WOCCU project aims to develop Ukraine’s credit unions as agriculture lenders

The Credit for Agriculture Producers scheme hopes to improve the quality of the financial services and products offered to farmers

A four-year project funded by the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) is seeking to boost credit union lending to agriculture in Ukraine.

Launched on 5 April, the Credit for Agriculture Producers (CAP) Project is implemented by the World Council of Credit Unions, with support from the Volunteers for Economic Growth Alliance (VEGA), a network of 29 member NGOs and organisations, including WOCCU. The project was designed to strengthen the credit union sector in Ukraine in order to improve the quality of the financial services and products offered to farmers and other agribusinesses in rural areas of Ukraine.

As part of this, the CAP Project contributed to the development of the updated draft law on Credit Unions of Ukraine, working with the Ukrainian National Association of Savings and Credit Unions and the All-Ukrainian Credit Union Association, the National Commission on Regulation of Financial Services Markets and other bodies.

The draft law includes provisions to improve the regulatory environment for the accelerated development of credit union co-operation and unveil the credit unions’ potential. The objective of these measures is to create opportunities to expand small and medium sized producers’ access to financial resources.

In addition, the CAP Project will facilitate a mentorship programme featuring 64 volunteers from the USA and Poland – including Ukrainian diaspora – which will provide high-level expertise.

Speaking at the launch event, chief of Party for the CAP Project, Ewa Sierzynska, highlighted the importance of the adoption of new updated legal standards governing credit unions’ operations, which will encourage an increase in their contribution to the development of rural agriculture.

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