The decision to purchase new productive technologies, however promising, presents great risks for the rural poor. The result is that farmers are disinclined to purchase new technologies, and manufacturers, wholesalers and retailers are unwilling to invest in inventory and supply. To break this chain, smart subsidies can be used to accelerate demand and supply for critical production technologies. Properly administered incentives can attract commercial suppliers to actively address the needs of rural, underserved smallholder farmers without creating dependency. This article presents the case of smallholder farmers in Zambia to highlight how incentives can play a role in developing weak agribusiness service markets.
There is increasing recognition – among central banks, other financial services regulators, governments, financial institutions, NGOs, educators, and international donors – that the ability to manage one's personal and household finances well is an essential life skill. Financial education can help to give people the knowledge, skills, and confidence to manage their money well. Financial education is likely to be an important component of successful initiatives to promote financial inclusion; and it can contribute to the securing of financial consumer protection. Many developed and developing countries have drawn up, or are drawing up, national strategies on financial education. Generally, this work is being led by the central bank, or by another government agency, and is a collaborative exercise involving a wide range of stakeholders. This paper describes common features of the processes for developing and implementing a national strategy on financial education and summarizes the typical contents of these strategies. In doing so, it makes recommendations on good practices – and on some traps to avoid.