The Theory of Change

The Theory of Change visual summarizes Rabo Partnerships’ activities and their impact. All activities contribute to the three themes – financial inclusion, rural development and food security – elaborated upon below.

Financial inclusion

Across the world 1.7 billion adults have no access to basic payment services and saving accounts. Rural economies and informal markets rely on cash, which causes security risks, logistical challenges and reduced transparency. People can often only borrow from family and the local community, not from banks. When Rabobank imagines a better world it is one where everyone has access to appropriate financial services so they can transfer money, save, or get loans for personal growth or business development.

Rabo Partnerships supports financial institutions to professionalize, scale-up and become financially sustainable. For example, strengthening branch operations, the rolling out ATMs and mobile banking, and enabling merchants to accept digital payments makes banking more convenient for clients. Rabo Partnerships provides investment capital (minority stakes), technical assistance international networks to foster financial inclusion. Affordable, effective and secure financial services play a transformative role in supporting equitable growth and development goals such as poverty reduction, job creation, gender equality and food security.

Rural development

Many rural households are involved in agriculture by default as part of a largely informal economy with few job opportunities and limited access to education. When Rabobank imagines a better world it is one of rural livelihood, where everyone has access to good living conditions including education, healthcare and adequate nutrition. These conditions – vital to human development – require a solid financial sector and agribusiness infrastructure.

Rabobank contributes to a sound and sustainable financial infrastructure, even in less densely populated regions of developing and emerging economies. The bank’s past reveals how big its impact on rural livelihood can be, and we believe it can help to solve the global food security issues of the future. Rabobank’s strategic partners distribute appropriate financial solutions and technical knowledge to their clients. By adopting new technologies they make innovation accessible at all levels of the food value chain, meeting the needs of the present without compromising the wellbeing of future generations.

Food security

Increasing global demand for food is placing great strains on the environment, on farmers and on the people who prepare and deliver our food. Growing demand stems from Africa and Asia, where Rabo Partnerships has a strong presence and ambition. When Rabobank imagines a better world it is one where the extra two billion mouths to feed in 2050 have access to a nutritious diet, produced in a sustainable way.

With our strategic partners Rabobank aims to change the way we grow, distribute and consume food. Our vision is to nourish everyone while respecting planetary boundaries and allowing agricultural entrepreneurs to make a decent living for their families. Rabo Partnerships has extensive knowledge and experience in making agricultural value chains more productive, more sustainable and more attractive to finance.

Working along the value chain, we support local farmer producer cooperatives to become more professional. We also assist Rabobank’s corporate clients to connect to these suppliers, improving green and sustainable sourcing of inputs. We view agribusiness as an ecosystem where all stakeholders need to be aligned. Thus, we emphasize blending public and private finance to ensure everyone’s food security for tomorrow.

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