Farmer Technical Assistance

Technical assistance programs can be highly effective in helping smallholder farmers improve their agronomic skills, business and financial skills, and access to markets, though current donor spending is small relative to the potential need.  TA for farmers can include: agronomic training, including public sector extension, value chain development, and financial or digital literacy.

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Analysis: Key insights from Tulaa’s experience in building an end-to-end digital solution connecting farmers to markets
Report: In a series of blogs, ISF Advisors and the Mastercard Foundation Rural and Agricultural Finance Learning Lab (the Lab) will introduce major concepts and frameworks that will anchor our upcoming State of the Sector report for rural finance. Building on the “industry model” developed in our 2016 Inflection Point report, these frameworks aim to bring further clarity and insight to the three layers of the market: Rural clients, financial service providers (FSPs), and the capital markets. We hope that by sharing early versions of this thinking we can stimulate debate and discussion across the sector about what is needed to continue to enhance access to rural, agricultural financial services.

Huxta
Analysis: The eleventh blog in the Pulse series aims to outline key insights from a recent ISF survey on the growing ecosystem of Business Development Services (BDS) to help financial service providers (FSPs) better reach smallholders.
Farmland aerial
Report: 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.
Tool: Download the materials below, including presentation slides, the webinar recording, to learn how organizations such as AgDevCo and Opportunity International, are integrating both business and social goals to empower women in smallholder finance.
Photo
Spotlight: Each year, more than 10 million young people across Africa enter the job market, competing for just three million formal jobs. As the continent’s youth population swells steadily towards a projected total of 800 million by 2050, this demographic crisis will intensify even further.
Musoni aerial imagery
Media: In this seven-minute video, the Lab digs deep into business model sustainability by following the Musoni Kenya team to understand how going digital can help achieve scale and drive profitability.
Multiple farmers working in single field
Report: On behalf of IDH and Alliance for a Green Revolution in Africa (AGRA), Enclude has recently completed a report analyzing trends and lessons learned about how technical assistance can contribute to scaling investments in the agricultural sector.
TA Pulse
Analysis: Part 4 of ISF's and RAF Learning Lab's Pulse series draws insights from the evolving Technical Assistance (TA) landscape in agricultural finance.
Marie Sow ICCO STARS
Spotlight: Across Africa, 80% of agricultural production comes from smallholder farmers, most of which are rural women. Yet, in countries like Senegal, only 20% of women have access to financial services and less than 30% of them are involved in governance for their Producer Organizations (POs). As a result, many women struggle to scale their farms and build their businesses. This blog explains how the ICCO STARS program, a Learning Lab partner, is working to address this challenge and empower female farmers through stronger access to finance.
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.
Report: Root Capital's December issue brief, Investing in Resilience: A Shared Value Approach to Agricultural Extension, focuses on scaling climate-smart practices through agricultural extension services.

Farmer Technical Assistance

Technical assistance programs can be highly effective in helping smallholder farmers improve their agronomic skills, business and financial skills, and access to markets, though current donor spending is small relative to the potential need.  TA for farmers can include: agronomic training, including public sector extension, value chain development, and financial or digital literacy.