A-Card Progress and Prospects

Publication Date: 20170817

A-card (A stands for Agriculture) is a brand new micro-credit mechanism, the only example in Bangladesh aimed at providing smallholder farmers financing to a digital purchase of farm inputs at a low cost (10%) through the formal financial system linked to a debit card and ICT-enabled platforms.

Addressing the problem of smallholder farmers' lack of access to finance required a consultation among different stakeholders particularly in finding an effective solution. It eventually led to the idea and design of the A-card model. In this regard, the USAID Agricultural Extension Support Activity (AESA) project's interventions effectively engaged with different stakeholders, including small-holder farmers, microfinance institutions (MFIs), formal lenders (i.e. banks) and rural agricultural inputs retailers. The aim of this collaboration was to work for a common goal with differentiated responsibilities. [14 pages]