Creating Impact and Scale For Young Farmers – What We’ve Learned

Digital solutions work for youth in agriculture. They are cost effective and can empower young farmers at scale, for impacts, and on their own terms. ***Read the full case study here. The increasing size of Africa’s young, working age population – set to grow 37% by 2030 – holds promise for a major boost in economic productivity and growth known as the demographic dividend. However, the payout will depend on…

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Farmer Capability Lab: A Case of Double-Sided Returns

Studies have identified farmer capability as a key constraint to the adoption and use of financial services and digital tools by smallholder farmers. The Farmer Capability Lab approach aims to overcome these constraints through bridging the gap between providers and smallholder farmers; effectively forming two sides of the same coin by: Reaching farmers with targeted solutions that improve their understanding and use of digital financial solutions. Supporting service providers in…

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Promoting Digital Engagement of Women Farmers

How should Digital Financial and Information Services Target Women Farmers to Increase their Productivity? AFA is continuously learning about and improving strategies to reach women with digital financial and information services. We strive to share emerging lessons with the agricultural and financial inclusion communities. Read about our six key insights on promoting engagement with women smallholder farmers highlighted in this infographic. Learnings from AFA Interventions in Kenya, Tanzania and Zambia Women smallholder…

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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 – Part 2

NOTE: This post is a continuation of the Blog Series, Increasing women’s financial inclusion in Zambia. See below for links to other parts in this series. A Seasonal Mapping of Zambian Women Smallholder Farmers’ Major Activities, Expenses, and Earnings The lives and financial health of women smallholder farmers in Zambia are largely governed by the annual planting and harvesting of maize, which is grown by 80% of the country’s farmers…

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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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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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