viz. Silchar (12th October), Jorhat (16th October), Morigaon (31st October) , and Lakhimpur (2nd November) targeting farmers, FIGs (Farmer Interest Groups), FPCs (Farmer Producer Companies), SHGs and traders from across 12 districts of Assam.
The event aims to facilitate and promote value-chain financing models to benefit farmers, FIGs, FPCs, and other stakeholders, and foster collaboration and knowledge sharing among participants from various sectors. The Conclave will also showcase innovative financial products, digital financial literacy, financial inclusion, KCC, Financing of Agriculture Infrastructure Projects among others to improve access to agri-finance to meet the needs of various actors in the value chain.
The conclave will have representatives from various government departments such as District administration, NABARD, District Agriculture Office, DICC, Lead Banks and other stakeholders.
Currently, despite high demand for credit and general financial services, there is a lack of knowledge and appropriate financial instruments that has prevented the provision of these services widely. The financers often struggle to contain their risks and costs in financing agriculture which results in a large gap in adequate financing.
During the conclave, participants will learn about financial products and services and their delivery mechanisms. As part of the workshop, participants will be disseminated about how financial services can be extended as well as how access to financial services can improve the lives of value-chain actors. The conclave shall highlight the recent developments in agricultural finance and promote various value-chain financing options, including Working Capital, Term Loans, Insurance, Social Security Schemes, and Digital Financial Literacy.
The central part of this conclave is the "Xamahar" initiative under which APART has collaborated with Financial service providers for deploying various innovative business models and instruments for delivering financial services to empower those involved in the agricultural value chain. Ten financial service providers supported by the Xamahar Challenge Fund, with Ernst & Young India as the Challenge Fund Manager, are collaborating in this initiative and deploying various business models and instruments with innovative approaches to deliver financial services such as credit, savings, insurance, payment, etc. The Conclave will bring together relevant stakeholders under one roof, collectively exploring the potential for expanding financial services to empower the farming community.