Who should attend
The CEAF online course primarily addresses agriculture finance practitioners, such as mid-level managers and field staff of agriculture development banks, rural microfinance institutions, ag-insurance firms, leasing companies, and other financial institutions in developing countries, emerging economies and developed nations. The course will also be useful for those who are interested to become agriculture finance experts, consultants and advisors. Last but not least, persons who are engaged in agriculture policymaking, or regulation and supervision of the agriculture finance sector will benefit too.
About the course
Agriculture matters a lot for everyone on this planet: it provides affordable and healthy food, jobs and incomes for millions of people; its development is essential for environmental protection, poverty alleviation and in the context of climate change.
Therefore, agriculture finance is a significant part of the finance sector. Farmers and agro-enterprises need loans, insurance, leasing and many other financial services to do well. Financial institutions seek qualified employees who understand the financial needs of farmers and agribusinesses, the dynamics of the agricultural sector and the role of finance in agricultural value chains.
The “Certified Expert in Agricultural Finance” (CEAF) is an on-line course that covers a wide range of agriculture finance topics. Participants will gain a broad perspective on the concept of agricultural finance and acquire the necessary skills to design feasible operations, products and delivery channels. One focus of the course will be on lending to farmers and agribusinesses, in particular how to manage risks and costs along the entire loan cycle.
This course is based on Frankfurt School’s extensive experience in practical project work and theoretical education programs, and it is tailored to the needs of our target audience.
What Do We Offer?
- An interactive e-learning course including video lectures, PDF scripts, examples, practical exercises, online tests and case studies.
- A discussion forum for course related issues as well as for exchange of opinions and experiences with , tutors, peers or the FSDF e-Campus team.
- Personalized support from your e-Campus team.
- The possibility to achieve a Frankfurt School certificate after passing the final exam or a confirmation of course completion after completing the course.
- An international network of institutions hosting our final exam all over the world.
The course takes approx. 6 months assuming 3-4 hours of self-study per week. It consists of 7 mandatory units, which build upon each other.
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.
The course starts with an overview of the agricultural sector and agricultural finance systems. We will explore why agriculture matters, how different farming systems have evolved, and which farming practices are typical in crop and livestock production. Then, we will investigate the stakeholders in agriculture finance, products and services offered by agriculture finance institutions, specific delivery channels, and different approaches to manage costs and risks.
From here we will dig deeper into the world of agricultural lending: risk management, credit management, marketing and sales.
Finally, you will familiarize yourself with various recent innovations in the field of agricultural finance, spanning from the insurance industry to capital markets.
At the end of the course you have the voluntary choice of up to 4 electives.
The CEAF course will be challenging because you will learn a lot of new things about agriculture finance and apply your knowledge in assignments.
The course will also be fun because we use plenty of animations and pictures, and you will communicate with your peers and tutors on our virtual learning platform.
CEAF is very flexible. It is entirely up to you how and when you work through the course material. Yet, there is one compulsory assignment with a fixed deadline and a final exam.
Altogether, the learning input to do the entire course (without electives) will be approximately 100 hours over a period of 6 months.
The course is divided into 7 compulsory units as well as voluntary electives.
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 a course schedule including voluntary and mandatory deadlines. The course schedule serves as guideline for your personal learning schedule and will help you completing 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 to solve the assignment.
Networking Opportunities: Use the forum to introduce yourself your peers and start interesting discussions.
Unit 1: Why agriculture matters
In this unit you will learn about the history of agriculture, the importance of global food security, food prices and food quality, and the economic and environmental aspects of agriculture.
Unit 2: Basic knowledge of agriculture
This unit covers everything you should know about climate, soils, plants, markets and policies, farming systems, crop production and animal husbandry. This knowledge will help you to design better financial products for farmers and to assess credit risks.
Unit 3: The agriculture finance system
This unit provides an overview of agricultural finance systems, the recent history of agriculture finance, typical stakeholders and client segments, suitable products, services and delivery channels, and major risk and cost management approaches of agriculture finance institutions.
After completing Unit 3 you will have to do a small online knowledge test.
Unit 4: Risk Management
Risk management is essential for profitable agriculture credit operations. In this unit you will learn how to identify, measure and mitigate risks in agriculture lending.
Unit 5: Credit management
This unit will teach you how to manage the agriculture credit cycle: application, appraisal, decision, disbursement, monitoring, and loan delinquency handling.
After completing Unit 5 you will have to work on a group assignment that deals with risk and credit management in an agriculture finance institution.
Unit 6: Marketing and sales
This unit shows participants how to design agriculture credit products and delivery channels, as well as marketing and sales techniques for agriculture loans.
Unit 7: Innovations in agricultural finance
This unit provides an overview of recent innovations in agricultural finance, focusing on services and distribution channels that better manage risks, reduce operational costs and increase client outreach – for example, digital financial services, value chain finance, leasing, index insurance, and various capital market instruments.
Do you want to get more out of the course? The course provides you with the possibility to choose up to four electives to deepen your knowledge in the field of your interest. For each elective, you can earn one (1) additional ECTS (credit point), thus adding more value to your course and certificate.
Elective 1 familiarizes you with a computer software called ALES (Agriculture Loan Evaluation System), which was developed by Frankfurt School. This software is currently used for the assessment of agricultural loan applications by 7 commercial banks in Turkey and various other institutions in further countries.
In Elective 2 we will fathom the topic of Value Chain Finance. You will learn how to analyse agricultural value chains and how to design suitable financial products and delivery solutions for farmers and agro-enterprises in value chains.
Weather-Index-Based Insurance (WIBI)
Elective 3 provides students a deeper insight into the fascinating world of index insurance. We will look at different cases to better understand how an index insurance system is designed.
Digital Financial Services (DFS)
Elective 4 explores the world of Digital Financial Services in the agriculture sector. We will look at several cases that show how digital financial services can help farmers.
Helmut Grossmann has not only been working for Frankfurt School of Finance & Management for over 10 years as a Microfinance Specialist, he was also Acting Head of Frankfurt School’s International Advisory Services from 2004-2005. He has worked in over 20 countries for Frankfurt School. Withi...
Videos and materials
Because of COVID-19, many providers are cancelling or postponing in-person programs or providing online participation options.
We are happy to help you find a suitable online alternative.