14 Apr 2020
Learning Lab, ISF Advisors, The Feed the Future Initiative
Rural farming pathway

Building on over a decade of research into the livelihoods of rural households and the markets in which they operate, this COVID-19 Emergency Briefing Series will look at how this crisis is likely to affect different types of rural households and what the cascading effects may be on markets, food security, and national security. This briefing series will seek to be pragmatic and elevate the real experiences of smallholders and service providers who are most affected by ripple effects in the economy, while also providing recommendations to critical decision makers.

10 Apr 2020
Learning Lab, ISF Advisors, The Feed the Future Initiative
Rural children in schoolhouse

In 2019, ISF Advisors and RAF Learning Lab launched Pathways to Prosperity, a report about the state of the rural and agricultural finance sector. The report presents new, dynamic frameworks for accelerating progress toward closing the $170 billion smallholder financing gap. Recognizing the critical role they play in rural economies, the research included deep dives on engaging both women and youth in achieving inclusive agricultural transformation. In this blog, we share key learnings from the youth deep dive. 

A NOTE ON COVID-19:  The emergence of COVID-19 in the past three months has the potential to dramatically affect young people's transitions due to: (1) a loss of employment, (2) a return to on-farm activities, and (3) shifting household dynamics as a result of illness in the family.  While we don't directly address these dynamics in this piece, the youth deep dive provides a stong baseline from which to consider how COVID-19 will likely affect rural youth.  Over the coming months, the Lab in collaboration with ISF Advisors will be launching an Emergency Briefing Series on COVID-19 which will consider rural youth livelihoods. If you'd like to support that research effort, please...

03 Apr 2020
Men looking at screen

New technologies have the potential to positively impact agribusinesses and other organizations working with or delivering services to smallholder farmers. We have previously highlighted some of the exciting work being done by a range of companies to use technologies to interact with farmers, to deliver services and extension support, and to reach out to underserved groups.

AgDevCo's Smallholder Development Unit (SDU) has been working closely with agribusinesses across Africa for the past several years. We now have 23 partnerships with agribusinesses in eight countries, all focused on finding ways to enable smallholder farmers to improve their productivity and their income. As we've supported our partners in experimenting with how best to work with smallholder farmers, we have learned a lot about what does and does not work. In two recent publications we've distilled this learning into practical guidelines for use by managers of agribusinesses and any other organizations looking to find the most effective and efficient ways to engage with smallholder farmers.

Using video for farmer training

The first of these guides focuses on how to use video to...