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  • LocationMali
  • SectorAgriculture and Livelihoods
  • Type of investmentGrant
  • Project stagePilot

A $225,000 grant to pilot myAgro’s innovative agricultural savings product with women’s savings groups in Mali


The development problem.

Smallholder farmers make up the majority of the 2 billion people living on less than $2 a day worldwide. Their estimated annual financing need is $450 billion. Only 3% of that need is currently met. In the areas of Mali and Senegal where myAgro works, the average family has 15 people and is food insecure for 3 months of the year. They traditionally harvest less than a ton of food per hectare, when they could produce 3 to 4 times that with access to better seeds, fertilizer and training.

The innovation.

myAgro offers an integrated package of improved seeds, fertilizer and training to smallholder farmers, enabling them to increase their incomes. Rather than providing these services on credit, myAgro has pioneered a savings-based approach. Farmers buy “scratch cards” to top up their mobile myAgro account throughout the year, then receive inputs and training at planting time. In 2016, myAgro reached 17,000 farmers in Mali and Senegal, roughly doubling farmers’ incomes.

myAgro are aiming to reach 1 million smallholder farmers by 2025. A core part of their scaling plan involves leveraging the existing infrastructure of Village Savings and Loans Groups. Across Africa, there are 12 million farmers in Savings Groups who save small amounts of money on a regular basis. An RCT in Mali found that while the savings groups helped smooth members’ incomes, they did not facilitate productive investments in business or agriculture. myAgro offers these Savings Groups a way to invest their savings in their farms, allowing them to increase their incomes and build a path out of poverty.

GIF’s investment.

A $225,000 grant allowed myAgro to test their mobile layaway approach with 2,000 Savings Group members in Mali. On average, farmers saved $10 for the purchase of improved agricultural services, which allowed them to double their incomes from $34 per 1/16th of a hectare to $72.

Investment objective(s).

Test whether myAgro’s layaway savings program can achieve cost efficiencies via integration with Village Savings and Loan Associations.

Why we invested

A promising savings-based approach. myAgro has pioneered a mobile layaway product to allow farmers to leverage savings, rather than credit, for investing in their farm productivity.

A strong team. Anushka, the founder, has grown her organisation from 240 farmers in 2012, to over 17,000 in 2016.

Improving incomes of hard-to-reach farmers. 65% of myAgro’s farmers are women, farming less than ½ a hectare of land. myAgro have shown promise in substantially increasing the net income of these farmers.

Click here to read myAgro’s Impact Brief.

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