Improving Rural Connectivity in East Africa

PART 1: Designing a Rural Connectivity Hub Model On April 10th, 2018, AgriFin Accelerate was excited to host an ideation workshop in Nairobi to engage leading market experts on the concept of rural connectivity and explore solutions to existing challenges and partnership models. The Issue Broadband and wireless internet access has grown exponentially in Kenya over the past few years, in part, due to a range of cost-effective solutions targeting…

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Don’t Lose the Plot

Reality TV ‘edutainment’ series Don’t Lose the Plot engages youth to see farming as a business through digital media and tools As the average age of African farmers rises above 40 years, countries are faced with the question of how to cultivate the next generation of food growers. Knowing that youth are drawn to digital technologies and social media, the Mercy Corps Agrifin Accelerate (AFA) Program collaborated with the Mediae…

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Increasing women’s financial inclusion in Zambia – blog 2

Blog series About this series: The Mercy Corps AgriFin Accelerate (AFA) program seeks to address the financial inclusion gap for smallholder farmers with greater access to affordable, accessible, and demand-driven financial products and services. In Zambia, AFA is leading a consortium of partners to develop and scale a range of bundled digital financial and other services for women farmers under the Financial Sector Deepening Zambia (FSDZ)’s Women’s Financial Inclusion (WIN)…

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Increasing women’s financial inclusion in Zambia – blog 1

Blog series About this series: The MercyCorps AgriFin Accelerate (AFA) program seeks to address the financial inclusion gap for smallholder farmers with greater access to affordable, accessible, and demand-driven financial products and services. In Zambia, AFA is leading a consortium of partners to develop and scale a range of bundled digital financial and other services for women farmers under the Financial Sector Deepening Zambia (FSDZ)’s Women’s Financial Inclusion (WIN) initiative.…

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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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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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MoMo and the Small Holder Farmer (MoMo – Mobile Money)

Mobile Money aka MoMo was conceived in 2007 in Kenya. Earlier close relatives in East Africa and distant relatives in Asia, such as Smart Money in the Philippines, had begun their life trek a few years earlier, but few have grown to colossal heights as the Kenyan product. Indeed with platform capacity of 900 transactions per second, an agent network of over 80,000 points, a merchant network of over 100,000…

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