Our Staff Writers and Editors offer insights on the latest news, events, interviews and other happenings from the development through enterprise and base of the pyramid universes
Wednesday, August 26, 2015 — Sub-Saharan Africa

Smartphones help Tanzanian women secure land rights


In an effort to help Tanzania's authorities secure village land rights, USAID launched a project to map geographic and demographic data using mobile phone technology, with the aim of speeding up land rights registration.
Monday, August 24, 2015 — Sub-Saharan Africa

Meet Moringa, The African Superfood That's Healthier Than Kale

Source: Fast Company

It's packed with calcium, protein, and vitamins — and putting it in your smoothie will also send money to African farmers.
Friday, August 14, 2015 — Sub-Saharan Africa

New $35 million competition will enable greater financial inclusion for smallholder farmers in Africa

Source: Graphic Online

The MasterCard Foundation has announced the opening of a US$35 million Scaling Competition under its Fund for Rural Prosperity.
Wednesday, June 3, 2015 — Sub-Saharan Africa

PRESS RELEASE: Root Capital Announces New $15 Million Lending Facility to Finance African Agricultural Enterprises

Source: Root Capital

The company will finance agricultural enterprises throughout sub-Saharan Africa to enhance local food security and stimulate inclusive economic growth in the region.
Friday, May 29, 2015 — Sub-Saharan Africa

Vodafone expands Farmers Club to 4 new markets

Source: Telecom Paper

Vodafone announced that it is launching its Farmers’ Club initiative - which offers a range of mobile services to help farmers in Turkey boost productivity - in India, Ghana, Kenya and Tanzania.
Tuesday, February 10, 2015 — No Region Specified

$10 million Clinton Global Initiative Commitment to support smallholder farmers

Source: Press Release

Unilever, Acumen and the Clinton Giustra Enterprise Partnership, an initiative of the Clinton Foundation, have launched a landmark Clinton Global Initiative (CGI) Commitment to Action called the Enhanced Livelihoods Investment Initiative (ELII) to improve the livelihoods of as many as 300,000 smallholder farmers and their communities in Africa, South Asia, Latin America, and the Caribbean.
Thursday, November 6, 2014 — Sub-Saharan Africa

Gates Foundation refutes report it fails African farmers

Source: Thomson Reuters Foundation

The Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation has rejected accusations that too much of its funding goes to Western researchers, saying it is helping small farmers in African countries.
Wednesday, November 5, 2014 — Sub-Saharan Africa

PRESS RELEASE: Pershing Square Foundation Makes $611,000 Grant To myAgro To Support Small-Scale West African Farmers

Source: PR Newswire

The Pershing Square Foundation has announced a grant of $611,000 to myAgro – an organization that helps small-scale West African farmers save their way out of poverty through a unique mobile layaway lending program, allowing them to increase harvests by an estimated 75%.
Wednesday, October 15, 2014 — Sub-Saharan Africa

How Mobile Technology Can Help End Poverty For Rural Farmers

Source: Huffington Post

Mobile phones are giving farmers in rural communities served by Grameen Foundation's Community Knowledge Workers access to information that helps them improve their practices and earn more for their produce.
Wednesday, June 4, 2014 — No Region Specified

William Warshauer to Join TechnoServe as President and CEO

Source: Press Release

TechnoServe is pleased to announce that William Warshauer, an experienced nonprofit leader, has been named president and CEO. Will currently serves as chief operating officer of Pact, a $180 million development organization operating in more than 25 countries,
Thursday, April 10, 2014 — No Region Specified

PRESS RELEASE: Social Lenders Join Forces to Develop Industry Standards, Best Practices for Smallholder Agricultural Finance

Source: CSAF

The alliance of social lending institutions, also referred to as impact-first agricultural lenders, was formally launched today at the 11th Skoll World Forum on Social Entrepreneurship.
Friday, April 4, 2014 — No Region Specified

Japanese microfinance fund seeks to assist small Peruvian farmers

Source: Global Post

A Japanese small-lot fund operator said Thursday it will launch a new fund with a credit cooperative in Peru to assist Peruvian small farmers, who lack access to financial services, to meet their daily farming needs.
Tuesday, February 18, 2014 — South Asia

State Bank of Pakistan Outlines 6-point Action Plan to Boost Agri Financing

Source: Daily Times Pakistan

The agenda includes launch of countrywide onternship programme for 100 top agri graduates, to be funded under the ADB’s Improving Access to Financial Services Endowment Fund.
Thursday, January 30, 2014 — No Region Specified

Press Release: Announcing a New Investment - KZ Noir

Source: Acumen Blog

KZ Noir exports fully and semi washed green coffee and has two roasted coffee brands.
Tuesday, January 28, 2014 — No Region Specified

PRESS RELEASE: Root Capital Highlights Business Case for Social, Environmental Due Diligence in Investment Decisions

Source: CSR Wire

CAMBRIDGE, Mass., Jan. 28 /CSRwire/ - Root Capital, a nonprofit agricultural lender, today released a new issue brief detailing the financial benefits linked to conducting due diligence on the social and environmental practices of its borrowers.
Thursday, January 16, 2014 — Sub-Saharan Africa

More weather index insurance for African smallholder farmers

Source: African Capital Markets News

Weather insurance is a financial product aiming to help African farmers manage the volatility of drought and other weather crises. This week (14 Jan), IFC ( signed 2 grant agreements with MicroEnsure Ltd to make more index-based weather insurance available to small-scale farmers in Rwanda and Zambia. Index-based insurance pays out on the basis of agreed weather data, such as rainfall as measured being lower than an agreed level, and is more efficient risk management tool than traditional indemnity-based agricultural insurance, which runs up high transaction costs and premiums.
Thursday, December 19, 2013 — No Region Specified

Incofin Investment Management endorses need for agricultural finance by launching new $200 million agRIF fund

Source: Microfinance Gateway

Incofin Investment Management (IM) is seeking to raise around USD 200 million for its new agRIF fund which will focus on the unmet global demand for financial services that target smallholder farmers.
Thursday, November 7, 2013 — Sub-Saharan Africa

Why mobile money can work in rural areas

Source: IT News Africa

Mobile money is an important means of facilitating the transfer of funds across rural areas in Africa, but services are often designed to function in a specific way – which might not be to the benefit of all who are making use of them.
Tuesday, October 29, 2013 — No Region Specified

Can data-driven solutions change Africa’s agriculture sector?

Source: Devex

Despite accounting for 65 percent of the labor force and making up 32 percent of its gross domestic product, Africa’s agricultural sector gets less than one percent of commercial bank loans.
Wednesday, September 25, 2013 — No Region Specified

Sustainability Certification Dramatically Improves Smallholder Farms’ Access to Credit, New Study Finds

Source: Rainforest Alliance

Smallholder farmers suffer from a lack of credit access, but sustainability certification can help change that, according to a new study published by the Rainforest Alliance and funded by the Citi Foundation.
Thursday, September 19, 2013 — Sub-Saharan Africa

USDA, TechnoServe Sign 3-Year, $15M Grant Supporting Cashew Farmers

Source: Press Release

The United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) and TechnoServe intend to enter into a three-year grant agreement to support small-scale cashew producers, processing factories and the Government of Mozambique’s ongoing efforts to reduce poverty. This $15 million Food for Progress-funded project will support the cashew industry by harnessing global market demand for premium cashew kernel and addressing obstacles throughout the value chain, including in the areas of inputs, production, processing and marketing. In total, this project will support 30,000 smallholder cashew farmers by increasing their productivity and competitiveness as well as connecting them to new markets.
Wednesday, July 17, 2013 — Sub-Saharan Africa

TechnoServe and Nespresso partner to build a more sustainable coffee industry in East Africa

Source: Press Release

TechnoServe and Nespresso are launching a partnership in East Africa to improve the livelihoods of smallholder coffee farmers while creating a more sustainable source of supply for Nespresso.
Thursday, June 20, 2013 — No Region Specified

G8 Alliance: Corporate boogeyman or vehicle to smallholder empowerment?

Source: Devex

Launched just over a year ago, the New Alliance for Food Security and Nutrition is a global partnership formed by G8 governments, the private sector and African leaders with the goal of lifting 50 million people out of poverty by 2022. The combination of donor commitments, private sector investments and policy reforms by African governments are setting conditions for public-private partnerships to spark agriculture transformation.
Wednesday, April 25, 2012 — Latin America

First Fund to Help Smallholder Farmers with Long-Term Loans

Source: Microfinance Focus

Incofin Investment Management, Fairtrade International (FLO) and Grameen Foundation will establish a ‘First Fund’ to focus on the unmet demand of smallholder farmers for long-term loans.
Tuesday, January 31, 2012 — Sub-Saharan Africa

East Africa: Boost for Agriculture

Source: allAfrica

The fight to secure food and income for millions of small holder farmers in eastern Africa, a region that experiences severe food shortages from time to time, is poised to get additional ammunition with the construction of a science research block by the International Institute of Tropical Agriculture (IITA) in Dar es Salaam, Tanzania.
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