Despite the importance of agriculture in Indonesia's economy, smallholder farmers are 2.3 times poorer than the general population – and they have little access to formal financing that could boost their production and income. Because of this, many fall prey to loan sharks and go into debt. To address this vicious cycle, the crowdfunding platform Crowde is helping smallholders connect with investors, who help finance their farms in exchange for profit-sharing. Heri Siswanto discusses the successes – and challenges – of this approach.
As an agribusiness owner in Africa, GADC founder Bruce Robertson has grown weary of the silver bullet solutions proposed for transforming rural economies. In 22 years in Uganda, he has yet to see a quick fix. But private enterprise has enormous potential to improve rural lives when donors and businesses collaborate, he says, explaining GADC's "replicable model with huge potential for expansion."
More smallholder farmers are using digital tools to access funds to improve their farms. But with a whopping US $200 billion gap in financing, many cannot access the financing they need to invest in things like seeds, fertilizers and irrigation technologies to increase production and improve their livelihoods. Mikael L. Clason Höök and Malia Bachesta of the RAF Learning Lab highlight several innovative fintech companies that are addressing barriers faced by smallholder farmers.
The Alliance for a Green Revolution in Africa (AGRA) has entered into a partnership with KCB Group to facilitate the implementation of a platform that enables smallholder farmers across the East African region access credit and training.
- Sub-Saharan Africa