Mobile-Enabled Economic Identities for Smallholder Farmers in Ghana

Digitizing and documenting the economic behavior of end users

The aim of this research was to investigate the financial and identity needs of smallholder farmers in Ghana and to understand the unique position of mobile network operators in developing economic profiles that are specifically designed to address the financial inclusion challenges that these farmers face.

The report highlights key research findings that show how the ubiquity of mobile technology has created a platform for gathering, storing and processing data on the economic behaviors of end users, including smallholder farmers. Such platforms enable significant benefits to those who struggle to access formal financial services due to the fact that their financial history is comprised of economic behavior that is cash-based, varied, inconsistent and undocumented.

The research consisted of a mix of end-user focus group discussions, surveys and interviews with stakeholders that engage with this value chain, and aimed to answer the following questions:

  • What types of identity documents are available to smallholder cocoa farmers in Ghana in practice, and which ones are accepted as valid forms of identity when farmers need to access specific services?
  • What are the challenges of driving the use of digital financial services, from both a supply and demand perspective?

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