Digitizing opportunity.

One farm, one family, one community at a time.

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Selasse Gidiglo - Agronomist

Drones. Satellite intelligence. Soil science. Pest infestation prevention. Market pricing. Diversification loans. Agronomic best practices. Early warning weather alerts.

Technology changes everything.

It’s a maxim especially true in the developing world. Access to some of the same information and resources enjoyed by large farms can level the playing field for struggling rural farmers.

Basic phone ownership, more common than household plumbing, means distance and rough terrain no longer dictate what poor farmers can know or do. And now they can do a lot, thanks to the instructions delivered to their phones and local agent support they receive as a result of our digital farm development plan initiatives around the world.

Coffee, cocoa and the cutting edge.
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The Grameen Foundation Model to fight poverty: technology with a human face.

Good for women. Good for the family farm. Good for everyone.

Diagram Grameen Community Agents connecting the poor to Mobile Money and Digital Farming tools Diagram of how Grameen Community Agents connect the poor to Mobile Money and Digital Farming tools
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Make self-help a way of life. One text at a time.

Grameen Tablet Phone

Around the world, our work assumes the names of our many network partners. Whether you meet them as FarmGrow, FarmerLink, TaroWorks or another name, each uses simple SMS texts to send timely, important information and reminders.

It’s not just about data. It’s about what we do with it. What Grameen Foundation’s Model does is put hyper-localized, data-driven information in the hands of local agronomists and farmers to help them make and keep to 7-year plans to improve their crop yields. Each of these Community Agents helps anywhere from 150 – 1,000 farmers.

Farmers listen to call-in radio shows and receive voice and text messages to help them reach their farm development plan goals. Some let them know about upcoming severe weather, or what to do to prevent pest infestation. Others link them to digital farm development loans tailored to their growing and lean seasons to make repayment easier. Many are simple tips to improve their soil and crop yield, or reminders to help them stay on track.

So far, we have 30,000 agents on the ground. Every donation Grameen Foundation receives makes it possible for more agents to be trained and more clients reached.

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What does it mean to have a Farm Development Plan?
Four big benefits.

Digital Farming Households

Readiness for a rainy day

Things happen. If you are a small, rural farmer living in poverty, they happen a lot. Another devastating storm. Someone gets sick. The market drops and your crops are now worth half of what they were. Planning for hard-to-predict events is the best protection from them, and it is built into our farm development planning. We also help farming households plan for the long-term: what crops to grow, how to manage aging crops, ways to improve crop yield, protect against pests and build financial security.

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Smallholder Farmer Market Economy

Being part of the market economy

Being small shouldn’t mean you have no choice but to make your living in the informal, local economy. Participation as reliable, preferred providers to formal markets is part of our approach. So is making it easy for service providers to meet the needs of poor farmers with appropriate and affordable products.

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Plantain farmer packing crates for market

Money: When and how you need it

It’s hard for a smallholder farmer to get a loan. Lenders don’t understand the unique needs and creditworthiness of farmers during lean seasons. For them, there is an especially high cost to serve rural clients and a near-total absence of information on farmers’ financial history, farm practices, and operations. We help fill the information gaps to reduce risk, and lower transaction costs, so that farmers can connect with banks and secure much-needed loans, savings accounts, crop insurance, and digital payment programs.

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Coffee farmers in Columbia

New skills and certifications

In today’s coffee obsessed, chocolate craving, coconut thirsty world, farmers who can get certified as Fair Trade or Organic can earn a better living. We make it happen.

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Empower smallholder farmers to lift themselves out of poverty.
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