Call for case studies: Good practices in risk management for agri-SME finance under COVID-19

The Smallholder and Agri-SME Finance Network (SAFIN), the International Labour Organization (ILO) Social Finance programme and the Platform for Agricultural Risk Management (PARM) are pleased to announce a call for case studies on agricultural risk management approaches that can be used by agri-SMEs and agri-finance providers during and after the COVID-19 crisis, as part of an upcoming learning series on this theme.

Photo: IFAD/Edward Echwalu

The challenge

The COVID-19 crisis has brought into sharp relief a number of weaknesses in agri-food systems and created new challenges whose repercussions may be felt in the sector for a long time. Among other things, it has shown the limits of our capacity to anticipate shocks and tested the risk management capacity of actors in supply chains and in government, finance, and other sectors. Going forward, it is not clear how different parts of the sector will respond to the longer-term impacts of the crisis nor to other persisting sources of risk.

In this context, many agri-SMEs are suffering from disruptions in supply chains and cash flow problems, and many lack the capital and capacity to undertake investments that could strengthen their resilience. Many financial service providers (FSPs) have also been affected by the crisis, particularly in terms of increased risk of non-performing loans and assets.

This is an opportune time to take a close look at what tools exist in agricultural risk management that can be deployed both to address the current crisis and to build resilience for the future. What are the relevant tools and what can be learned from recent examples of their application? What are the main areas where innovative products, delivery mechanisms, or complementary measures are most needed in the short or longer term?

The learning series

These questions will be addressed in an e-learning series jointly organized by SAFIN, ILO Social Finance, and PARM. The series will include 4 live talks co-hosted by SAFIN and FARM-D as follows:

  • LIVE TALK 01: Introductory panel discussion on agricultural risk management from the perspective of agri-SMEs finance. Has the COVID-19 crisis significantly changed the risk environment around agri-SMEs and their access to finance? Has it brought new challenges for the agricultural risk management toolbox? How are agri-SMEs and financial service providers responding? What are the gaps and what new tools are needed?

  • LIVE TALK 02: Case study analysis on risk management approaches used by agri-SMEs in different value chains and geographies.

  • LIVE TALK 03: Case study analysis on risk management approaches that can be used by agri-SME finance providers, including financial and non-financial approaches and instruments such as insurance, financial and non-financial price hedging strategies and products etc.

  • LIVE TALK 04: Closing panel discussion on emerging policy issues in agricultural risk management.

The call for case studies

The second and third live talks will include parallel sessions on up to three case studies per topic. This call for case studies aims to invite proposals of concrete experiences to feature during these sessions. All interested parties are invited to submit case studies for this learning series by completing the form below.

Submit your case study

Closing date: 15 August, midnight CET



The Smallholder and Agri-SME Finance and Investment Network (SAFIN) provides a pre-competitive space for 48 institutions from different parts of the agricultural finance ecosystem to share knowledge, address strategic issues and foster innovation with the shared goal of accelerating access to finance for small and medium agribusinesses. Learn more about SAFIN.

About ILO Social Finance programme

The ILO's Social Finance programme works with the financial sector to enable it to contribute to the ILO’s Decent Work Agenda. In this context, it engages with banks, microfinance institutions, credit unions, insurers, investors and others to test new financial products, approaches and processes.​ Learn more about ILO's Social Finance programme. 

About PARM

The Platform for Agricultural Risk Management (PARM) is the global partnership on agricultural risk management (ARM) for development. Established in 2013, as an outcome of G20 discussions on agricultural growth and food security, it provides technical support to governments of development countries for the integration of ARM into policies, institutional capacities and investment to move away from a culture of coping with disasters towards a smart management of risk. Learn more about PARM.

About FARM-D

The Forum for Agricultural Risk Management in Development (FARM-D) is the Community for knowledge exchange on ag-risk management. Since 2009, FARM-D has been bringing together over 7,000 practitioners offering a free collaborative space to learn, exchange and inspire new knowledge on best practices for ag-risk management (ARM) in developing countries. Learn more about FARM-D.