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The Digital Financial Services for Agriculture Handbook

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This is the fourth handbook published by the Partnership for Financial Inclusion, a joint initiative of IFC and the Mastercard Foundation to expand microfinance and advance digital financial services (DFS) in Sub-Saharan Africa. This handbook is intended to provide information and guidance to financial service providers, including microfinance institutions, banks, mobile network operators, fintechs and payment service providers, on how to apply DFS in agriculture.

The spread of DFS and information technology offers new ways of approaching agricultural development. Digital tools and data sources are changing numerous dimensions of providing financial and information services to last-mile, rural actors in agriculture, a sector that has been challenging to reach commercially but is critical to food security and economic development. By leveraging the growing availability
of connectivity, mobile money services, simple mobile phones and smartphones, satellites and sensors, providers are increasingly able to bundle packages of services that smallholder farmers and small-scale agribusinesses can use to increase productivity and efficiency.There have not been many implementations of DFS in agriculture to date, and providers are just beginning to be able to benefit from emerging learnings. However, early feedback indicates that a key element of providing DFS products in agriculture is the necessity of creating diverse and new partnerships among actors who may not have worked together previously.

This handbook, therefore, combines information on how digital technology has changed the provision of financial and information services for agricultural value chain actors, sharing lessons learned and experiences by some of the pioneers in the market. We hope that it will reach a broad industry audience at an opportune time, considering the pace of digital innovation and the importance of the agricultural sector to the economies and future of Sub-Saharan Africa. 

Document Information

Document Type Guideline
Year of Publication 2020
Publisher International Finance Corporation (IFC)
Number of Pages 236
Region / Country Africa /
Primary Language English (en)
Keywords Agricultural Digtal Finance Services
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