NEXT BILLION: Better data for better products

Published on

May 8, 2018

Behind every dataset, there’s a story waiting to be told. When it comes to farmer finance, that story centers on the untapped US $200 billion smallholder finance market. The numbers highlight a massive opportunity – if financial service providers (FSPs) and investors have access to transparent and credible market data.

But like all stories, it’s not that cut-and-dried. Globally, there are 450 million smallholder farmers in need of better financial products, which can enable them to rise out of poverty and contribute to feeding the world’s growing population. But while most industries would see 450 million eager consumers as a compelling market opportunity, efforts by FSPs to reach smallholders have had a limited effect, in part due to insufficient market data.

There’s good news though: Earlier this year One Acre Fund and MIX with support from the Mastercard Foundation Rural and Agricultural Finance Learning Lab (the Lab), launched the Smallholder Finance Product Explorer. This online resource – housed on the MIX Market platform – aims to help FSPs design better products and help investors identify new investment opportunities by providing access to operationally useful information on smallholder finance products. With more detailed data, FSPs can inform product development and investors can identify partners to better meet the financing needs of smallholder farmers. 

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Original Content

The Learning Lab works to identify and share knowledge relevant to our learning agenda and our users, but also to create new knowledge through research and facilitated learning. Original content from the Learning Lab includes news about the Lab, analyses we've conducted, knowledge products we've created, and posts we've written about other relevant initiatives.

One Acre Fund
Learning Lab Partner

The OneAcre Fund seeks to expand access to financial services and training for smallholder farmers in Kenya, Rwanda, and Burundi, ultimately enabling 181,000 additional poor farm households to improve their farming techniques, and increase their profits on every planted acre.

One Acre fund will also encourage microfinance institutions to expand into rural areas, helping pioneer and augment the capacity of a new sector of microfinance.  And the partnership strengthens OneAcre's core MIS and M&E systems, enabling continued improvement to its program design and greater cost efficiency in its operations, as well as increasing bandwidth to capture the most accurate and compelling evidence of impact. 

Browse One Acre Fund's own insights library.

Press release: One Acre Fund and The MasterCard Foundation Partnership 

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