Farmers know all about processing. There are few better examples than planting a seed in the right soil, adding the right combination of water and nutrients, then seeing and supporting the transformation. But being a farmer also means understanding the challenge.
If farmers can sell more crops and earn more money, they can have a better life. In principle, this sounds simple, but in the fields, away from a physical market or reliable internet, it is not the easiest process to find out the latest fair price and market value of crops. Late payments are another challenge, affecting cash flow and access to credit and loans to purchase good quality seeds, fertilizers and equipment.
It was one of the hot topics of conversation on the 28e National Agricultural Show in Uganda, where a multitude of farmers have gathered – men and women who harvest everything from coffee beans to sweet potatoes and plantains. At the invitation of the Uganda National Farmers Federation (UNFFE), Mastercard supported this special gathering and shared a bit more about how simple innovation makes life easier for farmers – and creates more wealth in the process.
A new digital platform for farmers
On Ugandan farms, a digital platform called YoPay Agric – powered by Mastercard – is helping farmers solve many of their pressing challenges. The platform connects farmers with different partners in the agricultural sector. This includes suppliers who sell quality seeds and fertilizers, financial institutions such as banks or SACCOs, and buyers from near and far.
Farmers themselves don’t even need a smartphone or the internet to join the YoPay Agric platform. Agents working in local agricultural cooperatives can quickly register individual farmers with only a few details about them and their crops. Participation is confirmed by SMS to any ordinary mobile phone. What follows is the beauty of technology transforming the value chain – automating the collection and payment of crops.
Quick access, multiple buyers, fair prices and faster payment
This technology turns the challenge into an opportunity for farmers. Digital crop records mean that farmers and agricultural cooperatives don’t have to worry about paper reports and the risk associated with their loss. Agricultural cooperatives receive timely and accurate information on expected crop yields, allowing them to quickly negotiate fair prices with buyers who wish to place orders.
Farmers also have a choice of how to receive payment, with the option to take advantage of secure digital payments to mobile money or bank account, or cash if preferred. Since every harvest and every payment is backed by a digital transaction record, farmers automatically build a credible financial history, which is especially helpful when it comes to loan application day.
Advances in technology on a new turf
More than 350,000 farmers in more than 170 agricultural associations and cooperatives are already using YoPay Agric. And it is growing. Farmers who signed up were able to get up to 50% more for their crops and also reduced the amount of waste they have.
Daniel Huba, Vice President, Community Pass Market Development at Mastercard, says this momentum is what excites his team the most: “By the end of the year, we estimate that one million Ugandan farmers will benefit from YoPay Agric. This innovative solution goes straight to the roots where it can do best: farmers who want to increase production, income and profitability. At Mastercard, we believe digital inclusion is necessary to put more people on the path to financial prosperity, and by connecting Ugandan farmers to this simple digital solution, an exciting new growth journey for every farmer is set in motion. . Technology is transforming livelihoods for the better.
Gerald Begumisa, Managing Director of Yo-Uganda Limited, expressed his excitement at the great prospects for the agricultural ecosystem in Uganda. “At Yo, we are proud that through our partnership with Mastercard, we have become the top 3 Agtech in Uganda and are on track to become the largest Agtech by the end of the year. We are committed to connecting farmers to better markets and also plan ahead to launch agriculture-focused financial services in partnership with several financial institutions based on data from YoPay Agric. “
Connecting smallholder farmers to a digital platform that makes it easier for them to transition from subsistence to commercial farming is at the heart of sustainable agricultural growth. Bringing farmers into the digital economy creates new jobs, increases competitiveness and improves food security for communities across Uganda.
YoPay Agric is powered by technology from Farm Pass, Mastercard’s Community Pass agricultural solution. This shared, interoperable digital platform connects people in the most remote communities to various service providers, making it easier and simpler to take advantage of the growing digital economy.
Ask your local farmer group or cooperative about YoPay Agric powered by Mastercard.
Keep an eye out for YoPay Agric teams and product information as they travel to Northern Uganda from September 19-23, West Nile region from September 26-30, and Central Uganda from October 3 to 7!
Yo! Uganda Limited
2n/a Floor, Block A Nakawa Business Park Plot 3, 5 New Port Bell Rd, Kampala
Tel: 0788 23 86 65
E-mail [email protected]