SIA is pleased to announce the launch of the Digital Financial Services Handbook for Agriculture, which it co-authored. The Handbook is a product of IFC and Mastercard Foundation’s Partnership for Financial Inclusion, a joint initiative to expand microfinance and advance digital financial services (DFS) in Sub-Saharan Africa. The Handbook is intended to provide information and guidance to financial service providers, including microfinance institutions, banks, mobile network operators, fintechs and payment service providers, on how to apply DFS in agriculture.

Whereas previous Partnership handbooks have covered alternative delivery channels for financial inclusion, risk management and data analytics for DFS and the future of financial inclusion, this release represents its first focus on agriculture. Technologies that are rapidly expanding in accessibility throughout sub-Saharan Africa bring new solutions to the age-old challenge of financing agriculture and of delivering information and services to last-mile farmers. Given agriculture’s critical importance to food production, global business and climate change, it is no surprise that there is increasingly visible interest in how technology can be applied to improving sustainability, productivity and farmer livelihoods.

As the Handbook launches, we will explore over the next several weeks some of the major topics being discussed at the cutting edge of digital technology, financial services and agriculture. Stay tuned!