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In Africa, lack of affordable financing and access to quality farm inputs for farmers inhibits their productivity and, in turn, makes it more difficult for them to earn sufficient income and withstand adverse economic shocks. Currently, 70% of farmers don’t have access to savings accounts, and only 10% have access to credit; while counterfeit or low quality inputs makes up about 40% of locally purchased products. To grow and sell more food, farmers need access to financial services, market information and prices, accurate weather forecasts, inputs such as fertilizer, seeds and fungicide, and instruction in good agricultural practices.
Farmerline is a global social enterprise using mobile technology to connect farmers to information and vital services that increase profit. Through Farmerline’s 399 service, farmers are able to dial the USSD code “399” on a mobile phone in Ghana and are presented with options to access affordable, genuine inputs, financial literacy education, weather forecasts, as well as weekly updates on market prices, all in their local languages. Farmerline is presented with viable data which is used to connect the farmer to the nearest Famerline in-field workshop, community agent, or distributor. At this point the farmer has the option to obtain the input through a layaway wallet program or input credit scheme. As a result, Farmerline is able to provide the high quality inputs that farmers need to protect their crops and the resources to purchase other services to support their livelihood. Watch and learn how Farmerline's 399 Service is impacting farmers
Loan Use & Impact
In 2016, Farmerline launched its 399 Services with a $50,000 Kiva campaign. The Kiva loan connected 1,000 farmers to vital services such as farming advice, weather forecasts, market information and financial tips. As a result, farmers were able to access high quality and affordable farm inputs at 20-30% below market price. This year, Farmerline is seeking a loan to work with its network of 100 field agents and 20 local farm input distributors to connect 6,000 farmers to high quality and affordable farm inputs through direct purchase, mobile savings and mobile credit, thus providing the financial means to improve their production and quality of life. To date, Farmerline and partners have reached over 200,000 farmers in 11 African countries.