e-MFP 'Inclusive Finance for Sustainable Food Systems'

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On 12 October 2023, as part of the World Food Day Connexions event organized by NFP, e-MFP organized the side session 'Inclusive Finance for Sustainable Food Systems’,

Approximately 55 representatives from Government, NGO's, Businesses, Banks and Knowledge Institutes actively participated and contributed to a lively discussion with the moderator and presentors:

● Moderator: Ferdinand Tuinstra, e-MFP board member
● Speaker/ panelist: Sam Mendelson, e-MFP , financial inclusion specialist
● Panelist: Thon Huijser, Oikocredit, Global Head Agribusiness,
● Panelist: Femke Bos, Invest international, Director of Business Development, Strategy and Impact.

e-MFP annual award

Sam Mendelson (e-MFP) introduced e-MFP and the annual award for inclusive finance. This year the award of 100.000 Euro is about finance for food security with the emphasis on what finance can do and how finance can stimulate food security. The winner will be chosen and announced during a ceremony on 16th November during European Microfinance Week.

Client centered and context specific approach which is demand led is always better than bathtub developed approach - Sam Mendelson, eMFP

Finance & Climate issues

On the question of how the panelists address climate issues in their work, Thon (Oikocredit) responds that including assessment of climate impact and the availability of data, becomes more important for Oikocredit.  The latest topic in Oikocredit is to assess how smallholder farmers also get a fair share from the carbon financing streams. (e.g. from agro-forestry and renewable energy) The recent EU regulation on reforestation and reduction of deforestation will have an impact on the global value chains and the smallholders that operate in these chains.

Femke (Invest International) mentioned the example of tomato greenhouses in Tunisia, which have shown lower CO2 emission compared to cultivating tomatoes in the Netherlands (even when including the CO2 emission from flying the tomatoes to the Netherlands).

The audience also raises questions regarding Climate Finance: 'most of the climate finance is addressing climate mitigation issues, is the focus also on climate adaptation and what role can insurance play in this?' 

There is no silver bullet yet but one thing which will help is a reduced cost of technology, how to collect data in a cheaper way - Thon Huijser, Oikocredit
"In terms of priority, good smallholder finance insurance products could really be a gamechanger' - Femke Bos, Invest International

Would you like to read a more detailed report of the discussion between panel and audience? Please download the attached detailed report.

Words of gratitude
We thank e-MFP, specifically Sam and Fernando, for preparing and hosting this side session at NFP’s World Food Day 2023. A big thank you also to the panelists Ferdinand, Femke and Thon for their presentations and expert contribution in the panel. Last but not least we thank the audience for their active participation.

"Climate finance in agriculture is a big challenge since agriculture is part of the problem and part of the solution." - Femke Bos, Invest International

Are you actively involved in Food System Finance? Check out NFP’s Community of Practice on Food System Finance and sign up to stay informed or propose specific dilemmas for joint learning.


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Lisette van Benthum

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