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eKilimo Transforming Tanzania’s Agri Sector through mobile platform

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The overall performance of the Tanzanian economy remains strong with a high rate of growth, and a low rate of inflation over the past five years and agriculture is the main contributor to the value of Tanzania’s economy, while tourism is the leading sector in terms of foreign exchange earnings.

Agriculture on its own is contributing a whooping USD 13.9bn to Tanzania’s GDP (nearly 30 percent), it is critical that solutions are found to support this vital sector, ensuring sustainability and growth. Technology is having a significant impact already, and the mobile device is giving small holder farmers the power and ability to move beyond cash.

That is why Tanzania’s leading retail bank National Micro-finance Bank Pic (NMB) have partnered with MasterCard with an aim to ensure the digitization of the agricultural sector in Tanzania with the roll out of eKilimo which means “eAgriculture” ( a mobile solution that will help, introduce efficiency, security and transparency in the agriculture supply chain. The solution will make transacting faster, safer, and easier for all stakeholders including the farmer, the buyer and the agent ) developed by the MasterCard Lab for Financial Inclusion (whose main aim is to reach 500 million people currently excluded from the financial mainstream by 2020. The East African Lab, supported by the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation) .

It is going to be built around the digital platform structure of 2Kuze, which was developed in Kenya under the same MasterCard Lab whereby farmers can now be able to conduct the entire transaction process of receiving payments and ability to sell their very own produce via a feature or smartphone without having to make long and tiresome trips to the market place especially if you are located in an area far from the market place.

By providing digital payment to farmers, eKilimo will leverage the existing agency banking structure to facilitate account opening for farmers and joint idealization on new product features. This is in line with the MasterCard vision of a more digitally and financially included Africa.

The partnership between NMB and MasterCard will see the solution enter a pilot phase in select locations in Tanzania from March 2017 replicating the 2Kuze platform pilot phase which was done in Kenya gathering key insights to be used to ensure the Tanzanian pilot is a success. This cross pollination of knowledge driven by the MasterCard Lab ensures future roll outs are done so efficiently.

The pilot will begin with the on-boarding of NMB customers that source directly from smallholders. Field agents for the customers will use the eKilimo smartphone app to perform the purchase, including weighing the produce on a Bluetooth-enabled scale and paying the farmer digitally. The farmer will receive information and their payment from eKilimo, and will be able to leverage their transaction history to access credit from NMB.

 

 

 

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