24 Apr 2019
Learning Lab, ISF Advisors

The thirteenth blog in the Pulse series examines the opportunities and lessons learned of connecting financial services with technology solutions for smallholder farmers. 

17 Apr 2019
Learning Lab, Dalberg Design

In 2016, we launched an initiative to collect insights from our partners. Our approach involved reviewing partner documents and interviewing  each partner to understand key “lessons learned” from their programs. 

04 Mar 2019
ISF Advisors
Farmland aerial

Most of us have gotten caught in the rain without an umbrella or spent a morning commute sweltering in a heat wave. But for the millions of smallholder farmers around the world, the stakes run much higher than a soaked shirt. Weather is just one of many disruptive shocks that have the potential to destroy a crop and ruin a farmer’s season.

That’s where agricultural insurance comes in. By paying out after ‘occasional events with large economic impacts’, such as extreme weather and pest activity, agricultural insurance offers two potential benefits. First, it helps farmers avoid devastating financial losses in the event of a disruptive shock. Second, it limits the downside risk for smallholders investing in their own productive capacity. After all, if there is a good chance that new improved seeds won’t germinate because of drought, it can be hard to validate the extra expense. Insurance can ease farmers’ concerns about investing in technologies and improvements that are crucial for advancing their economic standing over time.

Sounds good, right? We think so too. ISF believes that agricultural insurance is an important financial service that both protects farmers and can help improve their productivity over time. And we’re not alone. In response to increasing market interest, and with the support of the Syngenta Foundation for Sustainable Agriculture, ISF developed a report entitled, “...