Cultivating Prosperity: Fintech Finaktiva Partnering with Colombian Smallholders for Big Impact on Agriculture

UNSGSA Queen Máxima is pictured meeting a smallholder farmer during a field visit in the Aburrá Valley of Antioquia to learn more about a fintech supporting climate smart agriculture on 26 February 2024. Photo: Patrick van Katwijk

Nestled in the Aburrá Valley of Antioquia, near Medellín, cradled by the Andes, a partnership is flourishing. Finaktiva and SiembraViva are uniting the forces of technology and finance to foster a greener future and invigorate the lives intertwined with Colombia's rich agricultural tapestry.

In a country celebrated for its agricultural potential, bolstered by diverse climates and fertile landscapes, smallholder farmers form the backbone of the sector. Yet, these farmers face steep challenges: urban market access is elusive, organic certification is expensive, and the funds for innovation and growth are scarce. This is where SiembraViva steps in, championing organic and regenerative agriculture. By embracing farming practices that restore the ecosystem—from increasing biodiversity to improving watersheds—SiembraViva is not just cultivating crops but nurturing the land for future generations.

But they cannot do it alone. Enter Finaktiva, a leading provider of financing and software services, including credit, factoring, and inventory management tailored specifically for small enterprises.

Since 2017, Finaktiva has infused over USD $1 billion into various high-potential ventures in Colombia, including innovative agricultural enterprises such as SiembraViva. Through its partnership with SiembraViva, Finaktiva's financial support via a 400-million-Colombia-peso loan (~USD $100,000) has been pivotal, enabling expansion for greenhouses, fostering sustainable practices, and, most importantly, empowering farmers to thrive.

The collaboration between Finaktiva and SiembraViva is a powerful example of how fintech can support climate smart agriculture. Finaktiva's digital platform does more than offer loans; it's a conduit for SiembraViva and its farmers to reach new markets, optimize operations, and fulfill sustainability objectives. According to Finaktiva co-founder and CEO Pablo Santos, this initiative demonstrates that appropriate financial assistance and digital innovation can turn traditional agricultural challenges into opportunities for advancement, ecological practices, and broader participation.

The impact on smallholder farmers is significant, SiembraViva General Manager Diego Benitez told UNSGSA Queen Máxima during her visit on 26 February 2024. He added that the benefits include not just improved income and market reach (bolstering financial health) but also education in organic farming, assistance with organic certifications, and tools for more sustainable farming.

UNSGSA Queen Máxima tours a farm in the Aburrá Valley of Antioquia, near Medellín, on 26 February 2024. Photo: Patrick van Katwijk

Moreover, Siembraviva employs technology through a mobile app to monitor soil, agronomic conditions, and crop cycles, which helps smallholders become more productive with their limited resources. This comprehensive approach ensures that the impact is both economic and environmental, fostering a healthier ecosystem and a sustainable agricultural future for Colombia. To support sustainability, Siembraviva offers this app to local farmers through a monthly subscription model.

Further, it is an illustration of how fintech can contribute to social and environmental progress. By focusing on inclusion, sustainability, and supporting smallholder farmers, their joint efforts are reshaping Colombia's agricultural framework and providing a model for how technology and finance can jointly tackle global issues. With Finaktiva’s support, Siembraviva has become not only a regenerative agriculture company, but a source of innovation and support for smallholder farmers across the Aburrá Valley.

This success is a clear indication that a more sustainable and inclusive future is achievable through collaborative efforts across sectors, capitalizing on each other’s strengths to build a better world. Within Colombia's fertile farming regions, transformative change is taking place, enhancing lives one farm at a time.