28 Nov 2017
Learning Lab, Initiative for Smallholder Finance
What's your impact?

Understanding the impact of inclusive financial services is crucial to closing the USD 150 billion smallholder finance gap. Since the Lab’s 2015 study on impact, new evidence and emerging data from the Mastercard Foundation RAF Learning Lab portfolio – a USD 175M portfolio including 9 partners targeting 10M smallholders across 26 countries – shows a positive impact of smallholder finance on farmer livelihoods.

Traditionally, donors have pushed for a greater understanding of farmer impact to identify which investment opportunities are most effective and also monitor performance overtime. However, private sector actors, including agribusinesses and financial institutions, are increasingly realizing that understanding the impact of their services on farmer livelihoods is fundamental to ensuring product adoption and thus enabling sustainable and scalable business models. This requires providers to understand the drivers of farmer profitability, including productivity and commodity prices, and understanding how these drivers will change overtime as farmers increase the use of capital. 


21 Nov 2017
Learning Lab
2017 RAF Partner Workshop

On November 10, RAF partners and friends gathered for the third annual Mastercard Foundation RAF Partner Learning Workshop in Accra, Ghana. Using research from the Lab's third learning brief, this year's theme was focused on understanding sustainable business models for serving smallholder farmers. The day long workshop included a series of partner speaker presentations, break-out discussions and activities to identify real life opportunities for executing sustainable partnerships, and ample time for networking. 

Although this annual event is a private invite-only workshop, we do our best to share learnings beyond the portfolio by sharing workshop materials with the public. To view this year's workshop presentation click the link below or download here

For information on past workshops, you can view materials using the links below. 

21 Nov 2017

This October 2017 Better Than Cash Alliance report examines how shifting to digital payments can provide powerful solutions to help countries improve agricultural productivity and ensure food security, bringing higher incomes and greater financial inclusion.

[Download the full report here] 

The paper aims to help economies begin and accelerate their shift to digitize payments in their agriculture sectors. By providing data and recommendations, the paper is designed to assist countries in fulfilling their commitments towards Sustainable Development Goal #2: “End hunger, achieve food security and improved nutrition and promote sustainable agriculture” through digital payments.

*Note that this report focuses on the use of digital payments in East Asia with potential applicability in sub-Saharan Africa.