Limited information on smallholder finance product design is preventing financial service providers from meeting the financing needs of smallholder farmers.
There are over 450 million smallholder farmers globally, supporting an estimated 2 billion people in their households. These households need access to financial services to help increase farm productivity, reduce their vulnerability to unexpected shocks and improve their livelihoods. Yet the current supply of financing available to them, ~$50 billion, represents only a quarter of the estimated total need of this population. Part of the issue is that financial service providers face high resource constraints to develop and deploy financial products that meet the needs of smallholder farmers.
The Smallholder Finance Product Explorer seeks to catalyse product development and innovation through better and more accessible information.
MIX and One Acre Fund have teamed up to improve the quality and availability of operational data that helps drive product development. Currently in beta, this tool - which consists of rich, practically useful data on smallholder finance products - makes it possible for financial services providers to share knowledge and learn from each other. Additionally, funders and investors can more easily identify innovative partners and support them to develop, launch and refine farmer-centric products, and ultimately help reduce the financing gap for smallholder farmers.
Initial analyses on financial product data provide
key insights and intelligence into product effectiveness.
One Acre Fund, MIX and RAF Learning Lab collaborated on the design of a data framework to categorize a diverse set of smallholder finance products in a way that allows for comparison and benchmarking of products. To learn more about how the underlying data of the Smallholder Finance Product Explorer is categorized, please refer to the Taxonomy Document below. The rich underlying data set of the Product Explorer allows users to understand how providers are finding innovative ways to reach smallholder farmers. Over the course of the next few months, we'll be sharing these insights through a series of Insights Briefs, the first of which can be accessed below.
This is just beginning. Our goal is to broaden our reach
to capture new and innovative products.
We have launched this beta version of the Smallholder Finance Product Explorer with information on products from nearly 30 financial service providers in 10 countries. We plan to capture product information from additional geographies and financial service providers in the near future. In the meantime, the data and information currently available in the Smallholder Finance Product Explorer provide funders and financial service providers alike with the ability to generate meaningful insights and intelligence for product development and investment.
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