More than 75% of the world’s poor live in rural areas and depend on agricultural activities to feed their families. These smallholder farmers lack access to high quality farming inputs such as seeds and fertilizer, face unreliable weather conditions, and have limited access to finance. Available financing is most often not designed for the inconsistent cash flows of farming.
More than 1 in 4 loans that Kiva finances go to helping a borrower in the agriculture sector. By investing in evidence-based approaches to smallholder financing, we aim to ensure loans are designed for farmers’ unique needs. Many of our lending partners offer flexible repayments, farmer training services, crop insurance and enhanced value chain linkages – all of which have been shown to increase farmers’ household incomes and yield productivity.
Targeting and incubating innovative financing improves outcomes for smallholder farmers. Together with our lending partners, we are investing in research and feedback mechanisms to improve both loan products and farmers’ yields and income. Innovations range from tailored financing of productive farming assets such as dairy cows and chickens to machine learning models to provide financing for maize farmers.
Through technical assistance for lending partners around the world we are supporting financial institutions to deepen impact. These local financial institutions are then better equipped to provide a broader array of efficient services through digitization, new product design, borrower – data collection, and a range of additional services like entrepreneurship training.