Increasing women’s financial inclusion in Zambia – Part 1

NOTE: This post is part of the Blog Series: Increasing women’s financial inclusion in Zambia. See below for links to other parts in this series. Financial Inclusion: What is the Status for Women Smallholder Farmers in Zambia? Women smallholder farmers are some of the most financially underserved people in Zambia. Countrywide, 42.6% of women are financially excluded compared to 38.8% of men. Of those who have no access to formal financial…

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Supply side constraints to rural agent network viability in Zambia

4 lessons from a global scan By Andrew Karlyn, Strategy & Insights Lead, AgriFin Accelerate Rural-dominated markets, particularly across Africa, face significant challenges in finding a growth pathway for digital financial services.  Zambia is one such market and with a population of 16 million, 60% of Zambians live in rural areas. Yet despite high penetration of financial inclusion (60%), active use of DFS in Zambia lags at 35% 90-day usage.…

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Inside Story: Zambia Small-Holder Cotton Farmers

Of Bulk and Benefit: Lessons from Promoting Digital Payments among Cotton Ginners in Zambia Summary Digital bulk payments is a potential catalyst for financial inclusion for small holder farmers Cotton represents an important cash crop for rural Zambian small-holders Digitization efforts to date have met limited success A business requirements approach to digitization resulted in 8,229 farmers trained, and 477 new mobile money accounts Adoption lagged however, due to last-minute…

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The Art of Behavior Change

“We have always done it this way,” is the answer we received from a young poultry farmer in Athi River, a small town outside Kenya’s capital Nairobi, when we asked her why her chicken coop was a particular height. Further discussion around farming methods revealed she was willing to change her farming practices if she had access to reliable and convenient sources of information. This statement resonates with many of…

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The Potato Trade: From the middle-man’s perspective

Potatoes are the second most important crop in Kenya, after maize. They are grown by approximately 800,000 farmers, 98% of whom are smallholders and are mostly women.  Smallholders grow on less than 1 hectare and produce 83% of the countries production, according to the National Potato Council of Kenya.  Smallholders sell approximately 80% of their potatoes to mostly urban markets, and 70% of potatoes sold are chipped and served as…

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Is the time ripe for Agricultural e-commerce in Kenya? Four signals to watch.

Most entrepreneurs will tell you that apart from luck and financing, the right timing for launching a product is the final spice that makes the meal rewarding. While catching up on my tech reading I stumbled on a book authored by Porter Erisman on the rise of Alibaba, ‘Alibaba’s World’, and in reflection I found many intersections with the key themes discussed and the current context we find ourselves in…

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Seven insights from Kenyan Value Added Service Providers delivering digital solutions to small holder farmers

Finding viable solutions to deliver financial and non-financial digital services to Kenyan small holder farmers may sometimes feel comparable to discovering the lost city of Atlantis. Both pursuits, led by explorers enamored with fulfilling activities, often conclude in more failures than successes. Fortunately, there are many Kenyan explorers: AFA’s Ecosystem Review uncovered at least 125 potentially sustainable technology firms that aim to offer a range of digital solutions that may…

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Agricultural Market systems failure may lead to low demand for financial services by Smallholder farmers

Agricultural Market systems failure may lead to low demand for financial services by Smallholder farmers

An agricultural market system includes the full range of products, services and relationships such as access to finance, inputs, information, formal and informal rules, policies and logistics, buyers and so on. These products and services work together more or less based on demand and determine the interaction between smallholder farmers and the end market. Where the interactions do not function well resulting in lack of information, poor infrastructure, limited access…

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Kenyan Farmers Go Digital

I decided to give it (digital marketing) a try after I saw it being advertised on television, and to my surprise it worked!” Says Cornelius Kiptoo, a 26 year old farmer from Metkei village, Uasin Gishu County, some 400 Kilometers from Nairobi, Kenya. Cornelius is a smallholder farmer who grows oats, potatoes, maize, and vegetables and also keeps dairy cows. In the past, he sold his farm produce to middlemen…

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More capability, less complexity: Farmer Capability channels

Like most small-holder farmers in his area, Jeremiah Njoroge, seen above, actively seeks out useful and relevant information to support his farming enterprise. Radio happens to be top source of this information for him. “I listen to Inooro’s ‘Sauti ya Mkulima’ programme” he says with a satisfactory grin in response to our question. “Sauti ya Mkulima (‘The Voice of the Farmer’ in English) is a radio programme that airs at…

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