MasterCard delivers mobile platform to farmers in Africa
MasterCard has launched 2KUZE, a digital platform that connects smallholder farmers, agents, buyers and banks in East Africa. The card network said in a press release that the system enables farmers to buy, sell and receive payments for agricultural goods via their feature phones.
In the initial pilot, MasterCard is launching 2KUZE in partnership with Cafedirect Producers Foundation, a nonprofit organization working with 300,000 smallholder farmers globally. Currently, 2,000 small-scale farmers in Nandi Hills, Kenya are using the platform to sell their produce and working with farmer-friendly agents to ensure that they reach the right buyers for the best price, the release said.
"Eighty percent of farmers in Africa are classified as smallholder farmers having less than one to two acres of farming land, making it extremely difficult to drive growth and prosperity within this community," Daniel Monehin, division president for sub-Saharan Africa and head of financial inclusion for international markets at MasterCard, said in a statement. "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. The collaboration between the lab team and farmers in the market helped to deliver a solution that can be implemented and make an impact without any major changes to the day-to-day."
MasterCard said the 2KUZE, which means "Let's grow together" in Swahili, will be available to farmers in Kenya, Uganda and Tanzania.