"1 million small and very small farmers need microfinance and non-financial support to grow"

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„1 million small and very small farmers need microfinance and non-financial support to grow”

  • This year, the non-bank financial institution will support projects through which more than 240 farmers will organise themselves îin associative structures
  • By expanding development programmes, another 2,000 farmers will be credited for various activities
  • More than 1,300 small businesses are already selling their products through the Peasant Mall, a project that Patria Credit and Patria Bank are supporting for the 4th consecutive year
  • By relaunching the Patria Credit Foundation, together with Patria Bank, the aim is to develop and support rural communities by promoting entrepreneurship, new agricultural technologies and educational partnerships
  • Bucuresti, 26 August 2021. 35.7% of Romania's population is still at risk of poverty or social exclusion. Of the 41 counties and Bucharest municipality, 18 are considered to be at risk, due to glaring disparities in living standards between urban and rural areas, with Romania recording the second largest urban-rural income gap in the EU, according to the World Bank – Financial Inclusion in Romania.


    “There are over 1 million small and very small agricultural producers who need microfinance to grow. At government level there is no viable, development-oriented, investment-oriented policy for the small and medium-sized agricultural sector. The main constraints limiting rural development include low access to finance, land fragmentation, îmber population, lack of technology and skills”, explains Raluca Andreica, General Manager Patria Credit.

    & At the moment, the microfinance institution and the bank are present in the lives of over 6,000 farmers and agricultural producers that it lends to, and for this year it has proposed to support the Foundation for the Development of Agriculture, founded by Carrefour, to support the establishment of 7 farmers' associative structures and various development programs for them.

    “Today we are present with various types of intervention îin many areas of the country: în west, în Timiș and Arad counties, where we had întâlniti preliminary meetings with 8 local action groups (LAG), more than 25 farmers, local authorities; în north and northeast, where we already intervene îin 5 communities and we have managed to involve more than 30 vegetable farmers; in the south, where we have proposed the creation of associative structures with at least 7 farmers and we are already present in Olt, Ialomița and Dembovita counties. In general, there are big differences between farmers, both in terms of cultivated areas and in their understanding of the concept or their willingness to join associations, and the reluctance is due to the fact that any approach would require too much time and effort on their part," says Romeo Vasilache, Executive Director of the Foundation for Agricultural Development.

    According to statistics, more than 45% of Romania's population lives in rural areas, and villages always lag behind in terms of the number of jobs, roads or financial infrastructure. Poverty is 20% higher in rural Romania than in urban areas.

    “Peasant mall”, a viable option for small producers

    Against the backdrop of the pandemic, Romanians' confidence in small farms for food procurement is higher than in retailers, industry and authorities. Mall Țărănesc, an initiative supported by Patria Credit and Patria Bank for 4 consecutive years, has become a distribution platform for more than 1,300 small businesses that value production.

    “Through this platform and especially through the weekly basket launched last year în during the pandemic period, we achieve at least 3 objectives of sustainable development în the rural area”, says Mihai Mihu, president of the Association Creștem România Împreună, founder of www.malltaranesc.ro. Promotion of competitiveness, ensuring sustainable management of natural resources and climate action; a balanced territorial development of rural communities, including job creation and maintenance are our long-term objectives. Through the platform, any buyer ensures food for his family, but also income for the families of the producers from whom he buys products”, adds Mihai Mihu.

    The weekly basket contains fresh Romanian products directly from authentic producers, from vegetables, dairy, meat, eggs, fruit, fish to various prepared or canned foods. Following a

    A survey conducted among the community of producers visiting www.malltaranesc.ro showed that over 42% of them felt that the internet had helped them to sustain their order intake during the pandemic, with over 80% of them believing that an internet presence would help them to further promote their products.

    Patria Credit also supports farmers in Romania through the Patria Foundation, which runs three important projects:

    • Business incubator, which popularizes agricultural practices, know-how and digitalization;
    • Farmers for Farmers
    • , which facilitates mentoring of the next generation of farmers by supporting farmers who already have mature businesses; and
    • Rural Volunteering, which aims to raise awareness of the importance of supporting each other in rural communities and strengthening rural-urban links.

    About Patria Credit IFN

    Patria Credit IFN SA is a non-bank financial institution (NFI) that supports primarily the efforts of entrepreneurs and private individuals and their positive impact on rural communities. Specializing în farmer financing, Patria Credit is a member of European Microfinance Network (EMN) and Microfinance Centre (MFC) and is the first non-bank financial institution dedicated to microfinance in Romania, with almost 20 years of experience and more than 15,000 financed clients. Patria Credit's history began in 1996, initially as a program of the World Vision organization, later evolving into a foundation and then an NFI. ÎCurrently Patria Credit IFN activity is recognized by the European Code of Good Conduct initiated by the Directorate for Employment, Social Affairs and Inclusion of the European Commission, for the quality and impact of the microfinance activity carried out in Romania. Part of Patria Bank Group, Patria Credit IFN is involved in projects supporting agriculture, rural development and the revival of agricultural education, such as the Business Breeding, Mândru să fiu fermier (together with World Vision Foundation Romania), Foundation for the Development of Agriculture (FDAgri), etc. Patria Credit is also the founder of Patria Credit Foundation (www.fundatiapatria.ro).