Global Innovation Index 2017: Unlocking Credit for Small Farms in Africa

November 7, 2017

Expansion-minded small-holder farmers in developing countries frequently lack official records, like land deeds and balance sheets, sought by established bank lenders.

But that doesn’t mean these farmers, who form the backbone of agriculture in Africa, are not credit worthy: Lenders just need to look at other criteria that are more-relevant to the farmers’ livelihoods.

That’s according to two young Kenyan women, both hailing from farming families, who have launched a new SMS-based mobile phone app that seeks to connect African farmers with lenders that look at a range of factors including weather and drone data.

Video: The main problem that FarmDrive is addressing is the lack of access to loans for small-holder farmers. (Photo: WIPO/Glatz)

This kind of new technology is critical to quickly expanding agricultural productivity, which is not growing fast enough to meet demand, projected to rise by 60 percent between 2006-2050, according to “The Global Innovation Index 2017: Innovation Feeding the World.”

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