Anushka Ratnayake

Program Area: Poverty Alleviation & Economic Development
Location of Impact: Mali

Bold Idea: Increase the harvests of small-scale African farmers by enabling them to obtain agricultural inputs with an SMS-based layaway platform.

Why I'm Passionate About This: Mali is the fifteenth poorest country in the world and the sixth fastest in growth. Mali is also a net importer of consumable grain to feed this growing population. I have a global perspective: I'm a Sri Lankan, born in Jamaica, raised in Bermuda, and educated in the U.S.. I spent years working in East Africa before coming to Mali, where I connected with local farmers who had the discipline to develop savings, but lacked ways to secure and manage their money. With myAgro, farmers can make layaway payments throughout the year for quality seed and fertilizer via SMS. Combining savings-led finance with training and labor loans, myAgro helps farmers increase profits.

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These profiles are derived from Fellowship applications.