Feed the Future
This project is part of the U.S. Government's global hunger and food security initiative.

CGAP Seeks Examples of Financial Innovation for Smallholder Farming Families

Photo Credit: Reza Golchin

How did you reach smallholders with an innovative product or financial service?

Smallholder farmers and their families comprise the largest group of people (by livelihood) living on less than $2 a day. As part of a new initiative to understand how tailored financial services can help these families, CGAP is seeking examples from businesses who have successfully taken to scale a viable financial product, range of products, or services for smallholder families.

CGAP will select some of these examples to study in depth and share with broader audiences via our website CGAP.org and on social media channels. Organizations sharing their experiences also have a chance to win a tuition scholarship for one participant at the Rural and Agriculture Finance Program offered by the Boulder Institute of Microfinance in Turin, Italy, 7-25 July 2014.

Join our efforts to get a better understanding of financial services and business models that help underserved smallholder families globally to improve their lives.


Smallholder farmers and their families need a range of financial services to support not only their agricultural production, but also their general consumption and off-farm enterprises. The supply of appropriate and affordable financial services for this group has been limited. Nevertheless, providers are experimenting to overcome obstacles of risks, costs, and information gaps with innovative tools, including substitute collateral, loan terms and cycles, savings schemes, insurance products, mobile banking, and alternative methods of government payments and other transfers.

CGAP wants to hear from businesses that are offering scalable, viable and market-driven financial services that address smallholder family needs. These include a range of financial services (including credit, savings, payments, leasing, mobile banking, and insurance) that help smallholders reduce their vulnerability, increase their income and diversify their livelihoods. We are particularly interested in examples from providers that managed to serve smallholder farmers that are not already in tight value chains.

To demonstrate viability and scalability we are looking for examples that

  • already have a track record of several years
  • have moved beyond the pilot stage, achieved some scale, and expanded beyond one particular zone;
  • are economically viable or have the goal of being so (dependent on the product and circumstances, this could involve public private partnerships).

Call for Information

CGAP will conduct an in-depth study on a select number of businesses or experiences, and develop relevant case studies. By featuring the best examples on CGAP.org and through CGAP's social media channels, we aim to contribute to global knowledge in this area and inform the strategies of other private sector actors, policy makers, and funders who are innovating for smallholder farmers and their families.

If your business or experience is selected, it could benefit from deeper analysis and contribute to improvements in your product development, delivery or other processes. You would also gain significant global exposure. Organizations sharing their experiences have a chance to win a tuition scholarship for one participant at the Rural and Agriculture Finance Program offered by the Boulder Institute of Microfinance in Turin, Italy, 7-25 July 2014.

Application Instructions

CGAP invites businesses with a track record serving smallholder farmers and their families to fill out the basic questionnaire, in English, French or Spanish, and submit it by email to smallholders@cgap.org before March 7, 2014.

Visit CGAP.org for the application forms.

Submissions will be reviewed by an expert panel who will select examples for further in-depth study. These will be showcased on CGAP's website and social media channels. The selection will be completed in April 2014.

For more information on the Call or to submit questions or concerns, please email smallholders@cgap.org.

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