Ricult (Massachusetts Institute of Technology)

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The problem of poverty faced by millions of smallholder farmers in developing countries is largely due to financial exclusion. Due to limited cash to pay upfront, these farmers face difficulties in buying farm inputs (seeds, fertilizers, etc.) at the start of a growing season, resulting in exploitation by informal lenders who charge them over 100-150% APR. Ricult solves the problem through providing high-quality farm inputs to farmers on credit at affordable rates, using an innovative risk assessment mobile platform. Creating a tailored credit score for the farmers through applying advanced machine learning technique to nontraditional data sources, we provide loans at five times lower interest rate than money lenders and offer a repayment schedule that matches the crop cycle. Our pilot market is Pakistan where there are over 20 million farmers facing the problem.

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Blum Center for Developing Economies
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