Mercy Corps, in partnership with The MasterCard Foundation, launched this week AgriFin Accelerate in Zambia , one of three countries in Africa where the program will operate. AgriFin Accelerate will help close the gap in access to financial and information services experienced by smallholder farmers, especially women and youth. The USD 25 million, six-year initiative is expected to benefit at least one million smallholder farmers in Zambia, Kenya, and Tanzania.
In Zambia, more than 70% percent of the population is engaged in or derives its livelihood from agriculture-related activities. As in many developing countries, however, the demand for agricultural financing largely remains unmet. Financial service providers, such as mobile money operators and banks, face many challenges in improving farmer access to finance in order to raise agricultural productivity, yield and profitability.