ICO forum looks at risk management and finance tools for farmers

The International Coffee Organization (ICO) held its second Consultative Forum on Coffee Sector Finance on 6 March. The main topic of discussion was the role that producer associations, governments and other entities play or could play in making risk management and financing tools more accessible and workable for small and medium‐sized growers, the ICO said in a statement. “This is an extremely important issue since, despite the existence of viable risk management tools, small and medium‐scale producers often find it difficult to gain access to these instruments,” stated ICO Executive Director Robério Oliveira Silva in his opening remarks. The forum’s Chairperson, Amy Karpel from the United States, launched proceedings with an outline of the 
problems and issues that needed to be addressed, including the need to incentivise farmers 
to participate in existing programs, according to the ICO statement. 
Presentations were made by six invited speakers including Jawaid Akhtar, Chairman of the Coffee Board of India, who provided an Indian
 perspective on the role of different entities in making risk management and
financing tools accessible. Ernesto Fernández Arias, Undersecretary of Agriculture for Mexico, described how a 
government program aids in the managing of risks and provides transparency in
price, production quantity and supply. Xinia Chaves, Vice Minister of Agriculture and Livestock for Costa Rica, described 
how collaboration by the various coffee sector participants in Costa Rica is based on 
an institutional framework.
 Edilson Alcântara, Director of the Coffee Department in the Ministry of Agriculture,
 Livestock and Food Supply of Brazil, examined the various instruments for risk 
mitigation and underlined the need for Brazilian coffee farmers to adapt to change. Matt Horsburgh, Head of Trading at the Twin Trading Company, outlined his
 company’s approach to building capacity for smallholder cooperatives to manage
 risks. Marc Sadler, Team Leader in the Agricultural Finance and Risk Management Unit
 (ARMT) of the World Bank’s Agriculture and Rural Development Department,
 described how ARMT focuses on assisting clients in identifying and managing 
agricultural risks.
 Presentations made at the Forum are available to download from
 The International Coffee Agreement 2007 established the Consultative Forum on Coffee
Sector Finance to facilitate consultations on topics related to finance and risk management
in the coffee sector with a particular emphasis on the needs of small‐ and medium‐sized 
producers and is designed to include representatives from Members, intergovernmental
 organisations, financial institutions, the private sector, non‐governmental organisations,
 interested non‐member countries and others with relevant expertise.

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