In Nigeria’s agriculture sector, the availability of adequate credit to finance agricultural activities is a major enabling factor. Hasal Microfinance Bank is interested in becoming one of the leading agricultural lenders in Nigeria, but has limited expertise in the sector. Farmer-to-Farmer volunteer Bob Bonnet, with 37 years of agricultural lending experience, worked with the Bank to develop policies and practices specifically designed for the agriculture customer. He then developed materials to guide the loan staff on credit analysis, and trained them how to work with farmers to help them make more informed financial decisions while evaluating the credit risk to the bank.
Reflecting on his assignment, Bob explains:
“I was extremely pleased with how receptive everyone was to my ideas and thoughts. They fully support the idea of developing agriculture-specific loan policies and standards for the bank and adopting a more financially-based loan decision process. At the close-out conference with the General Manager, he assured me that they accept my recommendations and have already put many of them in place. In fact, they asked me to include these new policies and standards in the training I provided to the field credit relationship officers.”