The agribusiness value chain is filled with various participants fulfilling unique and sometimes intersecting roles. They are all either producing goods or services for their customers or are active users of the goods and services. The success of their businesses and livelihood largely depends on being financial literate.

Financial literacy is the ability and confidence of an individual to use his/her financial knowledge to make financial decisions to improve their well-being. Unfortunately, despite improved access to the internet and other sources of information, financial literacy continues to be an area of concern for most agricultural value chain participants in Sub-Saharan Africa. The Future Africa Forum (2023) states that, while there are some disparities in terms of economic and human development between African countries, most of the population in African countries have relatively low financial literacy levels.

According to S&P’s Global Financial Literacy Survey, African countries score the worst in terms of financial literacy in the world. The most financial literate country is Botswana at 51% and the least is Somalia at 15% according to the survey most African countries have agrobased economies, therefore if they could capacitate their citizens, especially agricultural participants, with financial knowledge it would further the growth of the agricultural sector and their economies as well.

Benefits of agricultural individuals being financially literate include the ability to make better financial decisions, effectively manage money and debt, greater ability to reach financial goals, reduction of expenses through better monetary regulation, less financial stress and anxiety, increased ethical decision-making when selecting insurance, loans, investments, increased savings and improved retirement planning, and improved bargaining power. The capacitation of individuals then increases activity in financial markets, aids individuals to choose the right financial products with confidence and increases awareness of consumer rights and regulatory interventions. Not only do individuals benefit, but the financial system and economy improve as well due to greater competition, innovation, and quality products.

There is also improved market discipline, better coverage of risk, and the increase in the self-funding of retirement which reduces pressure on the government to take care of retirees. A more financially literate agricultural community means more financial inclusion and an increased understanding of government financial policies which aids in collective decision-making. Mitchell and Abusheva (2016) state the main challenges for financial literacy at the micro-level, meso-level, and macro-level are over deference to the financial industry, lack of financial knowledge, overconfidence about financial knowledge, lack of government initiatives, frameworks and regulations, lack of life cycle planning and interesting and fascinating ways to teach financial literacy skills.

The improvement of financial literacy can only be achieved through the collaborative effort of government, the non-governmental sector, and the private sector. According to Refera, Dhaliwal and Kaur (2015), roles of governments regarding financial literacy in developing countries include setting financial literacy policy and strategy, and organising and coordinating other stakeholders for efficient and effective financial education at national level. Evidence of developing countries undertaking policy level initiatives mean government agencies in the finance and education sector play an active role. Similarly, the ministry of education and schools, the media, information, and communication technology sector can also play a vital role in promoting financial education in developing countries.

Media, mobile money operators, and financial institutions can all play a role in improving financial literacy. The media could be used as a medium to spread financial literacy education. Ministries of education and government agencies should work with media houses to design and publish simplified and practical articles on financial literacy to educate the public and additionally, more airtime and newspaper space should be allocated to financial literacy education.

According to the Future Africa Forum (2023), with the rise of mobile money markets and digital financial services, operators are constantly interacting with clients. Mobile money operators could use their platform to promote SMS-based financial literacy courses to complement their existing products and services. Lastly financial institutions such as banks, microfinance institutions, insurance companies, and asset management companies within the private sector can provide existing and potential customers with some educational material and tools to improve financial literacy.

They can take it a step further by holding workshops on pressing topics such as savings, borrowing, managing finances, and much more. These same institutions can draw up financial literacy programmes which they can share to the general public through schools and non-profit organisations.


Hayes, A. (2022) Business Plan: What It Is, What’s Included, and How to Write One. Available at:

Mitchell, J. W., Abusheva, M. E.(2016) The actual challenges of financial literacy. Available at:

Financial Literacy: Preparing Africa’s Youth for The Future. (2023) Available at:

CFI Team (2022) Financial Literacy – The cognitive understanding of financial components and skills. Available at:

Refera, M. K., Dhaliwal, N. K., Kaur, J. (2015) Financial literacy for developing countries in Africa: A review of concept, significance, and research opportunities. Department of Commerce, Punjabi University Patiala, India. Available at: