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Mobile money transactions improve agro-business in Kenya

by Grace Kisembo

Kenya’s recent adoption of digital payment in agriculture has boosted transparency and efficiency, driving economic opportunity and financial inclusion for thousands of smallholder farmers and their families.

One Acre Fund, supported by Citi, enabled Kenyan farmers to easily make loan repayments via mobile money, reducing the uncertainty, inefficiency, insecurity and high costs.

With digital collection of repayments, Under One Acre is now using the extra time to help farmers increase incomes through training and educational programs.

“Mobile repayments have allowed us to increase our efficiency and provide better service to farmers,” said Mike Warmington, the Director of Microfinance Partnerships at One Acre Fund.

“We’re excited to be working at the forefront of this technology in the smallholder agriculture lending sector. In our experience, farmers were empowered to thrive in these communities. Clients receive immediate confirmation of payments as they happen, enabling them to better manage their businesses and family finances.”

The Fund’s package of services, including training and inputs like seed and fertilizer, with  the average farmer participating in the program earning nearly 50 percent more than peer farmers who do not participate.

Meanwhile Citi is proud to play a part in enabling One Acre Fund to improve the livelihoods of farming communities.

“Citi’s footprint, track record in inclusive finance and transaction banking capabilities enable us to provide global support to leading social enterprises like One Acre Fund,” said Bob Annibale, Global Director, Citi Inclusive Finance citing that digitization also enables efficiency and security, and drives innovative and inclusive business models.

One Acre Fund is contributing to a more sustainable and productive agriculture sector, a cornerstone of the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals (SDG) and has plans to expand in Rwanda, Tanzania, and Zambia in the future.

“Digital payments are essential to building sustainable business models and creating long-term impact. By enabling smallholder farmers to make and receive payments digitally, we are creating transparency and accountability which translates to numerous benefits and empowers people to take control of their finances,” said Oswell Kahonde, Africa Regional Lead at the Better Than Cash Alliance.

The Better Than Cash Alliance is a United Nations-based partnership of governments, companies, and international organizations that accelerate the transition from cash to digital payments in order to reduce poverty and drive inclusive growth.

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