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Adoption of Agricultural Innovations through Non-Traditional Financial Services

INNOVATE – Adoption of Agricultural Innovations through Non-Traditional Financial Services, is a three-year initiative implemented by MEDA and funded by the International Development Research Centre (IDRC). With a portfolio of 10 projects, MEDA is assessing the potential of non-traditional finance to enable large scale adoption of agricultural innovations among women and men smallholder farmers in South Asia, South America and East Africa.

The INNOVATE learning agenda features a series of publications, learning events, and final conference based on core themes emerging from the portfolio, including customer centricity, payments, product and service design, and policy and ecosystems change. The learning agenda is tailored for policymakers, donors and practitioners supporting smallholder farmers and agricultural finance initiatives with the goal of providing actionable research and insight for policymaking and program design.

Latest Works

Explore new research and insights from INNOVATE and our partners.

MEDA Publication - Starting Small - Pathways to Customer Centricity
Starting Small: Pathways to Customer Centricity


Learning Paper: Techniques and insights for financial institutions, agricultural companies, and implementers to improve customer centricity in smallholder finance and stimulate agricultural innovation adoption.

Partner Publication - A Case Study of the Chithumba Model - Agronomy Technology Limited
A Case Study of the Chithumba Model: A Non-traditional Finance Mechanism to Improve Access to Farm Inputs in Malawi

Author: Agronomy Technology Limited

Partner Publication: Case study on smallholder demand and adoption of pre-harvest finance for farm inputs, agricultural extension services, and marketing assistance — services offered through the Chithumba model of non-traditional finance.

bb7d4db0-542f-48e3-adf7-490dcd32b223 MEDA - Innovate
Redefining Finance for Agriculture: Green Agricultural Credit for Smallholders in Peru

Author: Global Canopy

Partner Publication: Report identifies gaps and opportunities to support and scale green agriculture, smallholder agriculture, and financial inclusion to help smallholder farmers in Amazon regions to break the cycle of deforestation.

Learning Agenda

The core learning themes for INNOVATE emerged from the portfolio projects and industry insights and trends, to address the following questions:

Customer centricity:

How does customer centricity enable firms/organizations design and offer products and services that meet smallholder customer needs and demand?


Smallholder household norms:

How do smallholder households prioritize business decisions, purchases and investments for upcoming crop cycles alongside competing household needs?


Adoption factors:

What are the key features and terms of financial products/services smallholder segments require to adopt new innovations or technologies?

What are the key features of new innovations/technologies smallholders require (or prefer) to try and buy?


Policy and Ecosystems Change

What are the policy implications to enable firms/organizations and governments to better serve and align products (extension, finance and technologies) to meet smallholders needs?


Interested in learning more about INNOVATE?

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