Responsible Finance Forum

Geodata and ICT Solutions for Inclusive Finance and Food Security

Mariel Mensink and Martijn Vranken

Recent developments in technological applications offer opportunities to increase outreach of financial services to rural areas and for smallholder farmers. Early evidence suggests that these applications offer great promise to produce a higher and more stable crop supply of increased quality and improve market access. By this, the risk profile of smallholder farmers reduces which is an important stimulus for financial institutions to provide financial services. At the same time, technology reduces costs and allows for further outreach in rural areas and better services to their client base.

As more than 2 billion people depend on smallholder farmers for their livelihoods and 70% of the global food supply comes from smallholder farmers, it is evident that they have a major role to play in feeding the growing world population. As climate change affects the yields of smallholder farmers, there is a need for climate smart agriculture and technological applications that help to adapt to and mitigate the effects. Technological developments also provide a great opportunity for young people in emerging economies. Innovations create jobs and also make agriculture attractive for the young generation.