Addressing the knowledge gap on the financial needs of firms in the midstream of agricultural value chains
Agricultural value chains (AVCs) are an essential component of food systems—aggregating, processing, and delivering food to retailers. Without them, consumers throughout the world would have little to eat. Yet a set of key value chain actors—firms in their midstreams—are understudied, even as they have been undergoing substantial transformation over recent years to serve rapidly urbanizing societies.
The mobile money revolution has begun to substantially increase financial access around the world. Mobile money accounts allow people previously excluded from the formal financial sector to access savings accounts, make payments to merchants, and make person-to-person transfers, among other services. Research has shown that mobile money access can have important effects on key outcomes such as improved resilience and food security.
Can innovations in logistics and financial services benefit actors throughout agricultural value chains?
Catalyzed by changes to global markets, urbanization, and other trends, agri-food value chains have been growing and changing rapidly in low- and middle-income countries (LMICs) over the past few decades. Perhaps more than ever, even in the world’s poorest countries, farmers can access high-value consumer markets both domestically and abroad. Benefiting from access to these high-value markets, however, often requires that crops meet specific quality, reliability, and volume standards.