Joint Call to Action for Improving Access to Credit for Farmers in Papua New Guinea Launched

To stimulate the development of economic identities and financial services for smallholder farmers in Papua New Guinea (PNG), the GSMA is opening a Joint Call to Action (JCTA) to consortia of agribusinesses, agritech companies and financial services providers. A consortium can submit their interest to partner with us and receive targeted in-kind support. The deadline to share your interest, by submitting a response to our Readiness Survey, has been extended from the 25 September to the 5 October 2020. 

In our recently published study, “Landscaping New Opportunities for Digital Agriculture in Papua New Guinea” (September 2019), funded by DFAT, the GSMA AgriTech team identified that financial exclusion, and the resulting lack of access to credit, savings, and insurance products, is a key challenge for farmers in PNG. Transacting mostly in cash, farmers are not able to establish economic identities that FSPs need to assess their credit-worthiness. This results in perpetuating farmers’ financial exclusion and results in farmers relying on informal creditors who charge significantly higher interest rates.

However, the study also identified a key opportunity area to address this gap: Farmer data that would facilitate credit scoring is often already collected by agribusiness, via agritech solutions.

Digital agriculture tools can facilitate the creation of farmer economic identities as they capture critical transactional data on income from the sale of crops. We explore the benefits digitising the agricultural last mile for value chain actors, and the subsequent pathway to financial inclusion for farmers in our most recent toolkit: “The GSMA AgriTech Toolkit for the digitisation of agricultural value chains”.

Over the past few years, various data-sharing models between agribusinesses, agritech companies and FSPs have emerged globally, thereby facilitating farmer financial inclusion. These models include:

  • The agribusiness/agritech as data provider – In this model, the agribusiness uses tools to collect and aggregate digital farmer and farm data. It may perform some data analysis (e.g. data editing). Data is then used by third parties, most likely FSPs, for risk modelling. This model, which is the most widely available, includes agritech companies that support:
    • Farmer and farm data collection and aggregation via last mile digital tools (e.g. Virtual City in East Africa)
    • Collection of transactional data via e-commerce solutions (e.g. Twiga Foods in Kenya); and
    • Centralised data hubs for farmer and farm data sharing (e.g. Hara in Indonesia).
  • Agribusiness as data provider – Under this model, agribusinesses form one-to-one data-sharing partnerships with FSPs to enable loans to be disbursed to farmers, usually using in-house tools developed to collect farmer and farm data.
  • Agribusiness/agritech as credit scoring enabler – Here, the agritech’s expand their role to perform analytics that support part or the entire risk modelling process. They typically aggregate farmer and farm data from multiple sources (farmers, agribusinesses and open data, such as satellite-based vegetation indexes) and, in some cases, support data collection directly through their digital tools.

The GSMA AgriTech Programme has extensive experience engaging the private sector to design, develop and scale commercial digital services for smallholder farmers.  We are now looking for the right commercial partners to work with in PNG to apply and build on key lessons learnt from our landscape report

With support from the Australian Government (DFAT), the GSMA is launching the Joint Call to Action (JCTA) that aims to establish a consortium consisting of an FSP, an agribusiness, and an agritech company, that will support farmers’ pathway to financial inclusion through the:

  • Development of mechanisms for sharing farm and farmer data that are being collected by agritech tools and agribusinesses;
  • Establishment of a system for farmer credit scoring; and
  • Design, development and pilot testing of a credit product based on farmer needs.

In order to support the achievement of these objectives, GSMA offers the following support to the selected consortium:

  • Targeted consultancy (business, technical and agriculture expertise);
  • Supporting tools and resources;
  • Tailored in-country research supporting product design and data mapping for credit scoring;
  • Knowledge sharing opportunities with practitioners in the agriculture sector;
  • Partnership brokering between consortium members.

For FSPs, agribusinesses, and agritech companies who are interested in joining a consortium, please review the JCTA and submit the Readiness Survey to sbulos@gsma.com.

Documents/LinksCTA
Joint Call to Action (CTA) Reference DeckProvides an overview about GSMA  AgriTech programme activities in PNG; information about the project’s objectives, success indicators, and commitments sought from the applying consortia; and guidelines around the process of responding to the Joint Call to Action.
Readiness SurveyA concise form that will be filled-out by interested consortia partners. It will be used to assess readiness and willingness to be part of the program.
FAQsAnswers your frequently asked questions

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