The AgriFin Accelerate program is a six-year, USD 25 million program of Mercy Corps, supported by The MasterCard Foundation. The program seeks to address the financial 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. Launched in March 2015, the program is expected to benefit at least one million smallholder farmers in Kenya, Tanzania and Zambia.
Major Program Components & Expected Outcomes
Drawing on Mercy Corps’ experience implementing the AgriFin Mobile program, AgriFin Accelerate will support the expansion of digital financial services (DFS) to smallholder farmers (SHF), delivered by growing ecosystems of diverse service providers. AgriFin Accelerate’s primary target group is unbanked smallholder farmers living on less than $2.50 per day. Three outcomes will contribute to the achievement of this goal:
Market actors expand, improve and continue to offer high-impact DFS products and services that are tailored to the needs of SHFs;
Farmers increase capability to access and utilize demand-driven, technology-enabled financial products and services;
Ecosystems emerge supporting provision of digital financial and informational services to SHFs.
The program’s core innovations are:
1) A rapid iteration engagement model to drive innovative, client-centric product development;
2) Our work with partners to develop “bundles” of mobile-enabled services offering farmers affordable access to financial and informational services.
Specific focal areas for innovation will include the use of digital technology to educate farmers, tech start up acceleration, the use of alternative data to support financial service design and the use of human centered design techniques to ensure products are closely linked to the needs of farmers, particularly women and youth.