CGAP Launches Smallholder Families Data Hub

CGAP Launches Smallholder Families Data Hub to Help Providers Discover Opportunities to Reach the Rural Poor

WASHINGTON, D.C., March 12, 2018 – CGAP today launched a new research tool to help financial services providers learn quickly and easily about the demand among smallholder families for financial services. Small, family-run farms are home to the majority of people living in absolute poverty around the world, without access to the resources they need to improve their lives. This tool will help providers identify new opportunities to serve this large and diverse market in Africa and Asia, whose financial lives are often little understood.

Explore the CGAP Smallholder Families Data Hub

Smallholder families make up one of the largest potential markets for financial services in many developing countries, but reliable data on their financial and agricultural lives are scarce. Through simple, interactive data visualizations, the CGAP Smallholder Families Data Hub puts at providers’ fingertips more than 300,000 data points from CGAP’s demand-side smallholder research, enabling them to look for promising business opportunities to develop products and serve these families.

“CGAP has been building the evidence base on smallholder households, detailing their dynamic mix of people and income-generating activities. This fills an information gap, especially at the level of more vulnerable smallholder families. We hope this new tool will make the data more accessible to the innovative companies and financial service providers developing products for this important client group,” said Gerhard Coetzee, who leads CGAP’s Customer & Provider Solutions team. 

The trove of data powering this new business research tool comes from six national smallholder household surveys conducted in 2015 and 2016 in Bangladesh, Cote d’Ivoire, Mozambique, Nigeria, Tanzania and Uganda. Each survey has a nationally representative sample of about 3,000 families who indicated that agriculture provides a meaningful contribution to their household livelihood, income or consumption, and who have up to 5 hectares of land and a certain number of livestock.

Companies already are using CGAP’s smallholder survey data to build new products. In Tanzania, agricultural input distributor Positive International Limited (PIL) and the Grameen Foundation are exploring a mobile savings solution for farmers who do not have enough cash on hand to buy farming supplies. CGAP’s survey data shows that 96 percent of smallholders in their pilot region own mobile phones and 84 percent have used mobile money, but only 24 percent have used bill pay. This information informed PIL’s approach to familiarizing customers with the use of bill pay.

“CGAP’s data is a great resource. It helped us design our mobile layaway service and plan for a pilot. Now we’re using the data to understand the product’s potential in other regions,” said Karan Kapoor, managing director of Positive International Limited in Tanzania. 

The CGAP Smallholder Families Data Hub features:

  • Interactive dashboards showing how smallholders in each of the six countries earn and spend money, use financial services and their attitudes toward providers, as well as showing poverty levels, crops and livestock, and agricultural markets in those countries
  • Links to in-depth resources, including country-by-country analyses of the survey data, full data sets and questionnaires from the surveys, and financial diaries for three markets, Mozambique, Tanzania and Pakistan  

“These data show smallholder families in a new light and illuminate potential opportunities for providers to better serve their needs for financial solutions. For us at CGAP, they reinforce the diversity and importance of smallholder households to financial inclusion, highlighting the presence of young people, women, small- and medium-sized business owners and casual workers in this pivotal client group,” said Jamie Anderson, a senior financial sector specialist at CGAP who focuses on smallholder households.

About CGAP

CGAP is an independent think tank that works to empower poor people to capture opportunities and build resilience through financial services. We test, learn and develop innovative solutions through practical research and active engagement with our partners on building responsible and inclusive financial systems that help move people out of poverty, protect their gains and advance global development goals. Housed at the World Bank, CGAP is supported by over 30 leading development organizations committed to making financial services meet the needs of poor people.