Ecosystems for SHF finance

Building an inclusive ecosytem requires the collaborative effort of industry players such as DFIs, FSPs, government, commercial banks, farmer organizations, and others. The Learning Lab seeks to understand the key enablers for fostering an inclusive RAF ecosystem while also understanding the necessary interventions for ecoystem change. This primary topic area includes sub-topics like value chain development, climate-smart agriculture, capital providers, and farmer organizations. 

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Going far, together
Analysis: Part 2 of ISF's and RAF Learning Lab's Pulse series shares insights and trends on progressive partnerships across sectors and at the last mile in the rural and smallholder finance sector.
Ag leasing
Analysis: New research from Financial Sector Deepening Africa (FSDA) and Nathan Associates highlights agricultural lease finance as a way to expand access to finance for smallholders, allowing for greater mechanization of agriculture in sub-Saharan Africa. This blog summarizes some of the key opportunities and barriers to uptake and usage of lease finance - concluding with the recommendation of a potential fund that would help share the initial costs of agricultural equipment.
Community: A new blog series, jointly authored by the Initiative for Smallholder Finance and the Learning Lab will share monthly sector trends in smallholder finance and next steps forward for FSPs, donors, and investors. The Pulse is rooted in key findings and recommendations highlighted in the ISF's and Lab's latest state of the sector report, Inflection Point. 
The MasterCard Foundation_Kampala
Report: Mercy Corps' AFA program conducts country-level ecosystem reviews in coordination with its work to support the expansion of digital financial and non-financial services to smallholder farmers in Kenya, Tanzania, and Zambia. These analyses are published as white papers in the "Fertile Ground" series. This is the Zambia white paper.
Report: Mercy Corps' AFA program conducts country-level ecosystem reviews in coordination with its work to support the expansion of digital financial and non-financial services to smallholder farmers in Kenya, Tanzania and Zambia. These analyses are published as white papers in the "Fertile Ground" series. This is the Tanzania white paper.
Report: Smallholder farmers are in need of inputs such as fertilizers, improved seeds and planting material, and access to finance, delivered in a stable and cost efficient system. Insights from a new report, published by IDH, the Sustainable Trade Initiative, enable service providers to create these cost-effective and scalable solutions, empowering smallholders to grow and sustain their businesses.
Analysis: The thirteenth briefing note in a series from the Initiative for Smallholder Finance, explores the latest practices from the climate finance community and the agricultural finance community to understand how new combined models can boost returns and attract new investors.
Analysis: The Learning Lab is researching how digitalization affects the business case for smallholder finance, specifically: what role do digital tools play in successful business models for lending to smallholders? Here we provide early findings from the research, in the form of a presentation from a Sep. 2016 workshop where Dalberg and the Lab discussed the results of organization surveys and expert interviews.
Analysis: The Learning Lab recently supported research by the MIX on detailed 2015 lending data from leading social lenders, who make up the Council on Smallholder Agricultural Finance (CSAF). The findings were summarized in the 2015 CSAF annual report, which takes a deeper look into the current state of the sector through the lens of donors, investors, and lenders. Dan Zook, Director of Investments at the Initiative for Smallholder Finance (ISF), unpacks some of the key highlights from the report, many of which corroborate and illustrate major insights from our study, Inflection Point.
Spotlight: New guest blog from Farming First uses two case studies from their recently released climate smart video and case study series to explain how climate smart agriculture practices enable smallholders to more effectively and reliably use finance for agriculture production.
Report: IIF and CFI Accion’s recently published report, “The Business of Financial Inclusion: Insights from Banks in Emerging Markets” digs into commercial banks and the role of digital technology in the emerging market, a concept the Lab is currently looking into for the RAF space.
Analysis: The Learning Lab analyzes applications from the first Scaling Competition of The MasterCard Foundation Fund for Rural Prosperity. Findings confirm key trends from the first Innovation Challenge and identify new trends around bundled service offerings and digital solutions.

Ecosystems for SHF finance

Building an inclusive ecosytem requires the collaborative effort of industry players such as DFIs, FSPs, government, commercial banks, farmer organizations, and others. The Learning Lab seeks to understand the key enablers for fostering an inclusive RAF ecosystem while also understanding the necessary interventions for ecoystem change. This primary topic area includes sub-topics like value chain development, climate-smart agriculture, capital providers, and farmer organizations.