MasterCard Digitalises Farming in East Africa with 2KUZE

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By Dipo Olowookere

Leading global payments and technology firm, Mastercard, has launched a digital platform called 2KUZE to connect farmers, agents, buyers and banks across East Africa.

Division President for Sub-Saharan Africa and Head of Financial Inclusion for International Markets at Mastercard, Mr Daniel Monehin, while commenting on the initiative, disclosed that, “We believe that by using mobile, a technology that is so ubiquitous among farmers in Africa, we can improve financial access, bring in operational efficiency and facilitate faster payments.”

He explained that the 2KUZE will enable farmers in Kenya, Uganda and Tanzania to buy, sell and receive payments for agricultural produce via their feature phones, providing them all the conveniences that come with mobile commerce and payments.

According to him, it will make them capture a greater percentage of the wholesale value of their goods by providing price transparency, direct access to buyers and empowerment of farmer-friendly agents. It will also save them from long walks to the markets.

It was learnt that 2KUZE was launched in partnership with Cafedirect Producers Foundation, a non-profit organization working with 300,000 smallholder farmers across the world.

Mastercard Lab is exploring 2KUZE’s potential to help farming communities receive the right level of investment and to encourage more efficient ways of doing business with smallholder farmers.

According to our correspondent, the safe and simple mode of transacting agricultural produce was developed at the 2015 Mastercard Lab for Financial Inclusion in Nairobi, Kenya which was set up to develop practical and cost-effective financial tools that enhance access and promote stable futures for more than 100 million people globally through grant support from the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation.

It particularly supports women farmers, who often have to juggle household as well as farm duties preventing them from leaving their compounds and forcing them to take whatever deal is given to them on the day.

It is believed that the innovation will open up the farmers’ access to loans and other necessary financial services.

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