Daily Archives: February 25, 2016

New CGAP Report Provides Unique Insights into the Financial Lives of Smallholder Families

WASHINGTON, Feb. 25, 2016 /PRNewswire — A new CGAP report released today documents the financial lives of a select group of smallholders in three countries, offering a unique window into the struggles, risks and trade-offs they face on a daily basis. The report also provides recommendations on the types of financial services that could improve the lives of this important group of people.

Experience the interactive Multimedia News Release here:

There are an estimated 500 million smallholder households (approximately 2 billion people) around the world. These small-scale farming families make up a significant portion of the world’s poor who live on less than two dollars a day. Until now, little was known about their financial lives.

CGAP’s Financial Diaries with Smallholder Households fills this information gap through a year-long study tracking the income, expenses, and agricultural production of 270 smallholder families in Mozambique, Tanzania, and Pakistan. Approximately 500,000 data points shed light on how these households manage their money and face challenges from climate shocks to unexpected health issues.

Jamie Anderson, Financial Sector Specialist at CGAP states: “Financial service providers and others working with small-scale farming families need to know how diverse this market is. Insights from the Smallholder Diaries can help them tailor solutions to the various profiles of smallholder households.”

The report offers market-specific recommendations. These range from financial tools aimed at improving agricultural production and crop storage in the Mozambique sample, which was comprised of mainly non-commercial smallholders; diversified savings instruments for the households in Tanzania, who sold more agricultural products than they consumed; and tools for facilitating relationships with middlemen in the Pakistan study, who sold nearly all of their agricultural products.

While the methodology and sample size are not statistically representative of smallholder families in a given country, the findings from this study are broadly representative of the various types of smallholders around the world.

Download the Report and Explore the Interactive Data Visualization.

The research revealed several critical risks facing smallholder families. These include:

Climate

  • Weather-related shocks dealt major hardships to smallholder families. For instance, 72% of the households in the Pakistan sample had 25% or more of a crop destroyed by weather in the past five years.

Health

  • Smallholders faced common health shocks that not only depleted household financial, emotional and human resources, but also disrupted agricultural activities. In Mozambique, for example, 70% of the families in the study experienced the death of a household member in the past five years.

Technology

  • Use of digital financial tools in the Smallholder Diaries was very limited. Only 19% of Smallholder Diaries families in Tanzania used mobile money in Tanzania, the only country in the study where smallholders reported any mobile money usage.

Financial

  • Many Smallholder Diaries households had no specific tools for coping with shocks. When crops were destroyed by weather, for instance, 72% of Tanzanian households did nothing in response, demonstrating a lack of fallback options.

Agricultural

  • Some smallholders faced risks associated with basic agricultural practices. For example, in Mozambique, 61% of the households reported losing crops in storage due to infestation by pests.

Market-Related

  • For some households, market fluctuations presented another layer of risks. The households in the Pakistan study sold nearly all of their agricultural production. Nearly all of these households were significantly impacted by either an increase in the price of inputs (99%) or a decrease in the selling price for their crops (96%).

About CGAP
The Consultative Group to Assist the Poor is a global partnership of 34 leading organizations that seek to advance financial inclusion. CGAP develops innovative solutions through practical research and active engagement with financial service providers, policy makers, and funders to enable approaches at scale. Housed at the World Bank, CGAP combines a pragmatic approach to responsible market development with an evidence-based advocacy platform to increase access to the financial services the poor need to improve their lives.

Un nouveau rapport du CGAP fournit des aperçus uniques sur les vies financières des familles de petits exploitants

WASHINGTON, 25 février 2016 /PRNewswire — Un nouveau rapport du CGAP publié ce jour documente la vie financière d’un groupe restreint de petits exploitants dans trois pays et offre une perspective unique sur les luttes, les risques et les compromis auxquels ils sont confrontés quotidiennement. Le rapport fournit également des recommandations sur le type de services financiers qui pourraient améliorer la vie de cet important groupe de personnes.

Découvrez le communiqué de presse multimédia interactif ici :

Le nombre de familles de petits exploitants est estimé à 500 millions (environ 2 milliards de personnes) à travers le monde. Ces familles de petits exploitants agricoles représentent une part importante de personnes défavorisées du monde qui vivent avec moins de deux dollars par jour. Jusqu’à aujourd’hui, on en connaissait bien peu sur leur vie financière.

Les agendas financiers des familles de petits exploitants du GGAP comblent cette lacune d’informations par le biais d’une étude d’un an qui a évalué et suivi les revenus, les dépenses et la production agricole de 270 familles de petits exploitants au Mozambique, en Tanzanie et au Pakistan. Environ 500 000 points de données mettent en lumière la façon dont ces ménages gèrent leur argent et font face à des défis comprenant tout aussi bien des chocs climatiques que des problèmes de santé inattendus.

Jamie Anderson, la spécialiste du secteur financier au CGAP déclare : « Les prestataires de services financiers et d’autres intervenants travaillant avec les familles de petits agriculteurs doivent connaître la diversité spécifique de ce marché. Des aperçus sur les agendas petits exploitants peuvent les aider à trouver des solutions sur mesure par rapport aux divers profils de familles de petits exploitants ».

Le rapport offre des recommandations spécifiques à ce marché. Celles-ci comprennent des outils destinés à améliorer la production agricole et le stockage des récoltes dans l’échantillon mozambicain qui était composé principalement de petits exploitants non commerciaux, des instruments d’épargne diversifiée pour les foyers tanzaniens qui vendent plus de produits agricoles qu’ils n’en consument, et des outils pour faciliter les relations avec les intermédiaires dans l’étude pakistanaise où les petits exploitants ont vendu la quasi-totalité de leurs produits agricoles.

Bien que la méthodologie et la taille de l’échantillon ne représentent pas statistiquement les familles de petits exploitants dans un pays donné, les résultats de cette étude sont largement représentatifs des différents types de petits exploitants à travers le monde.

Télécharger le rapport et explorer les données

Quelques résultats clés comprennent :

Climat

  • Les chocs climatiques ont engendré de grandes difficultés pour les familles de petits exploitants. Par exemple, 72 % des ménages de l’échantillon pakistanais ont perdu 25 % ou plus de leur récolte en raison des intempéries au cours des cinq dernières années.

Santé

  • Les petits exploitants ont été confrontés à des problèmes de santé courants qui ont épuisé les ressources financières, émotionnelles et humaines, mais qui ont également perturbé les activités agricoles. Par exemple, 70 % des familles de l’étude mozambicaine ont enduré la mort d’un membre du ménage au cours des cinq dernières années.

Technologie

  • L’utilisation d’outils financiers numériques dans les agendas de petits exploitants était très limitée. Seulement 19 % des agendas des familles de petits exploitants tanzaniens ont utilisé l’argent mobile en Tanzanie, le seul pays de l’étude où les petits exploitants ont reporté l’utilisation d’argent mobile.

Finance

  • De nombreuses familles de petits exploitants n’avaient pas d’outils spécifiques pour faire face aux problèmes ou aux chocs. Par exemple, lorsque les récoltes ont été détruites par les intempéries, 72 % des ménages tanzaniens n’ont rien fait pour y remédier, cela démontre un manque d’options de secours.

Agriculture

  • Certains petits exploitants sont confrontés à des risques associés aux pratiques agricoles de base. Par exemple, 61 % des foyers mozambicains ont déclaré avoir perdu des récoltes lors du stockage en raison d’une infestation parasitaire.

Marché

  • Pour certaines familles, les fluctuations du marché représentent une autre couche de risques. Les familles de l’étude pakistanaise ont vendu la quasi-totalité de leur production agricole. La quasi-totalité de ces familles a été affectée de manière significative soit par une augmentation du prix des intrants (99 %) ou une diminution du prix de vente de leurs récoltes (96 %).

À propos du CGAP
Le Consultative Group to Assist the Poor (Groupe consultatif d’assistance aux plus défavorisés) consiste en un partenariat mondial qui réunit 34 organisations majeures ayant pour vocation d’améliorer l’inclusion financière. Le CGAP développe des solutions innovantes à travers des recherches pratiques et un engagement actif auprès des prestataires de services financiers, des décideurs politiques et des bailleurs de fonds, afin de permettre des approches à grande échelle. Installé dans les locaux de la Banque mondiale, le CGAP associe une approche pragmatique à un développement de marché responsable, grâce à une plateforme de plaidoyer fondé sur des preuves, dans le but d’accroître l’accès aux services financiers nécessaires à l’amélioration de l’existence des personnes les plus défavorisées.

Bankable Frontier Associates To Test New Ways Of Linking Poor People To Financial Services In Africa

The FIBR project, supported by The MasterCard Foundation, will harness smartphone data to connect underserved customers to financial services

BOSTON, Feb. 25, 2016 /PRNewswire — Bankable Frontier Associates (BFA), in partnership with The MasterCard Foundation, today launched FIBR (Financial Inclusion on Business Runways), a multi-million dollar, four-year project in Ghana and Tanzania to demonstrate how to better connect poor people to financial services by capturing and digitizing the data of business transactions in the informal economy.

Photo – http://photos.prnewswire.com/prnh/20160224/336842

By 2020, smartphone ownership is projected to rise from about 18% to over 50% in Africa, generating large amounts of new customer data. Thus, FIBR sets out to support technology, business and financial partners that can use this data to design and develop new ways to make savings, credit and insurance products available to underserved customers.

“FIBR is exploring different types of relationships, or links, between financial service providers and poor customers,” said David Porteous, CEO of BFA.  “The smartphone now makes it possible to propose new and more targeted solutions by a new range of players. How this happens and what will succeed is largely untested but it will be a transformative contribution to the financial services sector and how the poor better manage their money.”

FIBR further broaches new territory by:

  • Experimenting with predictive algorithms on this data so financial service providers can make better decisions about potential customers in underserved markets, and
  • Cultivating an active learning agenda that is supported with practical examples, and sharing insights with the broader financial inclusion field.

Two billion people worldwide lack access to regulated financial services yet the traditional way financial institutions cater to underserved customers is limited, resulting in low adoption and usage of services. Experimenting with the data from a poor person’s interactions with businesses as an employee, customer or supplier, and using it as a financial track record, opens up new possibilities in what a bank can offer, fund or underwrite.

“These business-based relationships, such as a shopkeeper extending customer credit, an employer setting aside savings for employees or a club providing micro-insurance to its members represent an untapped, indirect source of financial data about a person,” said Mark Wensley, Senior Program Manager, Financial Inclusion at The MasterCard Foundation. “With this data, banks and microfinance institutions, even mobile network operators, can offer a wide range of new financial services to poor customers whom they currently cannot serve directly.”

At the official project launch in Accra, Ghana, on February 25, BFA announced that several local organizations were already engaged in pre-qualifying projects for FIBR. By June 2016, the first selection of partners is scheduled to go through the program.

For more information about FIBR, please visit: www.fibrproject.org

ABOUT BFA
BFA (Bankable Frontier Associates) is a global consulting firm specializing in the development of financial services for low-income people around the world. Our approach is to seek out, create and implement solutions to the challenges faced by low-income people in managing the financial matters that underpin their lives.  We purposefully partner with cutting-edge financial and nonfinancial institutions that touch the lives of low-income customers. In creating solutions, we integrate our deep expertise in customer insights, business strategy, new technology and growth-enabling policy & regulation. Founded in 2006, our clients include donors, investors, financial institutions, policymakers, insurers and payment service providers. BFA has offices in Boston, New York and Nairobi. For more information, please visit: www.bankablefrontier.com.

ABOUT THE MASTERCARD FOUNDATION
The MasterCard Foundation works with visionary organizations to provide greater access to education, skills training and financial services for people living in poverty, primarily in Africa. As one of the largest, independent foundations, its work is guided by its mission to advance learning and promote financial inclusion in order to alleviate poverty. Based in Toronto, Canada, its independence was established by MasterCard when the Foundation was created in 2006. For more information, please visit www.mastercardfdn.org or follow us on Twitter @MCFoundation

Media Contact:

Jane Del Ser
Communications Manager
BFA
+34 608 375 760
jdelser@bankablefrontier.com

Roger Morier
Senior Manager, Communications
The MasterCard Foundation
+1 647 837 5290
rmorier@mastercardfdn.org

President Zuma condemns incidents of violence and destruction of property

President Jacob Zuma has strongly condemned recent incidents of violence and the destruction of property on several campuses of higher education including the North West University, University of Free State, University of Pretoria, the University of Cape Town as well as the torching of a Metrorail train in Pretoria.

The President has strongly appealed to protestors to act with utmost restraint and express their grievances within the confines of the law and our Constitution.

“The burning of university buildings at a time when we are prioritising the education of our youth is inexplicable and can never be condoned. No amount of anger should drive students to burn their own university and deny themselves and others education. Grievances should be handled in a peaceful manner. The Constitution of the Republic states that everyone has the right, peacefully and unarmed, to assemble, to demonstrate, to picket and to present petitions. Protestors should adhere to the Constitution when undertaking protest action,” said the President.

President Zuma has also condemned the attacks on train drivers that has been reported by Metrorail. “The drivers must be left alone to do their work unhindered. If trains arrive late, people should report the matter to the correct channels. The torching of trains and destruction of facilities is completely unacceptable and is a serious criminal act,” said President Zuma.

The President has directed the university authorities to attend to the grievances of students. Government will also play its role.

President Zuma has directed the law enforcement agencies to work around the clock and not rest until those who engage in criminal activity are brought to book.

Enquiries: Bongani Majola on 082 339 1993 or bonganim@presidency.gov.za

Source: The Presidency Republic of South Africa

Tough balancing act

The 2016 National Budget was tabled under a difficult global economic environment, with South Africa experiencing low economic growth, Finance Minister Pravin Gordhan said on Thursday.

Responding to a question at a post-budget briefing, Minister Gordhan said economic conditions are tough.

“It’s a tough budget. We are finding ourselves in a very difficult global economic environment with lots of doubt on whether the developed world will continue to grow� We’ve seen that currencies of emerging markets have been affected and commodity producers have been affected,” he said.

The budget, tabled in Parliament on Wednesday, comes at a time when the country is faced with high unemployment levels and slow growth.

“We have our own internal difficulties as South Africa. We’ve been growing too slowly. Our unemployment levels are too high, poverty and inequality levels are also high… Government has, for the last six years or so, been carrying the substantial burden of investing in infrastructure, for example,” he said.

He said the country needs to now come up with new answers.

“At the same time, we’ve borrowed a lot since 2009 in order to sustain, in particular, our social services and invest in infrastructure and the economy more generally. We haven’t grown at the same level as we borrowed,” said Minister Gordhan.

This, he said, means South Africa has to tighten its purse strings.

“This means we have to tighten our belts, tax a little bit more without hurting the economy and cut expenditure within government as well. That’s the balancing act temporarily. I hope that we have to perform it until all of us can put our heads together and say, how do we grow this economy, how do we get more investment, how do we create more jobs?”

The 2016 Budget also made tax proposals that include a personal income tax relief of R5.5 billion, which partially compensates for inflation, focused mainly on lower- and middle-income earners.

In his comments on this, Minister Gordhan said South Africa’s household debt is quite high.

“Indebtedness in South Africa is a serious problem. Unsecured lending at one stage was a serious problem. The message is, we will try to do whatever we can as we have done this time. Where there are possibilities of tax relief, we will direct the tax relief at the lower end [of the income bracket]. For example, to mitigate inflation, the money that we’ve put in (R 5.5 billion) is going to lower income brackets,” he said.

The Minister further urged South Africans not to overextend themselves financially. “Like government, everybody needs to balance their budgets as well until we can get the economy to start growing.”

Nuclear build

On the nuclear build programme, the Minister reemphasised the budget stance that nuclear will be expanded at a scale and pace that is affordable following a thorough and transparent tender process.

“We are at the very early stages of the programme. We will phase in the implementation of a programme like that in accordance with our affordability. We have to go through a proper, transparent procurement process. It’s going to be a year or two or more before we can say, how long, how much and over what period of time we are going to manage this programme,” he said.

Minister Gordhan also spoke of the need for investment in order to grow the economy.

“For the purposes of growth, we require more investment both from government and from the private sector. We need more creative energy from our own people, we need entrepreneurs on a large scale and support for small, medium and micro-sized enterprises (SMMEs).”

Meanwhile, Deputy Minister Mcebisi Jonas spoke of the importance of transparency in the procurement process saying this is critical for success.

Adding on the Deputy Minister’s comments, Minister Gordhan said change is needed.

“We need to change the business culture. We should go back to basics,” said the Minister.

SOURCE: SOUTH AFRICAN GOVERNMENT NEWS AGENCY