A wide range of institutional models and financial products are currently serving, or attempting to serve, the poor's demands for savings and loan services. However, very few of these operate in lower density rural areas or in areas where there has not already been some agriculturally based growth in the rural economy, and virtually none are (a) operating in the conditions faced by the majority of poor farmers in sub Saharan Africa and (b) offering financial products that adequately address farmers' needs for seasonal finance for food crop production. This is partly due to the high costs and risks in the supply of such services, but may also reflect high risks and relatively low returns for borrowers investing in agriculture. However, loan products are often structured in ways that make them particularly unsuited to seasonal lending, unless households have access to alternative cash sources which are not related to agricultural seasonality. There has been a similar lack of interest in and development of micro-insurance services and products, and there appears to be very little in the literature on financial transmission services.Agricultural Finance, Food Security and Poverty,
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