An affiliate of ACDI/VOCA, Agribusiness Systems International, is partnering with Tigo Cash, a mobile money provider, and OpenRevolution, an international firm with expertise launching and scaling out mobile money platforms, on the Agricultural Value Chain Mobile Finance (AgFin) project. AgFin is an International Fund for Agricultural Development-funded $433,434 grant administered by the Government of Ghana. AgFin will expand mobile money technologies to rural communities and improve financial literacy by working with three agricultural processing and export companies to convert their sourcing and payment systems from cash to mobile. These initiatives will essentially turn farmers’ phones into their wallets and allow them to be paid digitally through their mobile phones.
Mobile money transfers (MMT) mitigate the risks associated with cash payments such as being robbed while traveling with large sums of money. Farmers appreciate the privacy, efficiency, accountability, and secrecy MMT provide. Through previous ASI programs such as Ghana Rice Mobile Finance (RiMFin), ASI has learned that farmers want additional ways of using funds in their mobile wallets beyond just cash transactions. Tigo Cash will offer general utility bill payments services and the ability to pay insurance premiums or pay back loans.
AgFin is scaling out RiMFin’s MMT successes to different groups and value chains. It will affect up to 10,000 smallholder farmers in three value chains: cocoa, oil palm, and dried fruits. Sixty percent of these farmers will be women. It will involve up to ten financial institutions and have an indirect impact on an estimated 45,000 household members in the Western, Brong-Ahafo, Central, Eastern, and Ashanti regions. After the project concludes in mid-2016, ASI will draw additional lessons learned to inform best practices for Tigo Cash’s full scale-up in 2017-2018 to 20,000 farmers.
ACDI/VOCA’s mobile money in Ghana’s ADVANCE II project.