One of the world’s most under-utilized resources is the land, labor and skills of the rural poor. And yet, more than a billion people live at the margins of survival on less than $1 per day, three quarters of them in rural areas. A similar share of the world’s population suffers from malnutrition. Where is
Despite their resourcefulness and resilience, the rural poor most often lack access to markets, capital and knowledge that they need in order to make their land and labor truly productive. This booklet outlines what MEDA has done about this, and our experience that we are eager to share with others who truly care about the plight of the rural poor.
Most of these opportunities for the rural poor do not begin with access to capital. Access to a new market, improved crops, or better technologies are usually at the forefront. However, all too often these opportunities do not reach fruition because no one is willing to invest in rural finance. Today, the majority of microfinance providers still focus on urban areas.
It is our hope that this booklet will begin to change that reality – opening new possibilities for rural and agricultural finance – so the rural poor can realize their true potential.