How Can Microfinance Improve Climate Change Adaptation? The Experiences of Rwandan Smallholder Farmers & Research Outlook

Microfinance clients, especially smallholder farmers, are often at the front lines of climate change, their lives and livelihoods vulnerable to the impacts of rising temperatures, unpredictable rainfall, and extreme weather events. Smallholder farmers are already experiencing first-hand the effects of climate change worldwide through decreased crop yield and production, higher pest and disease incidence, income generation constraints, and, in some cases, food insecurity. In this presentation, we argue that microfinance institutions are well-placed to promote climate change adaptation products and services. Our team of researchers at Glasgow Caledonian University and the University of Rwanda, funded by Opportunity International, has been developing a research program on how microfinance affects Rwandan smallholder farmers’ ability to adapt to climate variability. Based on evidence from a survey (n=370), in-depth interviews (n=30), and transect walks with Rwandan smallholder farmers collected from 2019 to 2021, we discuss how microfinance clients are currently managing the effects of climate change and what MFIs can do to support them and enhance equitable access to inclusive finance for climate adaptation. Moreover, researchers will be invited to discuss further research questions in green inclusive finance, encouraging partnerships, and research collaborations.
Time: 4:00 PM Paris / 10:00 AM EST

Location: Virtual

Date: Thursday, September 1, 2022