Initiative for Smallholder Finance

The Initiative for Smallholder Finance (ISF) is a multidonor and investor platform for the development of financial services for the smallholder farmer market. It was launched in May 2013 with the intention of making marked progress toward closing the gap between the $450 billion in smallholder financing demand and the current $10-20 billion supply. The ISF’s primary role is to act as a "design catalyst." The emphasis is on mobilizing additional financing for smallholders and seeding replication of innovative models in new markets.

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ISF briefing 11 cover
Analysis: The eleventh briefing note in a series from the Initiative for Smallholder Finance explores how innovative lenders are using new data sources and analytics to assess the creditworthiness of borrowers. The full report is available for download here.
Analysis: The tenth briefing note in a series from the Initiative for Smallholder Finance explores three channels through which value chain financing models can be delivered and identifies how these models can group “enablers” to best serve smallholders.
Media: An interactive playbook from ISF discusses how innovation can help direct-to-farmer finance providers better serve farmers by addressing the challenges associated with direct-to-farmer lending.
Analysis: Direct-to-farmer finance is one channel of reaching smallholder farmers, but it can be challenging for banks not already serving those customer segments.
Analysis: The ninth briefing note in a series from the Initiative for Smallholder Finance is a case study of a TechnoServe project aiming to increase incomes of smallholder coffee farmers in East Africa.
Analysis: The eighth briefing note in a series from the Initiative for Smallholder Finance discusses how agricultural technical assistance in the developing world maps to addressing various specific financing constraints for smallholder farmers.
Analysis: This briefing is the sixth in a series by the Initiative for Smallholder Finance featuring an overview of how finance providers currently offer direct-to-farmer finance.
Analysis: The fifth briefing note in a series from the Initiative for Smallholder Finance examines current lending practices among social lenders, considers the future trajectory of the sector, and highlights opportunities for investors and funders to support the sector’s future growth.
Analysis: The fourth briefing note in a series from the Initiative for Smallholder Finance reflects on the role of capital markets within the context of historical agricultural sector development.
Briefing note 3
Analysis: The third in the ISF briefing note series, this briefing note takes stock of the existing landscape of smallholder impact and risk measurement and devises tools and suggestions to align these efforts for greater future impact.
Analysis: This briefing is the second in a series by the Initiative for Smallholder Finance. Read this note to explore what is required for a healthy, competitive smallholder banking sector, and investment opportunities for public and commercial funders seeking to support smallholders.
Analysis: The first briefing note in a series from the Initiative for Smallholder Finance provides an overview of the market size and scope of local bank lending to smallholder farmers.

Initiative for Smallholder Finance

The Initiative for Smallholder Finance (ISF) is a multidonor and investor platform for the development of financial services for the smallholder farmer market. It was launched in May 2013 with the intention of making marked progress toward closing the gap between the $450 billion in smallholder financing demand and the current $10-20 billion supply. The ISF’s primary role is to act as a "design catalyst." The emphasis is on mobilizing additional financing for smallholders and seeding replication of innovative models in new markets.