Following the successful implementation of the Agricultural Sector Development Programme (ASDP), which disbursed loans to over 70,000 farmer beneficiaries through the commercial banking system, between 1991 and 2004, the European Commission agreed to finance a similar follow-on project: the Financial Investment and Sector Co-operation – Rural Component. The € 18 million FISC – Rural Finance programme aimed at supporting small and medium rural enterprises mainly in the areas of post harvest activities and agricultural input supply and marketing. The main component of the programme was the provision of a € 15.1 million credit line to commercial banks. The overall objective of the project was to support the efforts of the Government of Egypt to increase income and job opportunities in rural areas.
FISC – Agricultural Component project aimed at deepening the clientele of the Agricultural Sector Development Programme ASDP, as well as widening of the fields of the intervention of the of ASDP. The specific objective of the project was to provide sustainable access of rural enterprises to the FISC – Agricultural Component Credit Line through an operational credit system, which enabled loans to be provided to the target groups.
Implementation of the four years Programme commenced in February 2005 with Technical Assistance provided by Vakakis International S.A. (GR) supported by AHT Group AG and North South Consultants Exchange (EG). The project had its own management and sub-sectors identity and had been designed to:
§ Raise awareness and access to credit facilities, for small-scale farmers and processors, by enhancing the systems and procedures already developed by ASDP;
§ Provide training and capacity building within both the banking sector and relevant intermediary organisations including agricultural co-operatives, associations and NGOs, to enable them to more actively support the Project?s target group;
§ Enable contracted commercial banks to provide loans to the target group to finance activities generally in the fields of post-harvest operations and agricultural input supply and marketing.
In due course an appropriate handing over plan was developed with the objective of ensuring the long-term sustainability of the credit system as well as of the institutions, organizations and management structures involved