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The theme of the Islamic Microfinance Challenge was "Beyond Murabaha." It received entries from microfinance institutions in 11 countries. The Challenge is co-sponsored by the
Judges of the Islamic Microfinance Challenge selected Wasil's entry - an "Agricultural Financing Package" of salam and ijara products - for its impact on the lives of its clients, the sustainability of the offering and its potential to scale up in
Salam offers agricultural clients a cash advance against a guaranteed purchase price for their crops. Through ijara, Wasil rents agricultural land and then subleases it to a farmer for an agreed period of time. Fruit, vegetable and flower farmers pay a monthly rental fee in cash, while wheat and rice farmers can pay in the form of crops. By combining these two financial products, Wasil helps smallholder farmers sustain themselves between harvests while reducing their costs. The Agriculture Financing Package represents an average of nearly 10 percent of Wasil's current portfolio, though that number can increase to 20 percent during the peak agricultural season.
"To alleviate poverty in
Other entries that were shortlisted for the final round of the Challenge included
Videos of all finalists are available at http://www.cgap.org/news/innovation-islamic-microfinance
"We hope this recognition will inspire other microfinance providers to expand their own Sharia-compliant product offerings," said
Keywords for this news article include: CGAP, Agricultural.
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