The top five approaches that will change agricultural development in 2022
In 2021, our partners used our solutions to help make positive impact for more than 1,7 million farmers worldwide. However, the most exciting developments were the innovations we developed that will positively impact the sector in 2022. Here are the top five approaches with the most promise to change market systems and agricultural development throughout the world.
1. Using machine learning to build a better living income model
Using a combination of modelling, machine learning, and predictive analytics, clients are now able to see how their agribusinesses can create an enabling environment for their members to earn a living income. Together with NewForesight Consulting, we have created a model that determines the likelihood an agribusiness can provide a living income. We have linked this model to our SCOPE Basic assessment.
With this model, we can determine which agribusinesses can already provide a living income and which require more support to reach that point. The agribusinesses that require support can receive targeted aid based on the results of their SCOPE assessments. This will increase their likelihood of providing a living income in the future.
2. Building bridges to accelerate access to finance: Bankability Metrics
Together with the Center for Financial Inclusion (CFI), and with support from Alliance for a Green Revolution in Africa (AGRA), we launched the Bankability Metrics, which can be used as a common language between agribusinesses and lenders. This will increase agribusinesses’ ability to access finance. After determining the key influences for an agribusiness to get a loan, we created our metrics to help lenders in their pre-due diligence. In the future, we will use our metrics to create a pipeline of agribusinesses that meet lenders’ standards.
A current project with AGRA is assessing agribusinesses in Ghana, Nigeria, Mali, and Tanzania and mapping their results to the Bankability Metrics. The results will be shared with financial institutions to link them to agribusinesses that require loans. In the future, we hope to scale up these interventions and link more agribusinesses to lenders, thereby closing the agricultural finance gap.
3. Helping policy makers understand their country’s cooperative landscape: SCOPE Rapid
We developed and piloted a new assessment tool for assessing agribusinesses at scale. The SCOPE Rapid can be used assess entire cooperative landscapes. The information provided gives a first insight into the basic capacities of the agribusinesses. These results can then be used by governments to direct aid and policy, or by capacity builders to segment agribusinesses for further assessment.
As a pilot for this tool, we are working in Uganda with the Ministry of Trade, Industry and Cooperatives (MTIC), and partially funded by AMEA, in partnership with IFAD. Together with our partners Agriterra, Rikolto, and the National Alliance of Agricultural Co-operatives in Uganda (NAAC), we assessed over 260 cooperatives. The data from these assessments has been put into a dashboard for MTIC, which will allow them to see a digital overview of all the cooperatives. Agriterra, Rikolto, and NAAC will now be able to segment the cooperatives and perform follow-up assessments with the most appropriate tool for each cooperative.
4. Creating resilient market systems by starting with BDS providers
Our Local Expert Network, supported by AGRA, allows us to balance local expertise with our global standard. The Local Experts can perform SCOPE assessments and provide targeted capacity building. These business development services can increase agribusiness success. The local presence also helps with access to finance, as the Local Experts can broker relationships with financial institutions and link them to the agribusinesses they have assessed.
Over the course of 2021, we brought our total number of Local Experts up to nine, covering twelve different African countries. We have worked and are continuing to work with these Local Experts on successful projects. For example, the AGRA project to test the Bankability Metrics, as mentioned above, is being carried out by four of our Local Experts: Sundy Merchants, AgriVision Sahel, PearlMutual, and MDF. Our close relationship with these organizations creates a sense of mutual trust, which is in turn beneficial to both parties.
5. Interactive agribusiness data to streamline industry leaders’ decision making
In December of 2021, we launched our Business Intelligence Platform. This platform hosts our high-quality assessment data and allows our clients to see the results from their assessments quickly and easily. Clients can specifically focus on data from any of the eight dimensions, or they can look at the overall score of each assessed agribusiness. The platform also allows for easy benchmarking and comparison against other assessed agribusinesses in the country, region, and world.
The platform has two levels: Business Intelligence Essential and Business Intelligence Advanced. Business Intelligence Essential will allow all clients to view their assessment data and benchmark it against our overall data. Business Intelligence Advanced will utilize our predictive models to assess risks that agribusinesses face. Our first model, as described above, can predict the likelihood that an agribusiness can provide a living income to its members. Next, we will create a model to determine the likelihood an agribusiness can gain access to finance. In the future, we intend to create more models for deforestation, child labor, technology and input adaptation, and many other topics.
Continuing improvements through 2022
We intend to continue developing all of these new innovations throughout the course of this year. We will be perfecting and validating the living income model, as well as creating more models to assess other agribusiness risks. With the help of our Bankability Metrics, we intend to create a pipeline for lenders that will automatically link them to agribusinesses that meet their standards. We will be expanding the use of the SCOPE Rapid, including in a new initiative founded by SCOPEinsight, Agriterra, IDH, Farmfit Fund, and Oikocredit, known as Agri-GRADE. Our Local Expert Network will continue to grow and develop as we work closer with our Local Experts. And, as we expand the use of our Business Intelligence Platform, we will develop and refine it to increase its efficacy for our clients. As well as continuing to work on these innovations, we also have more planned for 2022, including a new assessment tool developed with A Glimmer of Hope for Savings and Credit Cooperatives (SACCOs).
Are you interested in working with us to make 2022 the year of agricultural development? Contact us about these products or about being a co-developer on new products.Back to news