Helping Colombian Farmers Increase Income Through Mobile
Agriculture is a critical source of employment for the rural poor in Latin America. In Colombia alone, 14% of the population, 12 million people, are dependent on agriculture for their livelihoods. An estimated 740,000 of these farmers are smallholder farmers (SHF) with less than 2 hectares of land and are integral to the supply of produce nationwide.
With MasterCard’s support, Grameen is helping smallholder coffee farmers increase their incomes by addressing key market failures that have impacted their livelihood. The program provides access to information, connection to markets, and availability of credit. A mobile enabled network of community leaders will bring transparency regarding the business capabilities and potential of farmers, and help establish formal linkages to value chains and adoption of best practices.
The three interrelated components of the project are as follows:
- Connect to Markets – To reduce the cost of engaging along the value chain and connect to markets through electronic payments, farmers will have access to commercial aggregators through a mobile-based m-Sourcing / m-Purchasing application.
- Facilitate Financial Services – To improve the quality of farmer yields and increase farmer productivity, a risk assessment tool will be designed for financial institutions, helping to unlock credit to smallholder farmers by reducing perceived risks.
- Technical Assistance Tools and Services at Scale – To further improve quality of farmer yields and increase farmer productivity, community farmer leaders armed with content shared via mobile handheld devices will deliver education and adoption of agricultural best practices.
Photo Credit: Alexander Rieser for Grameen Foundation