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National Rural Support Programme

Providing smallholder farmers with timely access to essential financial services

  • Company
  • Agriculture
  • Pakistan
  • 2011
  • Exited

The challenge

An estimated 86 percent of the population in Pakistan has no access to formal financial services. Two thirds of the country lives in rural areas, where often the only sources of capital are informal lenders, who charge exorbitant interest rates and capitalize on the vulnerability of the poor. 120 million people in Pakistan directly depend on agriculture to survive. Without access to capital, smallholder farmers are unable to invest in improving their yields, an effective means of lifting themselves and their families out of poverty.

The innovation

NRSP Microfinance Bank is the only microfinance operation in Pakistan that focuses on rural, agricultural markets across the country. For the first time, rural communities will be offered services such as crop and livestock loans, savings and insurance products, as well as working capital at financing rates up to three times cheaper than those available in the informal sector.

The impact

NRSP Microfinance Bank has 133 branches and has reached 500,000 borrowers. Acumen’s investment helps the bank provide poor farmers and unbanked rural communities with access to essential financial services that will empower them with the resources, dignity, and hope to build better futures for themselves and their families.