Producers Direct is an international non-profit led by smallholder farmers for smallholder farmers. With over a decade of experience in farmer-led design and experimentation, Producers Direct has piloted and scaled a number of in-person and digital solutions that have improved the livelihoods for over 1 million small-scale farmers across East Africa and Latin America to-date. International recognition for our work has included UK Google Impact Challenge winner; World Bank Collaborative Data Innovations and the CGIAR Big Data Platform's 2020 Inspire Challenge winner. As Producers Direct CEO and Founder, Claire will share lessons learnt from Producers Direct's experiences in farmer-led design to-date and reflect on what may, or may not, lead to impactful investments in farmer-led design, experimentation and knowledge sharing processes.
Claire Rhodes (speaker)
CEO and Founder
Claire is CEO and Founder of Producers Direct. Producers Direct is an award-winning enterprise led by farmers for farmers - focussed on designing farmer-led solutions to the challenges faced by smallholder farmers worldwide. To-date, this has improved livelihoods for over 1 million small-scale farmers across East Africa and Latin America. Producers Direct delivers a range of farmer-led services in-person and digitally, focussed on four key areas: 1) Training & Information Services; 2) Access to Financial Services, 3) Market Access and 4) Access to data to support farmers take smarter farming decisions. International recognition for our work has included UK Google Impact Challenge winner, World Bank Collaborative Data Innovations, GBBC 2019 Scaling Impact for the UN SDGs Zero Hunger winner and most recently, 2020 WFP Innovation Accelerator awardee for Digital Cooperatives - a pioneering platform applying innovation in blockchain technology to replicate the benefits of traditional farming cooperatives to improve incomes and food security for smallholder farming families, especially women farmers.
Before joining Producers Direct, Claire worked with a number of organizations promoting the leadership of small-scale farmers within international development processes. This included seven years with the US-based non-profit Ecoagriculture Partners, the United Nations Development Programme, the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, and DFID.