Geodata and ICT Solutions for Inclusive Finance and Food Security

In light of a growing demand for food, smallholder farmers are crucial in supplying the world with sufficient food. In order to achieve this much needed growth, access to affordable and appropriate finance is key for smallholder farmers. On the other side, financial institutions see agriculture lending as risky and costly and do not easily lend to smallholder farmers. A study commissioned by NpM showed that lack of understanding of agriculture at the financial institution’s level leads to overestimation of the risks and costs involved. At the same time new technologies and Information and Communication Technologies (ICTs) are now being used to boost production. ICT information systems are able to address knowledge gaps at farmer level. New ICT solutions in banking assist to reach out to remote rural areas and new groups of smallholders. Through ICT applications in banking, costs of financial service delivery have reduced while outreach has improved. How can these developments in agriculture on the one hand, and finance on the other, be combined to improve finance for smallholders to the required levels?

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