Sustainability Exchange

Financial Literacy Training for Coffee Farmers in Eastern Africa

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Financial Literacy (FL) is a key prerequisite for coffee farmers to manage their business efficiently and to access productive credit. Financial Literacy is therefore crucial element of any training curriculum that aims to enable farmers to increase productivity, income, profitability, and to improve livelihoods.

However, actors engaged in farmers’ training sometimes lack quality FL training tools and do not speak the ‘same language’ to farmers. Training contents and quality levels are often not sufficiently aligned nor endorsed by the sector at large, including national governments.

Pursuing an aligned and sector-wide approach to FL training in order to increase efficiency and avoid duplication and related costs, the Global Coffee Platform commissioned Café Africa to map available tools as well as actors active in FL training.  Focusing on Eastern Africa, an additional objective of the study was work towards a common understanding on FL, i.e. which elements FL training should entail. The final report, including an executive summary, can be found here. Also, most of the mapped FL training material has been uploaded into the library.

  • In your field of work, how important is training on financial literacy for farmers to increase income, and how important and useful do you consider an aligned approach, eg on national levels?
  • What key elements should be included in a FL training in relation to your field of work?
  • Which important actors or valuable material not listed in the report would you recommend?

If you want to receive regular updates on this process even outside this forum, please contact Lars Kahnert.

May 25, 2016 16:55
Replies

The basic tenet of Financial Literacy in SHF's is record keeping. The majority of the SHF's do not keep records, which could be out of ignorance (For the literate) or finding no need to keep such. In the end these farmers are not able to authoritatively report on any losses or profits made for a particular season. The simple records should include (And not limited to): cost of inputs, cost of labor, yield and income.

Stakeholders should come up with a simplified template which makes it easier for the farmer to record and analyze at the end of the season. 

June 29, 2016 14:20