On Monday 6th December 2016, Graduate Farmer’s Founder and Managing Director Joseph Boit had an opportunity to be a panelist in a workshop on Reaching Youth and Women to empower them through agriculture. The workshop was part of a learning platform to share insights and learn about providing digital financial and information services to smallholder farmers. AgriFin Accelerate, a development program of Mercy Corps in partnership with The MasterCard Foundation, organized the full day event to discuss opportunities and challenges facing the agricultural sector, and share learning on how to increase digitally—enabled services for smallholder farmers in the region.
The event which was held at the Villa Rosa Kempinski, Nairobi brought together more than 200 leading market stakeholders from the region, including mobile network operators, commercial banks and other financial institutions, the Kenyan government, technology innovators and a broad spectrum of agricultural sector players, including major buyers, input suppliers, and farmer organizations among others. Some of the notable speakers were Prof. Bitange Ndemo, University of Nairobi, Leesa Shrader, AgriFin Accelerate Program Director and Olga Morawczynski, Program Manager at the Mastercard Foundation among others.
During this ‘Annual’ Learning Event participants were able to share and learn from one another and engage in in-‐depth discussion on topics of highest priority to smallholders which included;
- Technology Innovation;
- Digital Financial Services;
- Credit Scoring;
- Building Partnerships;
- Distribution Channels;
- Transport Logistics;
- Reaching Women and Youth;
- Client Protection in the Digital World;
- Contract Farming going Digital; and
- Farmer capability lab.
The AgriFin Accelerate program is a six-‐year, $25 million program of Mercy Corps, supported by The MasterCard Foundation and operating in Kenya, Tanzania and Zambia. The program helps to close the gap in access to financial and information services experienced by smallholder farmers.
The learning event opened with keynote addressing on digital financial services, highlights on partner learning and the role of technology in agriculture, and closed with a panel discussion to explore the potential of Internet tools to transform markets for smallholders.
Through shared learning, the annual event will support existing technical initiatives, identify new areas of focus and provide an opportunity to energize players around digital financial inclusion for smallholder farmers.
Are you a market stakeholder? Be sure to register next time…