- Fintech solution aims to disseminate credit to populations undeserved by banks.
- The new solution launched in Yumbe district.
- The pilot project is to reach at least 1000 small holder farmers.
The Uganda development bank in partnerships with the Food and agricultural organization of the UN and Ensibuuko Uganda have unveiled Uganda's first ever digital agricultural loan for saving groups to Farmers in west Nile.
Patricia Ojangole, the Managing director UDB notes that the fintech solution aims to disseminate credit to populations under served by banks, most of whom work and rely on their village saving and loan schemes in their respective villages.
The new solution launched today Monday 27th March, in Yumbe district includes a digitized platform containing a record of past Village Saving and Loan Association transactions which allows the technology provider to carry out credit scoring of VSLA and their members, define the right loan amount and reduce the lending risk for the financial institution and the risk of over borrowing.
She says the aim for the pilot project is to reach at least 1000 small holder farmers as this will enable them to have access to digital loans to increase production, intensify food security and boost household income.
"Learnings and insights from the pilot project will enable us to scale the solution to impact more farmers with a target of 18,000 at full cycle". She adds
"As a development finance partner, we recognize such changes & make a deliberate effort to support inventions that influence the growth of key sectors of the economy like agriculture, which employs 68% of our population", says Patricia Ojangole, UDB Managing Director.
Farmers will be able to access all our services on their phone. They will not have to travel to Kampala to access our services. The entire lending process i.e. application, approval & disbursement will be done digitally at one's own convenience says Steven Kakonge, executive director Ensibuuko Uganda, a fintech service provider.
He believes this Fintech solution dubbed Agri Connect will ease access to digital financing for small holder farmers.
For his part, Gerald Otim, CEO at Ensibuuko notes that the application, approval and disbursement of loans will be conducted digitally and funds will be credited directly to the farmer’s e-mobile wallet.
According to him, Progress has been made in terms of digital transformation and commending the Government of Uganda and various partners like UDB that are making it possible.
"Digitization is now happening all over the world and thus farmers in Uganda shou also go digital". He adds
State Minister for investment and privatisation Evelyn Anite who was the guest of honour at the launch, has commended UDB and the development partners for the role towards Uganda’s socio economic transformation and introducing an innovation that will cater to those in remote and underserved areas with loans as low as UGX 50,000
"Small holder farmers will now be able to access loans as low as UGX 50,000 with no paperwork and experience minimal to no delays" the Minister says.
On his Part, Antonio Querido, FAO representative in Uganda believes that Public funding alone is not enough to tackle the world’s most pressing sustainable development challenges – from ending poverty and hunger by 2030 to reducing inequalities and protecting the health and well-being of people and the planet. Private investments that generate social or environmental benefits alongside returns can help fill that investment gap.
He says, the AgrInvest initiative in Uganda goes in that direction. It is a technical assistance project aiming at increasing sustainable private investments in the agrifood sector implemented with co-financing from the European Union (EU) and in collaboration with the United Nations Development Fund (UNCDF), through the Uganda Development Bank.
AgrInvest in Uganda seeks to build capacities to leverage responsible investments that transform agrifood systems and seeks to increase investment opportunities, including for smaller family farmers – the majority of Uganda’s farmers – who largely fall outside of formal agribusiness value chains and rural