Every Smallholder Farmer Prospering from an Interconnected Digital World

Mercy Corps’ mission is to alleviate suffering, poverty and oppression by helping people build secure, productive and just communities. The AgriFin Accelerate program is a six year, USD 24.7 million program of Mercy Corps, supported by The MasterCard Foundation.

The core problem AgriFin Accelerate seeks to address is the inclusion gap for smallholder farmers (SHF) who lack access to affordable, accessible, demand-driven financial products and services that drive higher productivity and income for farm families.

Benson WACHIRA Kiongo,40 and his wife Alice Njeri, 37. They have 1 child daughter ZIPPORAH Wairimu, 19 who is away at school. They own and farm 3 acres which has 3 cows, 1 male goat, 50 chicken with around 40 chicks. Benson uses a Samsung phone for MPESA buying and selling of his produce. He sells macadamia nuts, yams, tree tomatoes and bananas, and coffee around 20kg a week. They live with brother of Benson and his wife and daughter Gloria. “When the rains comes I'll plant maize. I’m digging my fields now” says Benson. These images are to accompany research being conducted by Research Solutions Africa for Mercy Corps's AgriFin Mobile and AgriFin Accelerate programs, a 6 year %25 million initiative funded by the MasterCard Foundation working in Kenya, Tanzania and Zambia. The aim of the programs is to support the expansion of digital financial services (DFS) to 1 million farmers in Sub-Saharan Africa (SSA) over 6 years, delivered by growing ecosystems of diverse service providers. AgriFin Accelerate's primary target group is unbanked smallholder farmers living on less than $2/day.

Theory of Change

IF well-designed and accessible digital financial services are bundled with productivity tools and offered to smallholder farmers AND digital ecosystems are accelerated to effectively provide relevant services to smallholder farmers at scale, THEN financial inclusion will increase, driving gains for smallholder farmer income and productivity.

Program Goal

One million smallholder farmers in Sub-Saharan Africa have full access to client-responsive bundles of digital financial and informational services that significantly increase farmer productivity and incomes, delivered by growing ecosystems of diverse service providers.

Program Approach

AgriFin Accelerate employs a market facilitation and technical assistance model to catalyze the development of digitally enabled products and services for smallholders, and works with ecosystem actors committed to serving farmers sustainably and at scale, including mobile network operators, financial institutions, farmer networks, technology innovators, agriculture value chain players, government and other key market stakeholders.