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Delivery basic financial services to the smallholder farmers through new technologies like mobile phones and electronic money.

Photo of Fadhila Muhanga
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DFS are uniquely positioned to deliver financial products cheaply, mitigate risk for both providers and consumers, and provide efficiency and cost savings at transaction points. This focused in the use of digital financial services (DFS) particularly those enabled by mobile phones, to overcome the specific challenges of serving smallholder farmers and other families, the main concern is smallholder can benefit by being able in facilitating commodity payments, consumption smoothing, and ability to save for access subsides inputs. DFS will enabled lower transaction costs between value chains actors, which led to greater quantities of inputs purchased. This is often due to high infrastructure costs and a lack of incentives to adapt products to the unique needs of farmers. Digital finance offers a way to expand access to the formal financial system (through a basic transaction account supervised by the banking regulator), taking advantage of the rapid growth of digital and mobile telephone infrastructure and the advent of branch-less banking (which offers the ability to transact outside of a traditional bank branch). These factors have a direct link to increasing farmer income and decreasing malnutrition. In doing so, it is possible to increase farmer household access to a transaction account that builds household resiliency and offers access to payments and financial services. Ultimately, this will help agricultural sector growth and improved nutritional status.


The beneficiaries are both smallholder farmers and financial services providers. Financial services providers will improve the speed at which funds are transferred and smallholder farmers will be able in facilitating commodity payments, consumption smoothing, and ability to save for access subsides inputs. The system also will helps protect farmers against being taken advantage of by any buyer, sending market prices right to their phone and helping them maximize their returns.


I will implement my idea in Tanzania because the use of Digital Financial Services (DFS) in agriculture is not yet started.


  • Yes


  • I’ve worked in a sector related to my idea for over a year


  • Yes, for more than one year.


I am an Individual looking for collaborators! Currently I am working with the Ministry of Education, Science, and Technology in the Department of Science, Technology and Innovation as an Agricultural economist. I have been working with smallholder farmers more than 2 years in Tanzania.

Africa is home to a quarter of the world’s farmland, yet it generates only 10 percent of all crops produced globally. Opportunity International’s (“Opportunity”) own experience in Africa indicates that most farmers are operating at just 40 percent of their potential capacity. Crop production remains low in Africa because the majority of food producers are smallholder farmers who lack access to financial services, farming inputs (including improved seeds and fertilizers), agricultural training and fair crop markets to optimize their productivity and increase their earnings. Low crop yields keep farmers’ incomes small, preventing them from providing collateral to a financial  institution so they can receive a loan, purchase inputs and transition from subsistence farming to economically and commercially active farming. Without financial access and  sufficient  yearly earnings, many farmers also lose up to 50 percent of their annual potential income because they must gain quick access to cash to cover household expenses all year. 

Access to financial services is important to provide funds for farm investments, in productivity, improve post harvest practices, smooth household cash flow, enable better access to markets and promote better management of risks (IFC, 2011). Access to finance can also play an important role in climate adaptation and increase the resilience of agriculture to climate change, thus contributing to longer term food security.

Many farmers cite a lack of financial capital as a major reason for not adopting beneficial technologies. Research has also suggested that farmers with less access to credit plant fewer high yielding crop varieties. In many developing countries, and particularly in rural areas, access to financial services, including credit and formal saving mechanisms, is limited. Even where financial services are available, they are often highly disadvantageous to smallholder farmers. For example, within a single market, interest rates often vary according to the characteristics of the borrower and the activity being financed.

Since commercial banks are reluctant to invest in rural areas, the Digital financial services (DFS) can expand the delivery of basic financial services to the smallholder farmers through new technologies like mobile phones, electronic money and new channels such as retail agents. These channels can drastically drive down costs for customers and service providers, opening the door to remote and under-served populations.  

The Digital financial services program will cooperate with commercial banks and micro finance institutions to works together with smallholder farmers in Tanzania.


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Photo of Masosi Gedion

 Very nice idea which is  very  open and easy to implement.Good job

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