Strategy development for an agribusiness unit
Stichting IDH Sustainable Trade Initiative
COUNTRY / REGION
Côte d'Ivoire / Sub-Saharan Africa
Agricultural Value Chain Finance
Created in 1976, UNACOOPEC-CI is the largest microfinance institution in Côte d’Ivoire, covering all the province of the country and holding more than 60% market share through a network of 123 branches. The political and economic crisis of 2011 in Côte d’Ivoire hit hard, however. Coupled with internal institutional weaknesses, UNACOOPEC-CI was put under provisional administration by supervisory authorities in 2013. A substantial stabilisation plan was established and implemented, initially focusing on governance and organisation, as well as the replenishment of capital and liquidity.
A second phase of the plan aimed to improve UNACOOPEC-CI’s core business practices of savings, credit and customer service. In order to fully maximise the benefit of its large network, 80% of which is rurally located, UNACOOPEC-CI’s management decided to strategically focus on serving agricultural enterprises.
UNACOOPEC-CI, in partnership with IDH, contracted IPC to conduct an institutional diagnosis and make recommendations regarding the establishment of a dedicated agricultural business unit.
IPC’s experts implemented the following tasks:
- conducting a diagnosis of the institutional situation of UNACOOPEC-CI
- analysing the main financing mechanisms in agricultural sectors and the financial products offered by competitors
- analysing past and current internal initiatives focused on rural and agricultural segments
- conducting meetings with different players of the agricultural value chain to establish their needs and derive a proposal for financing mechanisms, risk management and product lines geared towards this target group
- drafting a proposal for the organisational set-up of the agricultural business unit, its role and responsibilities, and its links with other departments
- supporting the institution in product development and their commercialisation