26 Nov 2018
Learning Lab, IDH
IDH Trade
Authorship: Clara Colina, Program Manager, Mastercard Foundation RAF Learning Lab; Iris van der Velden, IDH, the Sustainable Trade Initiative

Two-thirds of the world’s 450 million smallholder farmers live on less than USD 2 a day and remain stuck in cycles of poverty. But this pattern doesn’t need to be the norm. Smallholder farmers produce 70% of the worlds food, and economic growth in agriculture is up to 11 times as effective at reducing poverty compared to other sectors. With better access to financial services – such as credit, insurance, and savings – smallholders can invest in the critical inputs, technology and services they need to increase their productivity and ultimately improve their livelihoods to rise out of poverty.

To ensure smallholders have access to finance, and to close the USD 150 billion smallholder finance gap, financial institutions at all levels have a critical role to play.

26 Sep 2018
Learning Lab, Dalberg Advisors

The fifth Learning Brief in the Lab’s research series, this brief aims to provide a high level understanding of how data analytics is used for smallholder farmers, introduce a new framework to understand the economics of data analytic investments, and highlight key innovators in the space.


With a USD 150 billion smallholder finance gap, the use of data analytics could be the game change we need to serve smallholders profitably and at scale. And while early signs are promising, there is still a lot of work to be done. To bring data analytics to the next level, it will require a concerted effort from all players. Financial service providers and digital service providers will need to work together on a commercial scale to prove the business case and develop blueprints of success. Meanwhile, donors and investors will need to continue funding more and better innovative solutions to increase the possibility of innovation.

To learn more about the opportunities for data analytics in smallholder finance, download the full brief below.

To understand the return on investment (ROI) on data analytic investments, download the excel tool below. 

17 Sep 2018
ISF Advisors
Farmland aerial

A new landscape report by ISF Advisors, with support from the Syngenta Foundation for Sustainable Agriculture, highlights the current status and future development of agricultural insurance for smallholder farmers. Based on interviews with more than forty-five key agricultural insurance stakeholders, our research paints a picture of an industry that shows great potential but struggles to achieve the necessary scale and product-level refinements.  


In the past ten years, the field of smallholder finance has grown in both size and complexity. As new players and products have entered the market around the world, there is an ever-present need to understand the many innovative business models and product classes that are developing to support smallholder farmers in their quest for economic advancement.

One of these emerging product classes is agricultural insurance in developing nations. Historically, smallholders have had limited access to risk-management options, but increasingly, formalized agricultural insurance is offering them a...