Over 90% of sub-Saharan Africa’s 48 million smallholder farmers lack access to formal credit. Although agriculture accounts for around 65% of employment and 32% of gross domestic product, less than 6% of commercial loan recipients are smallholder farmers.
The problem is on both sides: on the one hand, farmers cannot purchase quality inputs to improve their production, on the other hand, financial institutions cannot provide loans without an accurate assessment of the farmers’ financial viability. Farmers are therefore left with little access to credit, and financial institutions with a hole in their client base and product line.
FarmDrive is a Kenyan-based social start-up that connects smallholder farmers to credit, while helping financial institutions increase their agricultural loan portfolios. The FarmDrive mobile platform aggregates and analyses farmer information such as productivity, expenses and revenues. This information is made accessible to financial institutions in order for them to assess risk and develop loans.