It is not an exaggeration to say, "Farming is everyone's business!"
Just think about the following mind-blowing facts:
These factual highlights are the foundation of our new e-learning program “Certified Expert in Sustainable Agriculture Finance” (CESAF). The self-paced online course focuses on the central question how financial institutions can help farmers – especially poor smallholders - to shift to sustainable agricultural practices that lead to secured livelihoods, better working conditions on farms, and enhanced resilience to climate change.
Improved access to finance plays a significant role in the transformation of the food and agriculture sector. Farmers and agribusinesses need loans, insurance, leasing and many other financial services to become more sustainable. Financial institutions seek qualified employees who understand the financial needs and dynamics in agricultural value chains.
What Do We Offer?
|Before Jul 15, 2023||EUR 700*|
|After Jul 15, 2023||EUR 900*|
Final exam fee: An additional final exam fee will be charged for the second and third final exam attempt.
Payment in instalments is not possible.
*Subject to change
The CESAF online course primarily addresses agriculture finance practitioners in emerging markets, especially mid-level managers and field staff of agriculture development banks, rural microfinance institutions, insurance and leasing companies, and other financial institutions intending to engage in agriculture finance. The course will also be useful for persons who are engaged in agricultural policymaking, or regulation and supervision of the agriculture finance sector, as well as for those who are interested to become consultants and advisors in the field of sustainable agriculture finance.
The course is scheduled for 6 months, assuming an average of 4 hours of self-study per week. It consists of 5 mandatory units, which are built upon each other.
The course is mostly self-paced, but there are a few mandatory deadlines, especially for the home assignment towards the end of the course.
You are not sure if you manage to complete the course within 6 months? No worries! You can apply for a course extension (6 more months) against an administrative fee.
|Course Start||Course End||Registration||Early Bird|
|1 Sept.||28 Feb.||1 June - 1 Sept||by July 15|
|1 Mar.||31 Aug.||1 Dec. - 1 Mar.||by Jan. 15|
All our courses contribute to the following SDGs:
Registrations are now open. Register before 15 July 2023 and benefit from our early bird discount.
The “Certified Expert in Sustainable Agriculture Finance” covers a wide range of topics, including basic agricultural knowledge and specific financial instruments. Participants will gain a broad perspective on the concept of sustainable agriculture finance and acquire the necessary skills to design feasible operations, products and delivery channels. The program is structured into 5 mandatory units and 3 voluntary electives:
This course is based on Frankfurt School’s extensive experience in practical project work and professional education programs, and it is tailored to the needs of our target audience.
Suggestions & Recommendations
While you decide on the timing and pace of your learning experience, we would like to give you some recommendations on how to get the most out of this course:
Your schedule: We will provide you with a course schedule including voluntary and mandatory deadlines. The course schedule serves as a guideline for your personal learning schedule and will help you complete the programme within the given time frame.
Assignments: With the assignments, you will learn how to apply the knowledge learned during the course. It is important that you take time to read the necessary material and solve the assignment.
Networking Opportunities: Use the forum to introduce yourself to your peers and start interesting discussions.
On successful completion of this course, participants will have a thorough comprehension of principal concepts and good practices in agricultural finance, i.e. they have learned to:
Unit 1: Farming Systems & Sustainable Agriculture
This unit sets the foundation for the course by providing basic knowledge about agriculture, which will be especially useful for those course participants that have no agriculture background. This knowledge will be essential for a better understanding of the following units.
In this unit you will learn about the key characteristics of major farming systems in the world – such as pastoralism, traditional mixed farming, industrialized livestock production – and the typical financial needs in those farming systems. In addition, you will learn about key practices in sustainable agriculture with a focus on smallholder farmers.
Unit 3: Sustainable Agricultural Value Chain Finance
This unit provides a deep insight into a very promising new business model used in agriculture finance: Sustainable Agricultural Value Chain Finance (SAVCF). We will approach this topic from a conceptual and practical perspective. You will learn about the concept of value chain finance and the institutional requirements for successful SAVCF. Further, you will gain a thorough understanding of the characteristics and practices of contract farming in the context of SACVF. In addition, we will present and analyze typical SAVCF operations (examples from the field).
Unit 5: Credit Cycle Management in SAF
This unit covers the main issues related to conventional credit management in SAF, with a focus on smallholder lending. We will explain the difference between group and individual lending. Next, we will present the elements of the traditional credit cycle and look at ways how they can be managed in group and individual lending. Finally, you will learn about good practices in credit cycle management in SAF, with a focus on smallholder lending.
Unit 7: Electives
Do you want to get more out of the course?
The course provides you with three electives to deepen your knowledge in the field of your interest.
Unit 7a – Digital Solutions for Sustainable Agriculture Finance
Unit 7b – Sustainable Agriculture Insurance
Unit 7c – Gender and Sustainable Agriculture Finance
Unit 2: Business Models in Sustainable Agriculture Finance (SAF)
This unit provides an overview and critical discussion of different business models used in SAF. We will present different types of financial institutions that engage in agriculture finance and then look at typical financial products, delivery channels, and institutional arrangements used by the providers of SAF.
You will gain a deep understanding of the business model concept and the business purpose from the perspective of financial institutions that already provide or intend to provide SAF. You will further learn about the double and triple bottom line concept in SAF, and gain knowledge of the key characteristics of the main business models currently used in SAF. Last but not least, you will be encouraged to critically reflect on the advantages and disadvantages of different SAF business models.
Unit 4: Credit Risk Management in SAF
This unit covers the main issues related to risk management in SAF, with a focus on smallholder lending. You will get a good understanding of the main risks that farmers and SAF providers face. We will focus on individual credit risks and loan portfolio risks. In addition, you will learn about tools used for risk identification and risk measuring in agri-finance institutions. Moreover, we will look at the most important risk management practices used by institutions lending to smallholder farmers.
Unit 6: Wrap-Up and Outlook
This unit wraps up the course by summarizing the key messages of all units. It also presents the main contents of the optional electives:
*Subject to change
The flexibility of our courses offers you the opportunity to follow your own schedule and combine daily work with professional development.
The high quality offered will immediately improve your daily job performance as well as the performance of your institution.
Each unit ends with an online test comprising a set of 10 - 15 multiple-choice questions. Only after having successfully completed an online test, you will gain access to the next unit.
A PDF script is for most of our courses the main studying material. This reading material provides basic concepts and principles applicable to the subject of each unit.
The key to successful learning is the immediate use of newly acquired knowledge and the transfer of theory into practice. Our online courses are therefore supplemented by mandatory assignments.
A course discussion forum enables the interaction between participants and trainers and facilitates the exchange of experiences as well as the possibility to ask questions or get clarifications.
Passing a final examination is a requirement for obtaining your certificate.
If you do not wish to take the final exam, you will receive a confirmation of course participation after completing the course.
Helmut Grossmann has been working for the Frankfurt School of Finance & Management as a Micro and Agricultural Finance Specialist since 2004. He was Acting Head of the School’s International Advisory Services (IAS) from 2004 to 2005 and since then worked in well over 20 countries as trainer and consultant.
Helmut has worked with the Frankfurt School e-Campus since its inception in 2010, setting the foundation for its renowned training approach with the creation of its very first course, Certified Expert in Microfinance. He also developed the Certified Expert in Sustainable Agriculture Finance. Helmut is the main lecturer for the Certified Expert in Sustainable Agriculture Finance, and he continues to support the e-Campus, further developing its training approach.
Master of Leadership in Sustainable Finance
The Certified Expert in Sustainable Agriculture Finance is an Elective Module of the Master of Leadership in Sustainable Finance. Join our Master's programme after completing the CESAF course and waive one elective module. Also, the amount you paid for the course will be deducted from the final tuition fee of the Master's programme.
Frankfurt School Summer Academy
Expand your skills and knowledge in agricultural finance with the Frankfurt School Summer Academy. This one-week, on-campus programme allows participants to choose from a selection of specialised technical tracks.
Read more about our Agricultural Finance & Climate Risk track here.
Diploma in Financial Inclusion
The Certified Expert in Sustainable Agriculture Finance is part of the curriculum of our Diploma in Financial Inclusion. Enrol for our Diploma after completing the CESAF course and waive one module. Also, the amount you paid for the course will be deducted from the final tuition fee for the Diploma.
Diploma in Green Finance
The Certified Expert in Sustainable Agriculture Finance is part of the curriculum of our Diploma in Green Finance. Enrol on our Diploma after completing the CESAF course and waive one module. Also, the amount you paid for the course will be deducted from the final tuition fee for the Diploma.