Publications

AgriFin is strategically positioned to learn from our commercial sector partners, documenting both successes and failures, and sharing our results with practitioners interested in the intersection of digital finance, smallholder agriculture, and technology innovation.

Digital Financial Services

Zambia_PPP-SHF-HCD

AgriPay: the ZANACO Farmers Account

Case Study, AgriFin Accelerate
September 2019

July 2019, Kibwezi, Kenya.  Miriam Muthini Daniel, 24, herding her goats. Like many people in rural Kenya, Miriam relies on rain-fed agriculture to support her family, a livelihood that has become increasingly fragile with the growing effects of climate change. Kenya has been battling recurring drought conditions since 2014 and, after the spring rains failed this year, Miriam lost many of her crops. Losing an entire harvest is a significant blow to smallholder farmers like her, who rely on seasonal rains to grow the crops and pasture that provide much of their food, animal feed and income. 

Through the AgriFin program, Mercy Corps and local partners are using a mobile platform — DigiFarm — to reach farmers in Kenya with services to help them improve their livelihoods and build resilience to climate change. DigiFarm provides comprehensive support that is traditionally unavailable or too expensive for farmers to obtain, including soil testing, quality seeds for in-demand cash crops, insurance, input loans, digital learning and commercial markets to sell the crops — all through their mobile phones. It’s also a way to get young people involved in agriculture, which is important to overcoming youth unemployment and boosting long-term global food security. Miriam used the program to successfully grow sunflower last year and, because the platform linked her to a commercial buyer at harvest time, she earned a profit that enabled her to purchase a cow, which she can sell in case of emergency instead of taking a loan. She used DigiFarm to plant another cash crop this year, green grams (a legume). The plants were destroyed by the drought, drying up at only a few inches tall, but because the DigiFarm seeds automatically come with insurance, she is protected and won’t need to deplete other resources to cover the lost income.

Improving Soil Testing Among Smallholders

Program Report, AgriFin Accelerate
August 2019

FarmerSmilingatPhone

DigiFarm Randomized Control Trial: Preliminary Analysis

Partner Presentation, AgriFin Accelerate
June 2019

Safaricom: Accelerating Access to Digital Financial Services

Partner Document, AgriFin Accelerate
May 2018

AFM_in1

Scalable Business models in Financial Agricultural Services

Program Report, AgriFin Mobile
August 2018

Benson WACHIRA Kiongo,40 and his wife Alice Njeri, 37. They have 1 child daughter ZIPPORAH Wairimu, 19 who is away at school. They own and farm 3 acres which has 3 cows, 1 male goat, 50 chicken with around 40 chicks. Benson uses a Samsung phone for MPESA buying and selling of his produce.  He sells macadamia nuts, yams, tree tomatoes and bananas, and coffee around 20kg a week. They live with brother of Benson and his wife and daughter Gloria.
“When the rains comes I'll plant maize. I’m digging my fields now” says Benson.
These images are to accompany research being conducted by Research Solutions Africa for Mercy Corps's AgriFin Mobile and AgriFin Accelerate programs, a 6 year %25 million initiative funded by the MasterCard Foundation working in Kenya, Tanzania and Zambia. The aim of the programs is to support the expansion of digital financial services (DFS) to 1 million farmers in Sub-Saharan Africa (SSA) over 6 years, delivered by growing ecosystems of diverse service providers. AgriFin Accelerate's primary target group is unbanked smallholder farmers living on less than $2/day.

Social Networks and Agricultural Insurance: The Pula Referral System

Program Report, AgriFin Accelerate
May 2019

DFM_Tablet

DigiFarm: A Digital Platform Made for Farmers

Case Study, AgriFin Accelerate
May 2019

Farm-Greenhouse

SunCulture: How Can Solar-Powered Assets Expand Household Incomes?

Case Study, AgriFin Accelerate
April 2019

Tanzanian Farmer on Phone

Scaling Access to DFS for Smallholders in Tanzania

Case Study, AgriFin Accelerate
November 2018

Digital Payments in the Zambian Cotton Industry

Presentation, AgriFin Accelerate
September 2017

Inclusive Financial Sector Development in Fragility-Affected Africa

Program Report, AgriFin Accelerate
February 2017

Kabale (167)

Digital Product Development and Bundling

White Paper, AgriFin Mobile
June 2016

Farmer Capability and Climate-Smart Farming

SoilTestingInfographic

Soil Testing for Smallholder Farmers

Infographic, AgriFin Accelerate
August 2019

July 2019, Kibwezi, Kenya.  Miriam Muthini Daniel, 24, herding her goats. Like many people in rural Kenya, Miriam relies on rain-fed agriculture to support her family, a livelihood that has become increasingly fragile with the growing effects of climate change. Kenya has been battling recurring drought conditions since 2014 and, after the spring rains failed this year, Miriam lost many of her crops. Losing an entire harvest is a significant blow to smallholder farmers like her, who rely on seasonal rains to grow the crops and pasture that provide much of their food, animal feed and income. 

Through the AgriFin program, Mercy Corps and local partners are using a mobile platform — DigiFarm — to reach farmers in Kenya with services to help them improve their livelihoods and build resilience to climate change. DigiFarm provides comprehensive support that is traditionally unavailable or too expensive for farmers to obtain, including soil testing, quality seeds for in-demand cash crops, insurance, input loans, digital learning and commercial markets to sell the crops — all through their mobile phones. It’s also a way to get young people involved in agriculture, which is important to overcoming youth unemployment and boosting long-term global food security. Miriam used the program to successfully grow sunflower last year and, because the platform linked her to a commercial buyer at harvest time, she earned a profit that enabled her to purchase a cow, which she can sell in case of emergency instead of taking a loan. She used DigiFarm to plant another cash crop this year, green grams (a legume). The plants were destroyed by the drought, drying up at only a few inches tall, but because the DigiFarm seeds automatically come with insurance, she is protected and won’t need to deplete other resources to cover the lost income.

Improving Soil Testing Among Smallholders

Program Report, AgriFin Accelerate
August 2019

Farm-Greenhouse

SunCulture: How Can Solar-Powered Assets Expand Household Incomes?

Case Study, AgriFin Accelerate
April 2019

AFA_Sep15

Farmer Capability Lab

Case Study, AgriFin Accelerate
December 2018

Farmer Capability Lab – Tanzania

Presentation, AgriFin Accelerate
January 2017

Farmer Capability Lab – Kenya

Presentation, AgriFin Accelerate
January 2017

Women & Youth

Zambia_PPP-SHF-HCD

AgriPay: the ZANACO Farmers Account

Case Study, AgriFin Accelerate
September 2019

Farm-Greenhouse

SunCulture: How Can Solar-Powered Assets Expand Household Incomes?

Case Study, AgriFin Accelerate
April 2019

DLTP

Persona-based Pathways for Youth in Agriculture

Case Study, AgriFin Accelerate
December 2018

Women Smalholder Farmers: 6 Insights

Infographic, AgriFin Accelerate
September 2018

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Don’t Lose the Plot: Engaging Youth through Edutainment

Case Study, AgriFin Accelerate
January 2018

Data & Tech Acceleration

Webp.net-resizeimage (3)

Benchmarking e-Commerce Models for Africa’s Smallholders

Case Study, AgriFin Accelerate
December 2018

A woman uses a bicycle to take her produce to market in rural Uganda. Photo: Allison Shelley

Farm to Market Alliance: Digitizing a buying Platform for Smallholders

Case Study, AgriFin Accelerate
September 2018

DaaCh1lXUAANnlA

Rural Connectivity Ideation Workshop

Presentation, AgriFin Accelerate
April 2018

Distribution Channel Logistics

Benson WACHIRA Kiongo,40 and his wife Alice Njeri, 37. They have 1 child daughter ZIPPORAH Wairimu, 19 who is away at school. They own and farm 3 acres which has 3 cows, 1 male goat, 50 chicken with around 40 chicks. Benson uses a Samsung phone for MPESA buying and selling of his produce.  He sells macadamia nuts, yams, tree tomatoes and bananas, and coffee around 20kg a week. They live with brother of Benson and his wife and daughter Gloria.
“When the rains comes I'll plant maize. I’m digging my fields now” says Benson.
These images are to accompany research being conducted by Research Solutions Africa for Mercy Corps's AgriFin Mobile and AgriFin Accelerate programs, a 6 year %25 million initiative funded by the MasterCard Foundation working in Kenya, Tanzania and Zambia. The aim of the programs is to support the expansion of digital financial services (DFS) to 1 million farmers in Sub-Saharan Africa (SSA) over 6 years, delivered by growing ecosystems of diverse service providers. AgriFin Accelerate's primary target group is unbanked smallholder farmers living on less than $2/day.

Social Networks and Agricultural Insurance: The Pula Referral System

Program Report, AgriFin Accelerate
May 2019

Webp.net-resizeimage (3)

Benchmarking e-Commerce Models for Africa’s Smallholders

Case Study, AgriFin Accelerate
December 2018

A woman uses a bicycle to take her produce to market in rural Uganda. Photo: Allison Shelley

Farm to Market Alliance: Digitizing a buying Platform for Smallholders

Case Study, AgriFin Accelerate
September 2018

DaaCh1lXUAANnlA

Rural Connectivity Ideation Workshop

Presentation, AgriFin Accelerate
April 2018

Aggregator Centre

Tackling the Rural Agent Network Challenge: 10 Cases and Learnings

Presentation, AgriFin Accelerate
August 2017

Ecosystem Research & Learnings

IMG_8884

2019 Annual Learning Event Synthesis

Program Report, AgriFin Accelerate
May 2019

MIDDAY PLENARY

2018 Annual Learning Event Synthesis

Program Report, AgriFin Accelerate
May 2018

DaaCh1lXUAANnlA

Rural Connectivity Ideation Workshop

Presentation, AgriFin Accelerate
April 2018

July 2019, Makindu, Kenya.  Matheka Munyao, 57, with corn kernels for planting. Like many people in rural Kenya, Matheka relies on rain-fed agriculture to support his family, a livelihood that has become increasingly fragile with the growing effects of climate change. Kenya has been battling recurring drought conditions since 2014 and, after the spring rains failed this year, Matheka lost many of his crops. Losing an entire harvest is a significant blow to smallholder farmers like him, who rely on seasonal rains to grow the crops and pasture that provide their food, animal feed and income. 

Through the AgriFin program, Mercy Corps and local partners are using a mobile platform — DigiFarm — to reach farmers in Kenya with services to help them improve their livelihoods and build resilience to climate change. DigiFarm provides comprehensive support that is traditionally unavailable or too expensive for farmers to obtain, including soil testing, quality seeds for in-demand cash crops, insurance, input loans, digital learning and commercial markets to sell the crops — all through their mobile phone. Matheka used the program to successfully grow sunflower last year and, because the platform linked him to a commercial buyer at harvest time, he earned new income that enabled him to pay his children’s school fees. He used DigiFarm to plant another cash crop this year and, because the seeds automatically come with insurance, he is protected against total loss even though the plants were destroyed by drought.

AgriFin Mobile Annual Report (2016-17)

Program Report, AgriFin Mobile
September 2017

Zambia Farmer Profile: Overview, Segmentation and Targeting

Presentation, AgriFin Accelerate
January 2017

Smallholder Farmer Insights: Kenya Benchmark Study

Presentation, AgriFin Accelerate
January 2017

2016 Kenya Annual Learning Event Synthesis

Program Report, AgriFin Accelerate
January 2017

research-thumb-2

Off-taker Linkages with Smallholder Farmers: A Space for Digital Finance

Partner Presentation, AgriFin Accelerate
December 2016

July 2019, Kibwezi, Kenya.  Paul Mwendo Mutinda, 27, with seeds ready for planting. Like many people in rural Kenya, Paul relies on rain-fed agriculture to support his family, a livelihood that has become increasingly fragile with the growing effects of climate change. Kenya has been battling recurring drought conditions since 2014 and, after the spring rains failed this year, Paul lost many of his crops. Losing an entire harvest is a significant blow to smallholder farmers like him, who rely on seasonal rains to grow the crops and pasture that provide much of their food, animal feed and income. 

Through the AgriFin program, Mercy Corps and local partners are using a mobile platform — DigiFarm — to reach farmers in Kenya with services to help them improve their livelihoods and build resilience to climate change. DigiFarm provides comprehensive support that is traditionally unavailable or too expensive for farmers to obtain, including soil testing, quality seeds for in-demand cash crops, insurance, input loans, digital learning and commercial markets to sell the crops — all through their mobile phones. It’s also a way to get young people involved in agriculture, which is important to overcoming youth unemployment and boosting long-term global food security. Paul used the program to successfully grow sunflower last year and, because the platform linked him to a commercial buyer at harvest time, he earned a large profit that enabled him to do a number of things, including pay his wife’s school fees and buy two bulls to support his farming. He used DigiFarm to plant another cash crop this year and, because the seeds automatically come with insurance, he is protected against total loss even though the plants were destroyed by drought. Paul is hopeful about the future and thinks getting more youth involved in agriculture can improve security in the region.

AgriFin Mobile Annual Report (2015-6)

Program Report, AgriFin Mobile
August 2016

Tanzania Ecosystem Study

Presentation, AgriFin Accelerate
July 2016

July 2019, Emali, Kenya.  Patricia Nthenge holds a bowl of green lentils that she grew on her farm. Like many people in rural Kenya, Patricia relies on rain-fed agriculture to support her family, a livelihood that has become increasingly fragile with the growing effects of climate change. Kenya has been battling recurring drought conditions since 2014 and, after the spring rains failed this year, Patricia lost many of her crops. Losing an entire harvest is a significant blow to smallholder farmers like her, who rely on seasonal rains to grow the crops and pasture that provide their food, animal feed and income for things like household essentials, school fees and family emergencies. Without proper rain, it can be difficult for them to meet their needs. 

Through the AgriFin program, Mercy Corps and local partners are using a mobile platform — DigiFarm — to reach farmers in Kenya with services to help them improve their livelihoods and build resilience to climate change. DigiFarm provides comprehensive support that is traditionally unavailable or too expensive for farmers to obtain, including soil testing, quality seeds for in-demand cash crops, insurance, input loans, digital learning and commercial markets to sell the crops — all through their mobile phone. Patricia has been using the program for two years and says it has helped her a lot. She got her soil tested, has access to better seeds, and might eventually use the digital lessons on raising poultry to build a business raising chickens.

AgriFin Mobile Annual Report (2014-15)

Program Report, AgriFin Mobile
September 2015

research-thumb-1

AgriFin Accelerate Progarm Overview

e-Brochure, AgriFin Accelerate
February 2015

July 2019, Makindu, Kenya.  Eleanor Muli, 53, harvests pigeon peas on her farm. She relies on rain-fed agriculture to support her family, a livelihood that has become increasingly fragile with the growing effects of climate change. Kenya has been battling recurring drought conditions since 2014 and, after the spring rains failed this year, Eleanor lost many of her crops. Losing an entire harvest is a significant blow to smallholder farmers like her, who rely on seasonal rains to grow the crops and pasture that provide their food, animal feed and income. 

Through the AgriFin program, Mercy Corps and local partners are using a mobile platform — DigiFarm — to reach farmers in Kenya with services to help them improve their livelihoods and build resilience to climate change. DigiFarm provides comprehensive support that is traditionally unavailable or too expensive for farmers, especially women, to obtain, including soil testing, quality seeds for in-demand cash crops, insurance, input loans, digital learning and commercial markets to sell the crops — all through their mobile phones. Eleanor used the program to successfully grow sunflower last year and, because the platform linked her to a commercial buyer at harvest time, she earned new income that enabled her to pay her children’s school fees and start an emergency fund. She used DigiFarm to plant another cash crop this year, green grams (a legume). The plants were destroyed by the drought, drying up at only a few inches tall, but because the DigiFarm seeds automatically come with insurance, she is protected and won’t need to deplete other resources to cover the lost income.

AgriFin Mobile Annual Report (2013-14)

Program Report, AgriFin Mobile
September 2014

Muhlas_Corn Farmer_Dompu (3)

AgriFin Mobile: Partnering for Success – Year 1

Case Study, AgriFin Mobile
August 2013