On February 11, Développement international Desjardins (DID) was awarded the Innovation and Impact Award by Cooperation Canada and World University Service of Canada (WUSC), in collaboration with the administrators of the Lewis Perinbam Award. The purpose of this prestigious award is to inspire and support the growth of a more relevant, flexible and effective global development sector that uses innovation to have a lasting impact. DID received this recognition for its transformative approach to increasing the economic power of both male and female farmers in Colombia. With this initiative, DID helped make Colombia's agricultural financial sector more inclusive, efficient and secure for the country's farmers.
The project led by DID has resulted in several impactful innovations, such as the design of the DECISION mobile application (which facilitates the process of analyzing credit applications on the spot and promotes the secure financial inclusion of farmers) and the development of an agroeconomic database that condenses the production costs, yields and production cycles associated with several agricultural value chains: a tool that was long awaited by the Colombian government. By the end of the project, 136,000 agricultural credits had been granted to 80,000 farmers based on the new credit methodologies implemented and 15,000 farmers (57% of whom were women) had received financial education, with these figures continuing to rise every day.