Mobilising Internal Finance

About this Publication

There is very limited access to finance for rural communities comprising smallholders, family farmers and Indigenous Peoples. Smallholder and family farmers comprise 90% of the total farms worldwide, and account for an estimated 80% of world food production. The finance gap hinders these rural communities’ effective action on climate, nature, livelihoods and food security.

This research report delves into the critical role of forest and farm producer organisations (FFPOs) in mobilising internal finance to close this gap. By examining case studies from six countries, this report sheds light on how FFPOs can effectively leverage internal resources to offer financial services to their members, ultimately enabling sustainable development. It maps a set of practical steps that FFPOs follow to establish internal financial mechanisms, such as savings groups and financial cooperatives. These are accessible, trust-based financial mechanisms that meet diverse member needs, strengthen solidarity, empower women, increase climate resilience and fund sustainable, productive activities, often at significant scale.

With nearly a quarter of all finance directed towards smallholders channelled through informal and community-based mechanisms, there is immense potential to drive financial inclusion under terms that work well for smallholders and forest producers while benefitting nature and climate. Written for representatives of FFPOs and their technical support partners, as well as practitioners and policymakers in the land-use and finance sectors, this report offers a practical guide to support FFPOs and their financial mechanisms to harness this potential.



Isabela Núñez del Prado Nieto




International Institute for Environment and Development (IIED)