Microfinance and the Growth of Small-Scale Agribusinesses in Malawi

This research is investigating the impact of microfinance institutions on the ability to enhance the local credit systems and performance of the small and medium enterprises in Malawi. The focus of the assessment will be on agricultural group based businesses. The study was inspired by the success of the Grameen Bank in Bangladesh in reaching the poor through access to microfinance facilities. Using group-based lending strategy microfinance institutions are becoming important institutions in breaking the vicious circle of poverty in many developing countries today. Nevertheless, there are several aspects of microfinacing that remain unclear especially the ability of the local credit systems under smallholder settings in most African countries, which forms the premise of this project. Two students, pursuing their MSc in Agribusiness Management have been recruited to undertake different components of the study under the supervision of the Principal Investigator and other supervisors.
Cette recherche étudie l’impact des institutions de microfinance sur la capacité d’améliorer les systèmes de crédits locaux et la performance des petites et moyennes entreprises au Malawi. L’objectif de l’évaluation sera porté sur les entreprises basées sur le collectif agricole. L’étude a été inspirée par le succès de la Banque Grameen au Bangladesh pour atteindre les pauvres par l’accès aux services de microfinancement. En utilisant la stratégie de crédits basés sur le groupe, les établissements de microfinance deviennent aujourd’hui des institutions importantes pour rompre le cercle vicieux de la pauvreté dans de nombreux pays en voie de développement. Néanmoins, il y a plusieurs aspects de microfinancement qui demeurent obscurs en particulier la capacité des systèmes locaux de crédit pour les petits établissements agricoles dans la plupart des pays africains, qui constitue la prémisse de ce projet. Deux étudiants, poursuivant leur maîtrise en gestion agroalimentaire ont été recrutés pour effectuer les différentes composantes de l’étude sous la supervision du promoteur principal et des autres superviseurs.
Extended Abstract for Cross Cutting Fields
Date of publication: 
Region Focus: 
Southern Africa
RUFORUM Conferences and Workshops
Licence conditions: 
Open Access


The 2012 RUFORUM Biennial Conference is the third in the series. The main objective of the Biennial conferences is to provide a platform for agricultural research for development stakeholders in Africa and beyond to actively exchange findings and experiences, while at the same time learning lessons towards improving performance of the agricultural sector and ultimately people’s livelihoods. The biennial conference is RUFORUM’s most comprehensive meeting for the diversity of stakeholers in agriculture. It is especially dedicated to graduate students and their supervisors, grantees in RUFORUM member universities and alumni. It is a platform for peer review, quality control, mentorship, networking and shared learning. The third Biennial Conference was attended by 657 participants.  This record contains an extended abstract accepted under the theme of Cross Cutting Fields.