This week was the kick-off of the Smart Agriculture Myanmar (SAM) project in Myanmar. The FACS team joined Satelligence, Impact Terra, Wageningen University and CESD for a week of team-building and project planning in Yangon, Myanmar.
The SAM program is funded by the Netherlands Space Office’s Geodata for Agriculture and Water (G4AW) Facility, which supports projects in developing countries that convert geodata from satellite imagery into usable insights for farmers about local climate conditions, weather patterns and other hazards. In a country where agriculture equals 25% of GDP, and smallholder farmers make up 95% of all farmers, agriculture is seen as a primary tool for economic development and poverty alleviation. Unfortunately, many farmers experience high rates of crop loss and limited access to finance, a problem the SAM Program aims to address. The objective of the SAM Program is to expand the provision of tailored information to smallholder farmers about crop timing, pest management and irrigation to empower them to improve their farming practices, yields and market access. In addition, the program will accelerate the delivery of affordable financing to smallholder farmers in a scalable manner. The services will be developed through the combined use of satellite, farmer and other data and will be delivered through Golden Paddy, Impact Terra’s mobile and web-based app. The Golden Paddy platform provides daily information about local crop prices, flood and drought warnings, and can connect farmers to financial services. It is actively used by over 200,000 smallholder farmers in Myanmar. Read more about the Golden Paddy platform here: https://www.impactterra.com/golden-paddy
FACS plays a central role in the SAM Programme and will:
1) Design and deliver a data-led smallholder credit scoring methodology and tool to support financial institutions in their assessment of the creditworthiness of smallholder farmers.
2) Develop and implement a scalable smallholder lending scheme, with selected local financial institutions, which will be tailored to the input and other financing needs of smallholder farmers in Myanmar.
3) Provide technical assistance to local financial institutions to develop their smallholder finance knowledge, lending capacity, and risk management capabilities.