Access to finance for small holder farmers by connecting digital finance to physical touch points.

Innovation Type


Country of Incorporation


Country(ies) of Implementation


Product Segment

Energy - Farm Production & Mechanization, Financial Solution, Digital Solution

Website Address



Agriculture is the cornerstone of East-African economies, contributing around 29% of GDP, yet receiving only a fraction of all lending (3%). The root cause of this problem is that banks essentially do not lend to smallholder farmers and agriculture is viewed as very high risk. Most East-African banks have slow, manual approval processes, high operating costs, and a lack of effective last mile distribution in remote areas.

This is a particularly dire situation for farmers as farmers often need small and fast loans to prepare in time for the next season. In practice, farmers have no other option than to borrow from informal money lenders that charge exorbitant rates up to 20% p.m. At high interest rates investments in productive farming assets do not make economic sense.

As a result of this, farmers struggle to achieve prosperity, East Africa’s vast agricultural potential remains underdeveloped and the region imports rather than exports food to feed its growing population.


Emata provides farmers with affordable digital loans that combine outstanding financial technology with physical touch points that are needed to effectively deliver services in rural settings in East-Africa. Emata’s solution is broken down into these three steps: 1) providing agricultural middlemen with their software to help them digitise and better run their operations, 2) accessing the middlemen’s data and converting the data they collect into credit limits that are tailored to each individual farmer, and 3) providing digital loans that farmers request via Emata’s user-friendly WhatsApp bot.



Click on a photo to view it larger. Right click on the larger version to save it to your computer.