How Rabo Foundation adds value

Rabo Foundation is a long-time partner of Aldea Global. “We offer the organization financing and we support its training and trade activities, which help farmers to work more profitably and sustainably”, says Albert Boogaard, Head of Innovation at Rabo Foundation. “Thanks to our internal data experts, we’ve added value there in 2018.” Boogaard refers to the access Rabo Foundation gave Aldea to relevant knowledge and specialists in the Rabo network. “Data experts from the Rabobank Transformation Office (DTO), Rabobank subsidiary DLL and Rabo Foundation worked together with Aldea staff to develop its digital evaluation model.” Rabo Foundation also helped Aldea learn how to access its millions of pieces of data from the cloud, to store them in a ‘data warehouse’, and familiarize itself with data analysis software. “Only then could the association apply the valuable advice that our experts provided about the intelligent use of data, data analyses, and artificial intelligence.”

Agri-revolution with
smartphones and data

"We're constantly gaining new members; 12,000 at last count, half om whom are coffee farmers. They need timely and suistable microcredit loans and advice to improve and expand their production. Fortunately, thanks to ICT we can meet that growing demand." We hear from Warren Armstrong, General Director of Aldea Global, an association of smallholder farmers in Nicaragua.

like fertilizer, to the recent digitization of microcredit applications.”

Sturdy jeeps
Aldea Global is one of the few places in the country where farmers can apply for microcredit loans for an affordable interest rate. Armstrong: “Investigating their creditworthiness used to be a challenging and time-consuming process. Our 80 credit agents visited each applicant in person, which usually meant that they had to crawl up remote mountain trails in sturdy Jeeps.” That meant it took longer to process loan applications than Aldea would have liked. And with the increasing demand for loans, the credit agents would have to spend even more time on the road.

Special calculation model
“Together with Rabo Foundation, we were able to design and develop an innovative solution”, Armstrong says. “Now, we have every loan applicant fill in a brief questionnaire online using their smartphones. Based in part on the data they enter, we use a special calculation model to determine whether it’s prudent to grant them a loan.” With this digitization tool, Aldea can reach more members with the same manpower.

“Our 80 credit agents can now serve even more smallholder farmers. Each of them can reach 250 members, and we hope that they’ll soon be able to reach 350.”

Quick growing tips
Aldea agents continue to visit the smallholder farmers, especially the 30 percent who still don’t have a smartphone or Internet. “But we can dramatically reduce the number and duration of the visits”, says Armstrong. The association hopes that it can eventually digitize its advice as well. “For example with software that can provide quick growing tips based on someone’s GPS coordinates, their crops, and the available climate- and soil information about their location during a specific period.”

Intelligent use of data
“Collecting and analyzing data is crucial for our digital services”, Armstrong adds. “We’ve been collecting data for a while now, for example via the loan application visits and the tracking software for products. Now we have millions of pieces of data. What’s new is the intelligent analysis and use of the data.” Last year, a variety of experts taught Aldea how to do it – with some help from Rabo Foundation. “We’re getting more adept at it. And that’s good news for our members: data analysis is their key to a better future.”

Armstrong explains that Agri-ICT has been Aldea’s highest priority since the past year. “Our support is increasingly digital. From
a special webshop for members, where they can order agricultural products

Innovative credit solution in Nicaragua

Aldea Global

NICARAGUA

Nicaragua /Agri-revolution

Nicaragua /Agri-revolution

Agri-revolution
with smartphones
and data

"We're constantly gaining new members; 12,000 at last count, half om whom are coffee farmers. They need timely and suistable microcredit loans and advice to improve and expand their production. Fortunately, thanks to ICT we can meet that growing demand." We hear from Warren Armstrong, General Director of Aldea Global, an association of smallholder farmers in Nicaragua.

Aldea Global

NICARAGUA

Armstrong explains that Agri-ICT has been Aldea’s highest priority since the past year. “Our support is increasingly digital. From a special webshop for members, where they can order agricultural products like fertilizer,

to the recent digitization of microcredit applications.”

Sturdy jeeps
Aldea Global is one of the few places in the country where farmers can apply for microcredit loans for an affordable interest rate. Armstrong: “Investigating their creditworthiness used to be a challenging and time-consuming process. Our 80 credit agents visited each applicant in person, which usually meant that they had to crawl up remote mountain trails in sturdy Jeeps.” That meant it took longer to process loan applications than Aldea would have liked. And with the increasing demand for loans, the credit agents would have to spend even more time on the road.

Special calculation model
“Together with Rabo Foundation, we were able to design and develop an innovative solution”, Armstrong says. “Now, we have every loan applicant fill in a brief questionnaire online using their smartphones. Based in part on the data they enter, we use a special calculation model to determine whether it’s prudent to grant them a loan.” With this digitization tool, Aldea can reach more members with the same manpower.

“Our 80 credit agents can now serve even more smallholder farmers. Each of them can reach 250 members, and we hope that they’ll soon be able to reach 350.”

Quick growing tips
Aldea agents continue to visit the smallholder farmers, especially the 30 percent who still don’t have a smartphone or Internet. “But we can dramatically reduce the number and duration of the visits”, says Armstrong. The association hopes that it can eventually digitize its advice as well. “For example with software that can provide quick growing tips based on someone’s GPS coordinates, their crops, and the available climate- and soil information about their location during a specific period.”

Intelligent use of data
“Collecting and analyzing data is crucial for our digital services”, Armstrong adds. “We’ve been collecting data for a while now, for example via the loan application visits and the tracking software for products. Now we have millions of pieces of data. What’s new is the intelligent analysis and use of the data.” Last year, a variety of experts taught Aldea how to do it – with some help from Rabo Foundation. “We’re getting more adept at it. And that’s good news for our members: data analysis is their key to a better future.”

Innovative credit
solution in Nicaragua

How Rabo Foundation adds value

Rabo Foundation is a long-time partner of Aldea Global. “We offer the organization financing and we support its training and trade activities, which help farmers to work more profitably and sustainably”, says Albert Boogaard, Head of Innovation at Rabo Foundation. “Thanks to our internal data experts, we’ve added value there in 2018.” Boogaard refers to the access Rabo Foundation gave Aldea to relevant knowledge and specialists in the Rabo network. “Data experts from the Rabobank Transformation Office (DTO), Rabobank subsidiary DLL and Rabo Foundation worked together with Aldea staff to develop its digital evaluation model.” Rabo Foundation also helped Aldea learn how to access its millions of pieces of data from the cloud, to store them in a ‘data warehouse’, and familiarize itself with data analysis software. “Only then could the association apply the valuable advice that our experts provided about the intelligent use of data, data analyses, and artificial intelligence.”