ICCO’s partner VanderSat is one of the three winners of the NpM Innovator’s Challenge. The Innovator’s Challenge incentivized technology companies to transform their geodata-based solutions for smallholder farmers and make them available for the financial sector. VanderSat receives € 125,000 to pilot its solution - to develop a risk assessment platform for Financial Service Providers - in an implementation project.
Geospatial information technologies are made available for smallholder farmers to boost agricultural production, for example through the Geodata for Agriculture and Water program (G4AW) of the Netherlands Space Office. ICCO and VanderSat cooperate in G4AW in the projects SpiceUp (Indonesia) and AngorSALAD (Cambodia).
Link to finance
However, NpM - the Platform for Inclusive Finance of which ICCO is a member - investigated that the link to finance is rarely made. In order to increase their yields, smallholder farmers need finance to buy inputs and fertilizers, for example to invest in storage facilities. The NpM Innovator’s Challenge incentivized technology companies to transform their geodata-based solutions for smallholder farmers and make them available for the financial sector.
VanderSat's solution aims to develop a risk assessment platform for Financial Service Providers. TARA (Tool for Agricultural Risk Advice) would translate satellite data into information of local crops conditions, farmers practices and the capacity of smallholder to cope with climate change.
Geodata to support access to finance for smallholder farmers
A total of 70% of our food production depends on smallholder farmers, in light of a growing world population, these farmers are crucial in supplying the world with sufficient food. To achieve this needed growth, access to affordable and appropriate finance is key. However, financial institutions see agriculture lending as risky and costly and do not easily lend to smallholder farmers. Numerous examples, around the world, show geodata applications can improve agricultural production and lead to increased outreach of financial services. Currently, using geospatial information to improve the outreach and suitability of financial services to smallholder farmers, is only tested in a few cases and on a small scale.
Winners selected by Grand Jury
The other winners of the challenge are Agri-Wallet and Apollo Agriculture. The winners were selected by the Grand Jury. The organisations represented in the Grand Jury are leading in working with smallholder farmers, and they are able to encourage and scale these innovative solutions to improve the global food security.
The Grand Jury members are: Berry Marttin (Rabobank), Prince Pieter-Christiaan of Oranje-Nassau, Linda Broekhuizen (FMO), Hans Docter (Ministry of Foreign Affairs), Pierre van Hedel (Rabobank Foundation), Wim Hart (ICCO), Rodger Voorhies (Bill&Melinda Gates Foundation) and Marcela Villarreal (FAO).
About NpM, Platform for Inclusive Finance
NpM, Platform for Inclusive Finance, is the leading national platform in inclusive finance sector worldwide. ICCO is a member of NpM. Established in 2003, the platform brings together Dutch development organisations, social investors and commercial banks active in the inclusive finance sector. Together with the Dutch Ministry of Foreign Affairs, NpM’s 13 members share a commitment to expanding access to finance in underserved regions and to anticipate the changing need in the sector to grow towards a responsible industry.