About the event

Non-bank financial institutions (NBFIs) play important roles in agricultural finance, particularly in serving small-scale enterprises. Indeed, in many contexts micro-finance institutions (MFIs), financial cooperatives and other NBFIs are the main financial service providers particularly to micro entrepreneurs in the rural sector. Across developing countries, the ability of these institutions to continue to serve their clients while retaining their financial sustainability has been tested by the COVID-19 crisis. Many have been facing significant liquidity and asset constraints, but adaptive and innovative solutions have also emerged.

In this webinar, representatives from the NBFI landscape and from the public sector in Bangladesh, Ethiopia and Mexico will discuss current challenges and emerging innovations. Particular focus will be placed on how complementarity of efforts among NBFIs and the public sector can contribute to a more resilient ecosystem for agri-SME finance. The webinar is the second in a joint series by SAFIN and AGRIFIN on agri-SME finance and COVID-19.


Juan Buchenau, Senior Financial Sector Specialist, World Bank Group

Juan is a Senior Financial Sector Specialist at the World Bank (WB) and core member of the global agricultural finance team and of WB’s Community of Practice on Cooperative Financial Institutions, working on policy diagnostics and design. He was formerly in charge of several programs in support of financial sector authorities to improve access to finance in Latin America and the Caribbean.

Ernesto Fernandez Arias, Deputy General Director, National Development Finance for Agriculture, Rural, Forestry and Fisheries

Ernesto is currently the Deputy General Director of Finance, Operations and Systems in the National Development Finance for Agriculture, Rural, Forestry and Fisheries (FND) in México. He was a member of the Board of Directors of the Mexican Stock Exchange, promoted and participated in the design of the corn futures contract listed in MexDer, and supported the development of the SIF-Agro agricultural physicists market of Grupo Bolsa Mexicana and the National Guarantee Fund (FONAGA).

Fazlul Kader, Deputy Managing Director, Palli Karma-Sahayak Foundation

Fazlul played a key role in shaping the inclusive financing sector of Bangladesh through the Apex financing mechanism. He has extensive experience in implementing microenterprise lending systems integrated with various types of value chain interventions. Fazlul has expertise in implementing climate change adaptation projects, risk mitigation services for low-income populations, human and institutional capacity enhancement programs.

Berhane Kidanu Gebru, RuSACCO Capacity Building Team Leader, Ethiopian Agricultural Transformation Agency

Berhane has worked in the financial cooperatives sector for the last 16 years and is currently the team leader of the capacity building project for rural savings and credit cooperatives (RuSACCOs) at the Ethiopian Agricultural Transformation Agency. Prior to this, Berhane served as a national program coordinator for RUFIP cooperative sub-sector.

Guillermo Jiménez, Director General, Procredito

Guillermo Jiménez Sepúlveda is Chairman and CEO of Procredito, a financial institution in Mexico dedicated since 2007 to issue loans to small business. Prior to this position, Mr. Jiménez was the founder and CEO of Finpatria, a Mexican financial institution for mortgages and financing residential developers. He started his career at Banamex, where he held different positions for 11 years.

Teshome Kebede, Executive Director, Association of Ethiopian Micro Finance Instituions (AEMFI)

Teshome is an economist by profession and has been working in different sectors including the micro finance sector for more than twenty years. He is currently the Executive Director of the Association of Ethiopian MFIs (AEMFI).

Resource materials
Webinar recording


Event Details:

Event dates: Jun 16, 2020, 2:00 PM – 3:15 PM GMT+2

Location: Online

Organizer: SAFIN