MICROCAPITAL BRIEF: NpM, Rabobank, FMO Promote Satellite Data to Help Farmers Improve Yields, Access Finance

The NpM Platform for Inclusive Finance, formerly known as the Netherlands Platform for Microfinance, and the Rabobank Foundation, an affiliate of the Dutch cooperative Rabobank, recently launched an effort called “Geodata for Inclusive Finance and Food Security.” The goal is to encourage the use of satellite data to improve agricultural yields, for example by sending SMS (short message service) text messages to farmers regarding the optimal timing to fertilize, irrigate or harvest their crops. Rabobank Foundation Director Pierre van Hedel said, ”This lowers the risk that farmers cannot repay their loan and therefor banks are more willing to finance them.” He added, “Whether it is to provide working capital, loans to invest, or an insurance [policy], banks can determine where the greatest opportunities lie for a higher and better food production based on geodata.”

The other two members of the “Board of Inspiration” are Nederlandse Financierings-Maatschappij voor Ontwikkelingslanden (FMO), a development bank controlled by the Dutch government, and the Dutch Ministry of Foreign Affairs.

Created in 2003, NpM is a 13-member organization uniting Dutch investors and practitioners to promote financial inclusion.

Created in 1973, the Rabobank Foundation focuses on three themes in the Netherlands: health and welfare; sports and recreation; and employment and education. In developing countries, the foundation provides loans and other financial services to microfinance institutions (MFIs).

Founded in 1970, FMO is 51-percent owned by the Dutch government. Its other stakeholders are commercial banks, trade unions, employers’ associations and individual investors. FMO supports governments and invests in financial institutions, energy firms and agribusiness operators in developing countries through loans, guarantees and other investment promotion activities, including local-currency investments. As of 2015, FMO reported total assets of EUR 8.4 billion (USD 9.05 billion).

Sources and Additional Resources

Information provided to MicroCapital by NpM

NpM
http://www.inclusivefinanceplatform.nl

Rabobank Foundation
https://www.rabobank.com/en/about-rabobank/in-society/rabobank-foundation/index.html

FMO
http://www.fmo.nl

Dutch Ministry of Foreign Affairs
https://www.government.nl/ministries/ministry-of-foreign-affairs/

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