AGRA launches financial inclusion project for smallholder farmers

A project to promote financial inclusion through a broader uptake and usage of mobile money payments and related financial services for farmers in the Northern, Upper East and Upper West Regions has been launched.

Funded by Alliance for a Green Revolution in Africa (AGRA), the project dubbed Smallholder Financial Inclusion Project (SFIN), would ensure improved rural and agricultural value chain actors access to mobile financial products and services that promote financial inclusion for smallholder farmers.

It is also to ensure improved linkages of formal financial institutions to sustainable agricultural supply chains thus promoting easy payments for goods and services, savings, long-term investments and access to credit for stakeholders.

Mr Wisdom Alorwuse, Project Manager in-charge of SFIN at ASI, who elaborated on the project during its launch in Tamale, said it would help to reduce risks associated with carrying cash and bulk payment mechanisms and enhance data integrity, transparency and accountability for beneficiaries.

He said it was being implemented by Agribusiness Systems International (ASI) in partnership with Tigo Cash, Vodafone Cash, Dalex Finance and Capital Bank.

About 12,000 farmers are expected to benefit from the project within the two-year (2016 – 2018) period.

Mr Alorwuse said the project would ensure quick and easy access to payment from suppliers to be accessed at agent retail points in rural areas outside normal banking hours for farmers.

He said it would also ensure increased level of savings and investment for farmers that provided subsequent access to loans and credit facilities.

Mr Paa Kwesi Awuku-Darko, who is at the Trade Finance Unit at AGRA commended partners for the project saying it, would help improve financing for agriculture in the country.

He encouraged farmers to avail themselves to benefit from the project to improve their operations.

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