MasterCard, a platform that helps Ugandan farmers’ access market for their produce in addition to linking farmers to financial institutions, to acquire loans on Wednesday, signed two public- private partnerships with the international centre for Tropical Agriculture (CIAT) and the United States African Development Foundation (USADF).
The partnerships are aimed at creating MasterCard Farmers Network (MFN) to millions of small holder farmers in Uganda and the rest of Africa.
While addressing a press conference, at Kampala Serena Hotel, Raghav Prasad, Division President for Sub- Saharan Africa, Mastercard said: “MasterCard is a trusted network that builds ecosystems through partnerships which allow us to connect people to and help them to benefit from digital economy. Our partnership with CIAT and USADF will increase our reach to small scale farmers and the rest of Agriculture ecosystem, allowing more people enjoy the benefit of digital economy.”
She said in Uganda, MasterCard has over 300,000 farmers on the platform and that; the districts of Isingiro and Kanungu are among places MasterCard has helped farmers boost production of beans and other cereal crops.
Tasked by journalists on the challenge of fake seeds on market and how MasterCard helps farmers, she said: “MasterCard links farmers to genuine seed producing companies across the East Africa region and beyond”.
Dr Debis Araba Regional Director for Africa, CIAT said: “We are delighted today to see the realization of the digital platform dream that connects farmers, aggregators, processors and banks in East Africa. Smallholder farmers can now enjoy increased profits courtesy of the reduced transaction costs”.