Introducing the Smallholder Agriculture Finance and Investment Network (SAFIN)

Wednesday, September 20, 2017 | 10:00-11:00 am EDT


Webinar Materials

Click on the thumbnail image for the Webinar Presenation (PDF)

Webinar Recording (YouTube)



About the Event

Bridging financing and investment gaps around agri-food and rural small and medium enterprises (SMEs), including small-scale agricultural producers, is key to achieve the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development.

However, the current pace of progress under "business as usual" approaches is inadequate. Better alignment across actors in the ecosystem for agri-food and rural SME finance and investment is critical to accelerate the pace of change and to improve its quality.

SAFIN is an emerging network incubated by the International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD) to facilitate and nurture this alignment.

It focuses on five action areas: Policy engagement and the "enabling environment," innovation, financial resource mobilization, alignment around concrete investments, and a strategic knowledge agenda.

In this webinar, participants hear from the IFAD team incubating SAFIN about what this initiative aims to achieve and what initial activities are underway. Most importantly, participants help shape the initiative by sharing their feedback on the practical relevance of planned activities for actors in the ecosystem for agri-food and rural SME investment. The presentation focuses on key areas where a better coordinated knowledge agenda needs to be taken forward; practical tools and approaches to better understand "demand" for agri-food; and the potential value of country-specific investment prospectuses for the sector as tools for better alignment of actors, both on the demand and on the supply side of agri-food and rural SME finance.


About the Presenters

Bettina Prato
Senior Coordinator of the Secretariat of the Smallholder Agriculture Finance and Investment Network (SAFIN)


A political scientist by training, Bettina Prato has worked in the area of rural development for over fifteen years, with a focus on international policy processes affecting country-level and regional investments in rural transformation and agri-food SMEs.

Prior to taking on the role of Senior Coordinator for SAFIN, she was the Global Engagement team leader in the Global Engagement, Strategy and Knowledge Department at IFAD, with responsibility for participation in a number of forums in the United Nations system and in other contexts (including G7/8 and G20). She was a co-author of the IFAD Rural Development Report 2011 and has published a number of essays and articles on matters related to rural transformation and the 2030 Agenda, rural development in post-conflict transitions, and issues in contemporary political theory.

She holds a BA in Oriental Languages from the University of Venice, a Masters' in International Affairs from George Washington University, and a Masters and Ph.D. in Political Science from the University of California at Berkeley.


Dagmawi Habte-Selassie
Technical Specialist of the Secretariat of the Smallholder Agriculture Finance and Investment Network (SAFIN)


Dagmawi Habte-Selassie has over seven years of professional experience working in private finance and international development. Most recently, Dagmawi was leading IFAD's engagement in the establishment of the Yield Uganda Fund in Kampala, an equity fund investing in Ugandan agro-SMEs. He also held various positions at the institution in Rome, South Sudan and Ethiopia, including as task manager for the RUFIPII project in Ethiopia, a US$252 million partnership between IFAD, Commercial Banks and the Government of Ethiopia.

Prior to development work, Dagmawi spent a number of years working in the private sector with Standard Life Canada in the pension and group savings administration as well as retail management position with Rogers Inc., Canada's largest communications provider. He holds a Graduate Diploma in International Business Management from McGill University and Master's Degree in Management of Development from the Università degli studi di Torino.