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Thematic Area:

Rural & Smart Agri-finance Development


2018 – 2019


Agence Française de Développement (AFD)


Turkey, Caucasus & Central Asia

Country Coverage:           


Project Overview

In collaboration with Vakifbank, Agence Française de Développement (AFD) has launched a comprehensive facility including a dedicated credit line for technical assistance (TA) that aimed to increase access to finance for the Turkish agricultural sector and promote high value-added and sustainable investments.

The TA support provided by Frankfurt School to Vakifbank comprised two consecutive projects as follows: The first TA Project builds the capacity of Vakifbank’s staff to assess agricultural projects and create awareness on environmental issues. The second TA Project helps Vakifbank implement the TA to support rural development in Turkey. It encourages Vakifbank to identify and promote high added-value agricultural and agri-food practices, thereby helping the bank to differentiate itself in the Turkish market and support higher revenue and environmentally and socially (E&S) sustainable agricultural and agri-food enterprises, farmers and cooperatives.

Under the first TA Project (Feb 2018 – Feb 2019), Frankfurt School experts supported Vakifbank through classroom and on-the-job trainings on selected issues while developing new products/schemes for agricultural finance and creating awareness on E&S issues with the following results:

  • Delivery of 15 classroom trainings for 230 Vakifbank staff to enhance their agricultural and environmental finance know-how;
  • On-the-job support and coaching for 10 Vakifbank branches for capacity and institutional building in different focal areas;
  • Development of comprehensive reports on organic agriculture, good agricultural practices and agricultural irrigation; and,
  • Organisation of a workshop to discuss Vakifbank’s organisational gaps, needs and potential to improve its loan penetration in the rural sector.

For the second TA Project (June 2018 – December 2019), the Frankfurt School expert team delivered the following activities and outputs:

  • Assisted Vakifbank to identify and promote high added-value agricultural and agri-food practices. These activities ensure the gradual empowerment of Vakifbank in line with best international practices in agriculture that will allow them to provide added-value advisory services to their clients in the  beef, dairy and vegetable sectors.
  • Arranged a study tour to France with 22 Bank staff and client participants to learn about agricultural solutions with high added value in terms of revenue generation as well as environmental and social sustainability.
  • Organised seven webinars on selected agricultural products targeting a total of 200 Bank staff to raise awareness in topics related to different sub-sectors and the challenges to finance these sub-sectors.
  • Designed and implemented 19 financial literacy and technical trainings for about 2,400 participants tailored to the needs of different Turkish regions. Trainings also included topics such as technological innovation, insights from the world’s agricultural production and finance practices and digitalisation in agriculture. These ‘regional’ trainings enabled Vakifbank to differentiate itself in the market as a supporter of Turkish agricultural and agri-food companies, farmers and cooperatives, while also establishing E&S sustainable practices.

Zuhal Urguplu Sanal

Project Manager