Agri-wallet- Enabling financial inclusion for smallholder farmers.

Agri-wallet is a mobile digital innovation that enables smallholder farmers to have farm savings, access to credit and flexible payments.

Photo of Gidraf Wachira
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I confirm that I am fully aware of the eligibility criteria, and based on its description, I am eligible to apply to the CSV Prize 2017.

  • Yes, I'm eligible

Preferred language

  • English

Organization name

Dodore Kenya Ltd.

Year founded

2013

Initiative stage

  • Growth (the pilot has already launched and is starting to expand)

Annual budget in 2017 (USD)

  • $1mil - $5mil

Number of beneficiaries impacted so far

  • 100 - 250

Organization type

  • Social enterprise

Secondary Focus Area

  • Nutrition

Headquarters location: Country

  • Kenya

Headquarters location: City

Nairobi

Location(s) of impact

Kenya: Nyeri County, Meru County, Nakuru County, Bungoma County

Website

http://www.dodore.org
http://www.agri-wallet.com

Facebook URL

https://www.facebook.com/AgriWallet/

Twitter URL

https://twitter.com/agri_wallet

Problem: What problem is this initiative trying to address?

Smallholder farmers in Africa are often financially excluded with limited access to credit facilities from formal financial institutions hence they are regarded as credit risky. They also do not have savings that are specific towards re-investing in their farming business. Where credit is accessible, funds are normally diverted for personal consumption instead of investing in inputs for their future production. The farmers also take long to be paid for their produce delivered to the off take market.

Solution Summary: What is the proposed solution? What do you see as its most promising aspects for creating shared value?

The Agri-wallet primarily creates shared value for all value chain stakeholders as follows:
Farmers:
Easy prepayment- used to prepay farmers to bridge slow paying value chain markets/buyers. This lowers the risk of side selling to brokers.
Commitment savings- ensures farmers have sufficient funds to invest in their farms by automatic setting aside a percentage of their income when they sell their produce.
Access to credit- Agri-wallet gives access to flexible and affordable farm loans restricted to purchase farm inputs.
Off take Market:
Prepayment facility enables an easier quick payment for produce sold increasing farmer loyalty.
Merchant (Input supplier):
Merchants have a good cashflow as there will be less need for credit sales from farmers and in future they will also access credit through agri-wallet based on revenue turnover.

Impact: What is the impact of the work to date? Specify both the social and the environmental impact of your work

Agri-wallet has been piloted with smallholder farmers in indigenous poultry and potato value chains. In depth interviews with the farmers reveal that Agri-wallet has had a positive socio-economic impact on their livelihoods. Agri-wallet has changed how smallholder farmers access finance to purchase inputs and benefit from the flexible overdrafts. Farmers who use the Agri-wallet for earmarked savings have stated that they have stopped purchasing inputs on credit and reduced borrowing for farming from family and friends.
Farmers are able to purchase inputs when required reducing on production losses. On average the market would receive 1000-2500kgs of potatoes from the farmers. Since the implementation of the Agri-wallet the range has increased to between 1500-4000kgs. We observe that Agri-wallet is one of the contributing factors to increased production. In-depth interviews with the smallholder potato farmers have also revealed that side selling has drastically reduced.

Financial sustainability plan: How is this initiative financially supported? How will you ensure its financial sustainability long-term?

Dodore earns revenue from the Agri-wallet services it offers to farmers, buyers and suppliers.
Agri-wallet offers the following services to farmers:
A free mobile automatic saving service to encourage farmers to save income earmarked for farm inputs, whenever they monetize their harvest;
For pre-payment service, we charge farmers 1% interest p.m. plus a 1 USD processing fee;
Overdraft credit facility is charged 1% interest p.m. plus a 1 USD processing fee.
Input suppliers are charged a 1% withdrawal fee from agri-wallet. Agri-wallet offers off take market an easy mobile payment service to help them keep loyalty with their farmers. For payment services, buyers are charged 1% processing fee.
At the moment, funding is 100% earned income but looking into loans and grants in scaling.

Unique value proposition: What makes your initiative innovative? How does your project differ from other organizations working in the same field?

Agri-wallet’s competitive edge is having an easy, intuitive business account with automatic savings and overdraft credit services to buy farm inputs that will increase the farmer’s yield and income. Other players offer generic Digital Financial Services not tailored to farmers’ needs, and Micro-finance institutions offer cumbersome paper-based inflexible loans. Unlike other Digital Finance Services, Agri-wallet offers earmarked funds for farm inputs hence funds cannot be diverted for other needs

Founding story: Share a story about the "Aha!" moment that sparked the beginning of this initiative.

Our Aha! moment was a process rather than an event. Our focus has been financially empowering people through mobile. We started off on working with wallets through giving unconditional grants to mother headed families in informal settlements as a foundation. Through this work, we were contracted to implement and do research for a mobile health wallet in Kenya (M-TIBA) and through the interaction with patients especially in rural areas who most are smallholder farmers. One project had dairy farmers contributed to a health insurance scheme from their milk sold to the cooperatives. It looked pretty straight forward but it failed. It was then as a company we sought to understand further why and we find out that small holder farmers do not consider farming as a business; it is that moment when the idea of a mobile wallet that allows farmers to set aside and borrow funds restricted for farming

Where did you hear about the Nestlé Creating Shared Value Prize?

  • Social media

2 comments

Join the conversation:

Comment
Photo of Rodolfo

This model is valid for farmers with guaranteed markets and natural resources. The other is the type of agricultural inputs to use, contaminants sequelae that have some. What with the practices of the sale of only part of base plates? In the case of seeds of that type are?

Prepaid model requires that farmers have exceeded the level of where

Photo of Gidraf

Hi, Rodolfo, you are right in your first comment. At the moment, it is more applicable to farmers with a formal market for their produce. I am afraid the market dynamics in the Kenyan (and most African countries) are quite complex. We are experimenting with the informal produce markets (brokers) to see if we could achieve transparency at every point of exchange of the produce and money to build trust within the value chain.

Our focus really in providing a platform to enable financial inclusion and we are seeking partners to fill in the gaps of quality of inputs, market linkage etc.