Acumen: Access to innovations key for smallholders

Report says irrigation systems, hybrid seeds and micro-loans can all help poor farmers.

A new report says access to agricultural innovations can transform the lives of poor farmers.

Access for smallholders to products and inputs such as ‘micro-drip irrigation systems, drought-resistant hybrid seeds and asset-backed micro-loans’ are crucial to improve their income.

The report, Growing Prosperity: Developing Repeatable Models to Scale the Adoption of Agricultural Innovations, was written by Acumen in partnership with Bain & Company, supported by the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation.

It calls on ‘pioneer firms’ to find ‘new effective ways to profitably serve these hard-to-reach customers at scale’.

The report is based on extensive research conducted across five countries in South Asia and sub-Saharan Africa, including interviews with more than 300 smallholders.