25 Sep 2015
Learning Lab

The Learning Lab in collaboration with Dalberg Research have built a database of existing financial solutions for smallholder farmers. This database will help us better understand the landscape of financial solutions that are offered to smallholder farmers, identify some of the key features that products share, and learn about which organizations are active in this space.

We developed a beta version of the database by consolidating previous databases from the Initiative for Smallholder Finance (on local lenders and direct-to-farmer financiers) and conducting a desk analysis of published descriptions of financial solutions targeted at smallholders.  The current version contains over 600 different provider solutions offered in Africa, Asia and Latin America.  Each record describes a specific product or service by a specific provider, with details on the model, like associated training, operational partners, or delivery model. 

The database is built on publicly available information from providers, or identified through resources like Agrilinks, the AgriFin Facility, the Rural Finance and Investment Learning Center, the Microinsurance Network or the World Bank...

24 Sep 2015
Andre Proctor

Improving the productivity and livelihoods of smallholder farmers involves a wide range of interventions in technology, support services, access to inputs, institution building (farmer associations and cooperatives) and market access across local, regional and international value chains.

Cultivating effective feedback loops between actors at all points in this web of relationships will contribute to fairer, more gender-sensitive, more efficient and more effective value chains – ultimately to greater well-being of smallholder farming communities.

Feedback Commons

Keystone’s Feedback Commons is a web platform designed to make collecting and using feedback so simple, inexpensive, and useful that all development interventions can use it to manage and improve their performance in the services they offer, the relationships they depend on, and the outcomes that they hope to achieve.

The Feedback Commons is built around ‘neighbourhoods’. For example, the Smallholder farmer and value chain development neighbourhood will enable any development initiative to

  • Build micro-surveys by selecting standardised, tested questions* from a common question bank and adding their own custom questions as well.
  • Automatically generate online survey forms and printable paper surveys (soon to include mobile data collection options such as Telerivet).
  • Upload data into the Commons database (...
23 Sep 2015
ISF Advisors

Innovation can help direct-to-farmer finance providers better serve farmers by addressing the challenges associated with direct-to-farmer lending, as ISF shows in this interactive playbook.

Existing challenges – such as lending risks and service delivery – are exacerbated at scale; investing in innovation can help direct-to-farmer finance providers scale up to more quickly and effectively meet the vast global demand for smallholder finance.

Through a collaborative research, design, and ideation process involving farmers, donors, finance providers, and more, the Initiative for Smallholder Finance has identified five opportunities for direct-to-farmer finance innovation.

Each of the innovation spaces below suggests compelling new ways that direct-to-farmer finance providers can build off current experimentation in the sector to better serve smallholder farmers.

This playbook introduces each innovation opportunity, provides a snapshot of current experimentation underway, and suggests concrete examples of new product, service, and strategy ideas.