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Most rural households lack access to reliable and affordable finance for agriculture and other livelihood activities. Many small farmers live in remote areas where retail banking is limited and production risks are high. The recent financial crisis has made the provision of credit even tighter and the need to explore innovative approaches to rural and agricultural finance even more urgent. Rural and agricultural finance innovations have significant potential to improve the livelihoods and food security of the poor. Although microfinance has been widely studied, a large knowledge gap still exists on the nuts and bolts of expanding access to rural and agricultural finance.
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