Yo-Uganda Limited (Yo! Uganda) has announced a new grant partnership with the United States African Development Foundation (USADF) to roll out Mastercard Farmer Network, a digital agriculture solution that digitizes marketplaces and payments within the agriculture sector.
USADF supports African-led community enterprises by providing seed capital and technical support. The grant partnership will provide seed funding of up to $250,000 (sh900m) over a 24-month period.
Yo! Uganda is a financial technology solutions provider. The platform provides a digital marketplace for buyers who are looking for sustainable sources of quality produce at favourable market prices and a place for small-holder farmers to access reliable markets and fair prices.
Yo! will be leading the implementation teams on ground to roll out a customized version of Mastercard Farmer Network, tightly integrated with Yo!’s payments infrastructure countrywide. Over the next two years, Yo! will work in close collaboration with the USADF and Mastercard to reach out to and include 300,000 farmers across Uganda into the digital ecosystem.
The aim of the partnership is to create permanent links between key stakeholders in the agriculture sector, which serves as the largest employer in the Ugandan economy. It will create a one-stop digital marketplace, advancing digital inclusion and fostering wealth creation for both individuals and communities.
The implementation of this digital technology will also help bring more visibility to supply chains and help move farmers away from unreliable and risky cash-based interactions.
“Our partnership with USADF and Yo! Uganda will help significantly advance digitalization efforts in the agriculture sector, improving the livelihoods of farming communities, growing agri-based micro, small and medium sized businesses (MSMEs) and reducing the prevalence of cash transactions in Uganda,” said Daniel Huba, Vice President, Humanitarian and Development.
“Our partnership with USADF and Mastercard is a critical continuation of our strategic initiative to digitize operations and financial transactions in the agriculture sector of Uganda. Since 2015, we have heavily invested in partnerships to see that our services get extended to this sector, the largest contributor to Uganda’s GDP.” said Gerald Begumisa, Managing Director of Yo!
The partnership is expected to lead to the on-boarding and training of 300 Farmer Producer Organizations (FPOs) on how to access and utilize the Mastercard Farmer Network solution.
In order to create a permanent link between the FPOs and the farmers who will be on boarded, Yo! will recruit and train 600 Digital Champions from the FPOs to serve as digital change agents within the communities to propel the uptake and usage of digital solutions.
At least 40 medium to large agri-buyers are also expected to be on-boarded onto the service.