Financial institutions like banks refrain from lending to farmers because of the high risk associated with the agricultural sector. The risk emanates from uncertain weather conditions, which affect productivity and sales of crops, limited savings and credit track record, and farmers’ lack of documentation. Since financial institutions cannot access information about the farmer to understand his/her economic activities, it becomes difficult for farmers to access credit.
To address this challenge, Solidaridad West Africa has initiated the Satellite for Business project (Sat4Business). The initiative provides an interactive digital platform that facilitates access to finance for smallholder cocoa and oil palm farmers by providing credit scores to lending institutions on the farmers to aid credit decisions.
The platform will provide geobased data (the location of the farmer, farm size, total yield, and credit score) to financial service providers. The project will also provide agricultural advice, farmer improvement model and market information to smallholder farmers to enable them to enhance productivity on and improve incomes from their farms.
Funded by the Netherlands Space Office, the project is expected to reach a total of 141,400 smallholder cocoa and oil palm farmers in the Eastern, Central, Western, Western North, Ashanti, Bono and Ahafo regions of Ghana within the three-year period (2019-2022) of the project implementation.
The Satellite for Business project is being implemented by Solidaridad West Africa in partnership with Esoko, Solidaridad Europe, Satelligence, Akvo, Financial Access and MOFA GHANA.