Mobile technologies and digitized data to promote access to finance for women in agriculture
This report (PDF) by the World Bank Group provides the state of play of current and promising efforts that use mobile technologies and digitized data to close the gap in access to finance for women in agriculture. The evidence that women both drive agricultural production and rely on it for their livelihoods means that greater financial and informational service provision to women, especially through digital channels, could increase the efficiency and effectiveness of their labor. This report includes three components: a review of the financial characteristics and needs of women in agriculture; a stock taking of initiatives that use mobile technologies and digitized data for agricultural finance and women’s financial inclusion; and an analysis of gaps in existing initiatives that would increase access to Digital financial Services (DFS) by women farmers, laborers and women-owned agricultural enterprises. Four recommendations are given for the World Bank: 1) Leverage the strong role savings groups play in rural women’s lives through digitization efforts that help groups increase efficiency and transparency and encourage women to build their own digital financial profiles. 2) Select successful companies offering mobile savings, insurance and credit products, but who have not targeted women as a key customer segment, and provide assistance in their marketing and promotion to women. 3) Invest in the design of new gender-responsive bundled and customized service offerings that meet the financial priorities and lifecycle needs of women farmers. 4) Drive the collection and use of digitized data to expand bank offerings and financing to women in agriculture.