Empowering Farmers through Knowledge

Mastercard and Rabo Partnership: Transforming Uganda’s Agricultural Ecosystem for Smallholder Farmers

In a landmark strategic alliance, dfcu Bank, Mastercard, and Rabo Partnerships are joining forces to spearhead the digitalization of Uganda’s agricultural ecosystem. This transformative partnership aims to uplift smallholder farmers and other actors in the agricultural value chain by revolutionizing their access to markets and credit, ultimately enhancing their livelihoods and propelling the sector towards sustainable growth.

Within the current manual, cash-based agricultural ecosystem, farmers and other stakeholders encounter numerous challenges. Limited access to markets and a lack of financial history often hinder farmers from obtaining fair pricing and securing credit. Additionally, cooperatives and off-takers face inefficiencies and a lack of transparency, impeding their progress.

To address these critical issues head-on, Mastercard, dfcu Bank, and Rabo Partnerships are introducing the innovative Farm Pass platform and tailor-made financial services to Uganda’s agricultural landscape. Through registration on the platform facilitated by a network of agents, farmers will gain access to expanded buyer opportunities for their crops and credit products specially designed to boost productivity and increase income.

Leveraging digital tools, processes, and insights, dfcu Bank will extend financial services to farmers and farmer organizations that were previously difficult to reach, harnessing the power of digitization to drive financial inclusion.

The Farm Pass platform is built on Mastercard’s highly acclaimed Community Pass platform, which seeks to provide access to critical services to underserved, remote, and frequently offline communities. With a shared digital identity, these communities can benefit from various services in areas such as health, education, and commerce, all utilizing the same technology. Already having onboarded over 2 million farmers across Africa, Mastercard sets its sights on registering an impressive 15 million farmers by 2027.

Rabo Partnerships, renowned for providing knowledge, networks, and digital scaling solutions to enrich partner financial institutions, will contribute its expertise and capabilities in food and agriculture banking. The organization has a robust presence across Africa, collaborating with local banks to drive financial inclusion, rural development, and access to financial services in the agricultural sector.

Through the Agriculture Exchange offering, Rabo Partnerships aims to unlock over USD 1 billion in loans to smallholder farmers globally. By partnering with dfcu Bank and other local institutions and leveraging Mastercard’s digitalization prowess in agri value chains, Rabo Partnerships aims to unlock financial services at scale for smallholder ecosystems.

The five-year program seeks to revolutionize the agricultural sector in Uganda through digitalization, bringing efficiency and transparency to the ecosystem. By bridging the current gap that excludes farmers and value chain actors from the benefits of digitization, this partnership presents both a commercial opportunity and a vital development need.

With dfcu Bank leading the program in the Ugandan market and providing financial support to value chain actors, Mastercard will deliver the Farm Pass platform as part of its Community Pass suite, and Rabo Partnerships will bring their extensive experience in food and agriculture banking to the table. Together, they will collaborate with local partners to ensure seamless onboarding of farmers onto the platform, benefiting all stakeholders within the agricultural value chain.

David Gerbrands, Global Head of Agri and Banking Advisory Services and Inclusive Business Ventures at Rabo Partnerships, expressed their dedication to fostering financial inclusion among smallholder farmers and extending their reach beyond large agribusinesses. He highlighted the excitement about contributing expertise and commitment to driving financial inclusion in agriculture, empowering smallholder farmers to thrive alongside their counterparts in the industry.

Over the next five years, the program aims to benefit 1.5 million smallholder farmers in Uganda, facilitating easier access to markets and formal financial services.

Daniel Huba, Vice President of Sub-Saharan Africa Market Development for Community Pass at Mastercard, emphasized the organization’s ambition to register 30 million people to Community Pass, including 15 million in Africa, over the next five years. Through Farm Pass, their agriculture digital marketplace, the collaboration with dfcu Bank and Rabo Partnerships will deepen their engagement with millions of farmers in Uganda, strengthen their digital track record, and support them as micro and small businesses.

This strategic partnership promises to revolutionize Uganda’s agricultural landscape, bringing unprecedented efficiency, transparency, and financial inclusion to farmers and value chain actors. The program heralds the beginning of a transformative journey towards sustainable livelihoods and economic growth within the agricultural sector.

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