Are you interested in learning about two innovative rural finance programs currently underway in Sierra Leone and Tanzania?

Do you want to explore the relationship between rural finance, agriculture, and food security?

Would you like to see practical recommendations on how to improve food security through rural finance programs?


If yes, use the links at the side of each page to explore in detail how Catholic Relief Services (CRS) and Floresta’s integrated programs are affecting and improving household food security.

Through the Rural Agricultural Finance and Food Security (RAFFS) Practitioner Learning Program (PLP), Catholic Relief Services (CRS)-Sierra Leone and Floresta-Tanzania have explored the hypothesis that village savings and loan associations (VSLAs) can contribute to household food security by improving food availability (through an increase in agricultural productivity) and food access (through an increase in household income).

Results from nearly a year of research indicate that VSLAs can, in fact, contribute to improved food security at the rural household level. As one client living in Sierra Leone commented:

I was always wondering how I could get my grandchild to school until the SILC was introduced to our village. Besides paying his school fees I was able to provide food for the home from the profit I am making from my trading.

Certain program elements of VSLA programs can be either added or adjusted to better maximize their positive impact on food security.  CRS and Floresta explore some of these elements in the Recommendations section of this blog.

A Village Savings and Lending Association Meeting