Home Country News Mercy Corps, Mastercard help farmers utilise tech

Mercy Corps, Mastercard help farmers utilise tech

by Grace Kisembo

Kenya’s small-scale farmers are set to reap from humanitarian agency Mercy Corps’ partnering with Mastercard Foundation to push for adoption of technology.

The development is expected to yeild better food production and end perennial shortages.

Mercy Corps’ Agrifin Accelerate Programme is a $25 million (Sh2.5 billion) project that is running for six years and will benefit Kenya, Zambia and Tanzania.

It is supported by the Mastercard Foundation and is aimed at helping to close the gap in access to financial services, information and market services.

The scheme hosted more than 200 participants from around the world recently in Nairobi to accelerate the use of technology and make farming profitable.

In addition, the platform provides assess to digital financial services for smallholder farmers, discuss trends and opportunities and engage on enhancing last mile service for farmers.

At the forum, leading experts on financial inclusion from banks, mobile network operators, agribusinesses, tech innovators, governments and development partners from Kenya and across Africa engaged the audience.

Key speakers at the event included executives from the Mastercard Foundation, the World Food Programme, Google, Safaricom, Equity Bank, FarmDrive and SunCulture.

“In Kenya, our 2017 study of smallholders found that over 90 per cent of farmers use mobile phones to access financial services and information regardless of education, gender or age and the use of smart phones is also on the rise,” said Leesa Shrader, programme director at Mercy Corps Agrifin Accelerate.

“Moving forward, mobile will become even more important for farmers to access markets, critical services like transportation and crop disease management tools — helping drive up farmer productivity and income,” said the official.

Olga Morawczynski, programme manager for financial inclusion at the Mastercard, said they were impressed Africa was making progress in innovations that support farmers’ access to financial services.

Related Posts