Rabobank is a Dutch multinational banking and financial services company headquartered in Utrecht, Netherlands. It is a global leader in food and agriculture financing and sustainability-oriented banking. Food and agribusiness constitute the primary international focus of the Rabobank Group. Rabobank is the second-largest bank in the Netherlands in terms of total assets and is considered a leading agricultural bank globally.
Credit risks are calculated based on the borrower’s overall ability to repay. To assess credit risk on a loan, banks look at credit history, capacity to repay and capital. Also the loan’s conditions and associated collateral are taken into account. Rabobank has established departments solely responsible for assessing the credit risks of its current and potential customers. Technology has afforded Rabobank the ability to quickly analyze data used to assess a customer’s risk profile.
Rabobank’s goal is to provide credit to farmers across the globe so that they can thrive. A farmer from a developed country can show his or her performance by sharing his financial statements and performance. Providing loans to farmers in developing countries was considered challenging due to a lack of solid historical financial data.
Rabobank also wanted to support farmers with even more precise satellite data-based recommendations for crop growing, improving the farmer’s financial performance and in return reduce the bank’s risk exposure.
The relationship between the VanderSat satellite observed data and crop yield has proven to be strong for lots of crops across the globe. With VanderSat’s historical data set, going back 19 years, Rabobank will be able to get a clear picture of the farmers past performance a well as provide crucial information to improve the farmer’s financial performance. Rabobank was already working with more traditional datasets collected from satellites. These proxy indicators for crop performance where mostly taken from weather stations and crop health indexes like NDVI, but were experiencing issues due to cloud cover and detailed information on water availability in the farmer’s fields. Developing countries often lack a dense ground sensor network. Rabobank will use VanderSat’s satellite observations, which measure soil moisture, vegetation optical depth and surface temperature in fields using microwave technology, as a data source for the company’s agronomic advice applications.