SPECIAL REPORT: At SAM, a “Moral Obligation” to Include More People in the Financial System, Harvesting Wins $12k FMO Fintech for Microfinance Prize for Use of Satellite Data to Boost Agricultural Lending

At the gala dinner at SAM Conference 2017, Addis Ababa, Ethiopiathe SAM (Semaine Africaine de la Microfinance) conference, Olivier Massart, the General Manager of ADA, argued that the attendees of the event have incurred a “moral obligation” to increase financial inclusion. The 650+ attendees spent an estimated total of USD 1 million to USD 2 million on travel and registration fees. Because they elected not to spend this money directly on serving poor people, Mr Massart challenged each delegate to bring at least one additional person in to the financial system for each dollar spent on the event.

Also at the dinner, Ruchit Garg, the founder of Harvesting, gave the winning pitch for the EUR 10,000 (USD 12,000) Fintech for Microfinance prize given by the Netherlands’ Entrepreneurial Development Bank, which is also known by the Dutch acronym FMO. Mr Garg’s firm describes its work as “enabling financial inclusion for farmers by providing actionable insights to financial institutions via… global data sets, such as weather, satellite, agronomic data… to help reduce risks for crop insurance and lending companies.” Founded in 2016, Harvesting is active in India and Africa.

This feature is part of a sponsored series on the third SAM, which ran from October 9 to October 13 in Addis Ababa. It was organized by ADA, an NGO based in Luxembourg, with the support of Luxembourg’s Ministry for Development Cooperation and Humanitarian Affairs, in partnership with Microfinance African Institutions Network (MAIN), African Rural & Agricultural Credit Association (AFRACA), African Microfinance Transparency (AMT), the Association of Ethiopian Microfinance Institutions (AEMFI) and Kenya’s Association for Micro-finance Institutions. MicroCapital was engaged to report on-site from the event.

Sources and Additional Resources

Harvesting
https://www.harvesting.co/

2017 SAM Conference
http://www.microfinance-africa.org/en/SAM

Coverage of the 2017 SAM in Addis Ababa and the 2015 SAM in Dakar by MicroCapital
https://www.microcapital.org/category/semaine-africaine-de-la-microfinance-sam/

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