American multinational financial services corporation, Mastercard has partnered with the International Center for Tropical Agriculture (CIAT) and the United States African Development and Foundation (USADF) to expand Mastercard Farmers Network’s (MFN) reach to Uganda.
The Mastercard Farmers Network is a platform that connects smallholder farmers with potential buyers. The platform also integrates payment systems for smallholder farmers to access digital transaction records. They can leverage this to access loans from the banks and other financial institutions.
Mastercard aims to create a safer and seamless means of transaction for stakeholders (farmers, buyer, agent) in the agri-value chain. This process, in essence, bridges the huge gap that traditional farming and agribusiness creates. It creates market access for smallholder farmers to access essential financial tools that will boost their growth.
Mastercard announced this partnership at the MFN Partner Summit in Kampala—a platform that showcases unique public-private partnerships (PPP), impacts smallholder farmers and empowers the agriculture value chain in Uganda and Africa through technology.
The MFN platform is available in Uganda, Tanzania, and India, with over 250,000 farmers on-board. CIAT is partnering Mastercard to aid the MFN platform to support farmers in the Agri value chain. CIAT will leverage this partnership to grow its impact from over 200,000 farmers in East Africa, to more than 1 million in different African countries by 2020.
USADF already works with MFN in Uganda to support rural communities across all value-chains in the agricultural ecosystem. They are looking to add 20,000 farmers by the end of 2019 to grow the platform to 1 million farmers by 2020. USADF will also provide participating farmers with other value-added services, including logistics and transportation, best agronomic practices, and warehousing facilities. These services will be delivered through USADF implementing partner, the Uganda Development Trust (UDET).
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