The world’s 500 million smallholder families face unique financial challenges that are complicated and poorly understood. For greater insight into the financial lives, behaviors and needs of these families, CGAP launched the Smallholder Households Financial Diaries project in mid-2014. Over the course of a year, 270 families in Mozambique, Tanzania, and Pakistan shared not only how they earn, spend and manage their money but also how they make financial decisions.
The Smallholder Diaries will produce a rich set of financial data. But behind the statistics are real people - farmers who also sell their labor and run side businesses to make ends meet. They struggle to support their families but aspire to a more secure future. For a personal glimpse into the lives of smallholder families, CGAP provided cameras to a group of Smallholder Diaries participants in Mozambique and asked them to photograph images from their daily lives that represent challenges and successes.
These photos are the result.
In this project, the photographers documented what they identified as prominent challenges in their lives.
Understanding how to improve the lives of smallholders with access to financial services starts with understanding their struggles, which often are more than financial. Issues of food security, irrigation, lack of education or agricultural training, pests, and even the inability to hire help or purchase fertilizer all intertwine in the complex lives of smallholder households.
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Greater access to financial services combined with other targeted solutions could help families build more profitable livelihoods.
Asking smallholders to define their successes in photos illuminates these families’ goals and expectations.Gaining a better understanding of what families consider success in life provides a road map for how better access to financial services can help them get there.
The photos demonstrate that families take pride in achieving the basics –
a successful crop, a vehicle for transportation, or even a comfortable chair.
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Video: Financial Diaries of Smallholder Families in tanzania