The use of geodata technology in the development of financial services for smallholder farmers and the poor is on the rise! If we succeed in providing farmers with better information that allows them to better manage their crops and farms, and provide them with access to finance to turn that information into action, then we may have real impact in improving farmers performance, their welfare and food security in general.
In this episode of the 'Space for Food Security' podcast we talk about the potentials, the challenges, and concerns of these developments with Joanna Ruiter (NSO), Aarno Keijzer (NpM Platform for Inclusive Finance), Albert Boogaard (RABO partnerships) and Akua Benewaa Okrah (Solidaridad).
Program Manager at Netherlands Platform for Inclusive Finance (NpM)
Aarno is working with impact investors, development finance institutions and foundations to catalyze capital for the realization of the SDGs. Since 2019, he coordinates the Geodata for Inclusive finance & Food (G4IFF) workstream, which aims to adapt geodata-based applications in order to make them available for financial institutions. He has over 5 years' experience in corporate finance and worked previously for ING Bank and the boutiques investment banks Lindenaar&Co and JBR. Aarno holds a MSc BA in Finance from the Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam, is a certified expert in Impact Investing (University of Oxford) and Agricultural Finance (Frankfurt School of Finance and Management).
Akua Benewaa Okrah
Akua is a sustainable agri-finance and SME development expert. She joined Solidaridad West Africa in 2014 and is a member of the Global Expertise Team on Supporting Business Ecosystems. Over the last twelve years she has contributed to developing sustainable agri-businesses through various programmes. Currently Akua is the coordinator of the SAT4Business project in Ghana. She hopes to contribute towards making the delivery of key services to smallholder farmers affordable and sustainable through this project.
Head Smallholder Solutions Rabo Partnerships
Albert graduated as an agricultural economist from Wageningen University (WUR) and has over 20 years of experience in agricultural finance, working in different departments in Rabobank and Rabo Foundation. He has experience in working throughout the value chain with global F&A players as well as farmers.
In the last 4 years Albert has worked as Innovation Lead in Rabo Foundation on digital innovations in smallholder finance in order to improve outreach and services to farmers and their organizations. This includes the digitalisation of supply chains, geodata and the analytical tools needed to extract value out of data and design new financial products and services. In addition to access to finance the scope of work included improving the efficiency, transparancy, and knowledge transfer in supply chains.
Albert has recently joined Rabo Partnerships to work on a combined proposition of Rabobank and its key partners towards smallholder agri chains in emerging markets.
Advisor Satellite Applications at the Netherlands Space Office (NSO)
Joanna works as an advisor for NSO as of Mrch 2019 particularly in the fields of (smallholder) agriculture and land monitoring. She is adviser to Geodata for Agriculture and Water (G4AW) orojects in Ghana and Angola, and the focal point for inclusive finance.