Mobipay Kenya & Mercy Corp launches mobile services for Ugandan farmers

 

Mercy Corps and Mobipay kenya launches AgriLife- A platform for bundled mobile financial and agricultural advisory services for Ugandan farmers.

 

Humanitarian organization Mercy Corps and mobile technology service provider Mobipay launched a partnership to extend the Agrilife service to Uganda a platform that will provide insights into current farmer production capability, and project their future production, ultimately making it much easier for them to access credit.

The unique Agri-Fin Mobile approach is to work with partners to bundle farm and crop management information and tools with financial services delivered via mobile channels to drive mass uptake hence commercial sustainability of the services. The overall goal is to enable the smallholder farmers to increase and stabilize their incomes, and manage their production cycles in a more effective way. Agrilife provides the farmers with the ability to capture the information on their input purchases, produce quantities and produce sales which over a number of seasons provides visibility into their “production potential” which can be leveraged to access financing to meet cover the essentials that arise before harvest season, such as labor, seeds, fertilizer, pesticides, education or health services. 

Felix Musau, Mobipay Chief Executive said: “with some 75 percent of the working population of Africa involved in agriculture, improving the lives of farmers and facilitating growth in trade through enabling technologies is a mission we are very proud of and we are extremely excited to be working with Mercy Corps to lead the way in Uganda toward that objective.”

Stephen Musoke, the Agri-Fin Mobile Program Coordinator in Uganda said: “We are excited to help bring Agrilife to Uganda. Essentially the service brings out into the light the farmer’s capacity to produce based on “current and up-to-date information” which makes them better able to access affordable credit to expand their businesses, boost their income and provide for their families wherever they are. It gives them freedom to make the best choices for their own interests.”

Mercy Corps and Mobipay hope to reach 10,000 farmers in the first six months and 50,000 farmers within the 3 years of the program. As more information becomes available, additional services such as tailored farming advice, direct market linkages between farmers, produce buyers, agricultural input suppliers and other service providers, will be able to give farmers easy access to the information they need in order to improve their production and income.

The launch of Agrilife in Uganda is part of a Mercy Corps three year Agri-Fin Mobile program. The program is funded by the Swiss Agency for Development and Co-operation (SDC), which aims to develop replicable models for bundled agricultural advisory and financial services delivered via mobile to 180,000 small-scale farmers starting with Zimbabwe, Uganda and Indonesia.

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