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Towards digital inclusion in rural transformation

The ongoing digital transformation across various sectors presents significant opportunities for enhancing economic outcomes and achieving Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) for smallholder farmers and rural communities. This transformation has the potential to revolutionize rural finance by increasing access to financial services, which is critical for rural and agricultural development. However, the benefits of digitalization are not automatically inclusive, with rural residents and marginalized groups at risk of being left further behind due to existing digital divides.

This report addresses the critical paradox facing rural finance: the need for inclusive digital transformation that genuinely supports all segments of rural populations. It offers a detailed analysis of the factors contributing to digital exclusion and showcases evidence on how digital divides impact rural communities. Additionally, it provides actionable recommendations for rural development practitioners and policymakers to enhance digital inclusion, ensuring that digital finance tools are accessible and beneficial to even the most marginalized groups. This guidance is essential for those committed to leveraging digital advances to foster greater financial inclusion and resilience in rural areas.

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