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myAgro — Impact Brief

Introduction

myAgro, an award-winning non-profit social enterprise, pioneered a mobile layaway model that enables farmers – men and women alike – to invest their own funds in high-quality seed, fertilizer, tools, and training to significantly increase their harvests and income. The results are an astounding increase in yields and family income of 50-100%. myAgro’s three-tiered approach includes:

  • Mobile layaway: mobile layaway allows farmers to set aside funds for the inputs they need for their farms. When it is time to buy inputs, they are no longer short on cash.
  • Access to, and delivery of, key agricultural inputs: myAgro delivers seed and input packages within 5kms of each farm. Furthermore, they include vegetable packages with every package to provide alternative revenue streams and boost food security.
  • Tailored technical support: myAgro provides agricultural trainings specifically designed to increase harvests, including low literacy training materials and training on small-scale mechanization to reduce labor.

Use of GIF Funds

myAgro received a grant of $225,000 from the Global Innovation Fund in 2015 to fund a pilot study to test a variant to its core program model. The pilot used existing Village Savings and Loan Associations (VSLA) to recruit farmers who were already saving together but did not have productive options for applying their savings. myAgro conducted a trial with 1,824 savings group members in Mali and Senegal with the aim of testing the potential of the model to scale and grow.

Impact to Date

Since 2012, myAgro has proven the power of its approach in Mali, Senegal, and Tanzania by successfully growing from 240 farmers to nearly 90,000 farmers in 2020.

The GIF funded pilot revealed three potential drivers of improved unit economics through working with VSLAs:

  1. Lowering customer acquisition costs by marketing to existing VSLA groups;
  2. Lowering the cost of serving each farmer in terms of training and delivery of inputs by increasing customer density; and
  3. Increasing the amount that each farmer saves by piggybacking on existing group-savings tools.

Additional results from the GIF funded pilot showed that myAgro’s mobile layaway model is attractive to farmers and is effective at improving food security and generating higher income for smallholder farmers. Compared to the control farmers, myAgro saving group members fared much better. myAgro female saving group members grew 115% more food than control farmers, and earned $73 in net profit, which is more than a 100 % increase over control farm income. myAgro farmers, overall, increased their farm income 50 – 100%, with an incremental net income increase of $200 per farmer in 2016. myAgro’s impact on farmers also increased with time. Returning farmers saved 27% more than first year farmers, and 10% of returning farmers invested in additional crops like vegetable packages with myAgro.

myAgro’s 2020 impact analysis demonstrated that on average, myAgro farmers grew 78% more and earned $178 more net income than control farmers, representing a 26% increase in income. Additionally, for every philanthropic dollar invested in myAgro’s core program in Mali and Senegal, myAgro generated $3.57 of social return on investment. For the entire program, including R&D and the pilot in Tanzania, myAgro generated $1.47 of social return on investment for every philanthropic dollar invested.