Financing Urban Agriculture

While political support for urban agriculture has been increasing over the past years, financial support for urban small scale producers and agro-entrepreneurs remains limited: existing micro-finance institutions, banks, and micro-credit initiatives seldom allocate resources and loans to urban and peri- urban agriculture. Little is known about the credit and finance needs of urban producers and small scale agro-entreprises and the informal financing mechanisms used by them to facilitate access to inputs and services and/or to expand their operations.The choice of the most appropriate financing mechanisms for urban agriculture should be guided by the type of urban agriculture to be supported. Financing subsistence agriculture, a market oriented agriculture, or agriculture as a source of leisure and recreational activities will obviously need different instruments and mechanisms, especially the use of the right mix of subsidies, tax incentives or inclusion in public budgets. 

For an extensive introduction and review of literature on this subject please go to State of the Art. This paper reviews the experiences gained and lessons learned in action oriented studies on the credit and financing opportunities and constraints for urban farmers and related SME's in the 17 cities participating in the RUAF Cities Farming for the Future programme.      

Go to RUAF publications for an overview of RUAF publications on this topic (most of which are available online). You may also view the articles in the Urban Agriculture Magazine on this topic or use the Search option.