Last-mile finance to help tackle land degradation and drought
1 May 2023
Food security & agriculture
Disruptive financial innovations and technologies can play a key role in advancing global efforts to address desertification, land degradation and drought while delivering greater opportunities for agricultural producers and national economies.
Many financial solutions already exist, but they are often unevenly implemented or not widely available. Close to one-third of adults – 1.7 billion about half of whom were women – still did not have access to financial services in 2017, according to the latest Findex data.
Financial inclusion is also instrumental to the secure disbursement of funds by donors as well as to the operation of civil society organizations, especially in remote rural areas. It is an enabler of eight of the seventeen Sustainable Development Goals and is a key tool for achieving gender equality and empowering women financially.
A new report "Financial and digital inclusion for last mile payments: Trends, sustainable land use and disruptive financial service options," published by the Global Mechanism of UNCCD, explores the range of elements that make up financial inclusion and last-mile payments, and can significantly contribute to addressing the challenges of land degradation and drought while empowering the most vulnerable and underserved populations, specifically women and youth.
Mobile banking and payments provide affordable and convenient access to financial services, especially in rural areas, while carbon credits can create incentives for landholders and farmers adopting sustainable land management practices to combat land degradation and desertification. The report provides successful examples of innovative financial solutions and technologies that can be scaled up to support new business models and generate economic benefits while restoring soil health, reducing land degradation, preventing forced migration, improving food security, protecting biodiversity and supporting climate resilience.
Produced jointly by the secretariats of the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO) and the United Nations Convention to Combat Desertification (UNCCD), with…