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International development

Mission accomplished for PASAC!

May 20, 2020

After five years of hard work and collaboration, DID and the many partners involved in this large-scale project are leaving behind a stronger, more inclusive and higher performing agricultural financial sector.

March 31, 2019, marked the end of a major project for DID: the Support for the Agricultural Finance System in Colombia project (PASAC). Launched in 2014, this CAD 19.6 million project was financed by the Government of Canada and carried out in partnership with the Financière agricole du Québec – Développement international (FADQDI), currently affiliated with SOCODEVI.

PASAC mobilized some of the largest entities in the Colombian agricultural sector, including the FINAGRO fund for financing the agricultural sector, Banco Agrario de Colombia agricultural state bank, various producers’ federations, and several cooperatives and other financial institutions.

Through PASAC, not only has DID helped local financial institutions adopt a more efficient credit methodology, but it has also influenced the implementation of new public policies centred on the financial inclusion of agricultural producers. The project also contributed to the financial literacy of thousands of farmers, the majority of whom are women, and supported the development of post-conflict zones.

Testimonials that speak volumes

"Through DID, Desjardins has played an instrumental role in Colombia over the past four years." Dairo Estrada, President of FINAGRO

"It is by far the largest transformation project that Banco Agrario has carried out in recent years! We are now bona fide advisors for our clients." Carlos Fadul, Executive Vice-President of Banco Agrario until 2019

"Desjardins helped us make agricultural producers the central basis for public policies. DID and Desjardins gave me a much more comprehensive vision of what support should be for agricultural producers. A vision whereby financing for the agricultural sector goes far beyond credit." Paula Andrea Zuleta Gil, Director of Finance and Agricultural Risk Management for Colombia’s Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development.

Snapshot of PASAC’s results:

  • 40 financial institutions received support
  • 75 agro-economic reference frameworks were established to clarify decision-making on credit management
  • The DECISION tool is a mobile application that was developed to facilitate the work of credit officers, no matter where they are
  • A customer service protocol was put in place to foster more transparent communication with agricultural borrowers
  • 3,500 finance professionals, 50% of whom are women, were trained on higher-performing credit methodologies
  • 136,000 agricultural credits were granted to 80,000 farmers based on these new methodologies
  • 12,000 micro-entrepreneurs received lines of rural microcredit created by participating cooperatives
  • 15,000 farmers, 57% of whom are women, received some financial education
    • 10 innovative initiatives, such as mobile offices, education programs and agile money strategies, were put in place in areas of the country most affected by armed conflict