Smallholder farmers in Tanzania will benefit from the USD25m AgriFin Accelerate program, launched in Tanzania on July 25th 2016.
The aim is to close the gap in access to financial and information services experienced by smallholder farmers.
The program operates under Mercy Corps, a global humanitarian agency located in the U.S., and is being supported by the MasterCard Foundation.
AgriFin Accelerate will operate in Tanzania, Kenya and Zambia over the next 6 years. The program is expected to benefit at least 1m smallholder farmers.
To achieve this, the program will work with smallholder farmers to understand barriers to the access and use of digital financial and information services.
Consequently, it will develop appropriate solutions and work to implement them with relevant stakeholders.
“New technologies and advances in mobile banking, as well as the increasing integration of smallholder farmers into better organized value chains, can promote solutions and affordable delivery channels that help close the inclusion gap for smallholder farmers who lack access to basic financial products and services,” said Leesa Shrader, the Program Director at Mercy Corps.
Tanzania Smallholder Farmers and Financial Services
According to the Tanzania Agriculture Census (2010), 98% of farmers in the country are smallholders who work on 2 hectares or less of crop land.
According to a new national survey, only 10% of Tanzanian smallholder households have a bank account registered in their name.
Nearly half of smallholder farmers report they do not have or use accounts at full-service banking institutions because the institutions did not offer them loans.
Meanwhile, 75% of smallholders say they have heard of mobile money and 97% of those understand the benefits of mobile money.
32% of those who are aware of mobile money are saving money for a long-term purpose and only 10% make business transactions with mobile money.