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Analysis: CGAP’s National Survey(s) and Segmentation of Smallholder Households in Mozambique, Tanzania, and Uganda explores the financial, agricultural, and digital demands of smallholder households. The surveys are a groundbreaking effort to build a representative evidence base for the demand-side of the smallholder finance equation. The links above provide access to both summary reports and full micro datasets for each country, for further analysis. This blog summarizes a few of the key themes and specific variations across the three countries.
Report: Cutting edge approaches to rural and agricultural finance rely on varying degrees of digitalization to reach more customers, and reduce costs and risks of serving smallholders. However, when the the product deployed is itself digital, there are new risks to manage. This handbook presents a risk management framework for DFS.
Tool: On August 31 the Learning Lab team hosted a private webinar for partners where we shared rationale and approach to measuring customer satisfaction in the rural and agricultural finance industry. The presentation from this webinar, alongside a short summary of its learnings and the full webinar recording are now available for public viewing.
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:

M-KOPA, a winner of the 2015 FRP Scaling Competition, has taken a leadership role in Solar Home System financing. Read more to learn how M-KOPA is expanding its business model to address rural farmers’ needs through innovative financing options.

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.
Tool: CGAP recently published a Customer Experience Playbook to help FSPs increase uptake and usage among low-income customers. Although the CX Playbook is targeted at urban clients we think there are many valuable lessons that can be applied to rural communities as well.
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.
News: I'm excited to let our users know that we have now publicly launched our open data portal. The inaugural dataset, Smallholder Financial Solutions (beta version) provides details of nearly 800 existing financial solutions (including provider and partners, products and business model) targeting smallholder farmers in developing countries worldwide.
News: The Learning Lab is growing! Over the past half-year the Lab has added 5 new partners to our network, covering a wide range of geographies, customer segments and provider models.
News: A diverse crowd of industry stakeholders gathered at the May 5 State of Smallholder Finance event to discuss findings from the landmark report, Inflection Point.