In a move aimed at connecting small-scale farmers, buyers, and market intermediaries such as agents and banks in East Africa. MasterCard has launched an online marketplace where the said agribusiness stakeholders can connect with each other, like in a big digital agricultural produce.
Except, unlike, a brick and mortar market, one that comes with inconveniences such as having to travel, and limited hours of operations. MasterCard’s online marketplace runs straight from the stakeholders’ pockets, right on their smartphone.
The online marketplace called 2KUZE, a Swahili word for ‘Let’s grow together,’ is designed to enable farmers sell their produce and get payment electronically via the platform. Other stakeholders such as agents (brokers) and banks too can conduct their businesses via the platform, online and conveniently. A move aimed at digitizing the commerce around agriculture in East Africa. The platform aims to expand across Kenya, Uganda, and Tanzania.
“By using mobile, a technology that is so ubiquitous among farmers in Africa, we can improve financial access, bring in operational efficiency and facilitate faster payments,” said Daniel Monehin, the Division President for sub-Saharan Africa and head of Financial inclusion for International Markets at MasterCard.
MasterCard Lab MasterCard Lab (based in Nairobi) developed 2KUZE for Financial Inclusion. The platform was launched in partnership with the Cafédirect Producers Foundation, an international non-profit organization working with 300,000 small scale farmers. Cafédirect Producers Foundation currently works with 2,000 small scale farmers in Nandi Hills areas of Kenya.
2KUZE is designed to make transaction between buyers and sellers faster and simpler. Farmers can even carry out an entire transaction on 2KUZE via a feature phone. Eliminating the tedious process of walking to market centers to withdraw or deposit money.
This solution provides farmers an affordable means of capturing a bigger chunk of the wholesale market while still maintaining a higher level of transparency and accountability. On the buyers end, they also get direct access to produce by the farmers.
MasterCard’s goal with 2KUZE is to provide a mean through which agricultural communities can get the right level of investment, become more efficient in their agribusiness. It is one of the many mass scale collaboration platform spearheaded by MasterCard Lab for providing Financial Inclusion to emerging and marginalized communities.