Mastercard unveils a digital platform that connects smallholder farmers to buyers. The portal, named 2Kuze will make it easy for farmers to sell and receive payments for agricultural goods via their feature phones and smartphones.
“80 per cent of farmers in Africa are classified as smallholder farmers having less than one to two acres of farming land…. We believe that by using mobile, we can improve financial access, bring in operational efficiency and facilitate faster payments,” said Daniel Monehin, Division President for Sub-Saharan Africa and head of financial inclusion for International Markets at Mastercard.
The digital market – 2Kuze was developed at the Mastercard Lab for Financial Inclusion in Nairobi, and it’s being launched in partnership with Cafédirect Producers Foundation, a non-profit organization working with 300,000 smallholder farmers globally. Currently, 2,000 small-scale farmers in Nandi Hills, Kenya are currently using the solution to sell their produce and working with farmer-friendly agents to ensure they reach the right buyers for the best price.
2Kuze makes transacting much safer and simpler for all stakeholders in the agricultural supply chain – the farmer, the buyer and the agent. Farmers using 2KUZE can conduct the entire transaction of selling produce and receiving payments via their feature phones, without having to walk for hours to the markets. This enables farmers to capture a greater percentage of the wholesale value of their goods by providing price transparency, more direct access to buyers and empowerment of farmer-friendly agents.
Financial technology firm Mastercard, provides that, 2Kuze will go a long way in supporting women farmers, who often have household duties that prevent them from leaving the farm gate and are more often subject to having to take whatever deal is given to them on the day. Digitizing these transactions in a trusted, auditable environment provides a legitimate financial footprint, opening up access to loans and other financial services, and also introducing a more efficient process that benefits the entire value chain, as well as the overall economy.