Agro Business

Heifer International and Mastercard to empower millions of smallholder farmers in Africa

Millions of smallholder farmers in Sub-Saharan Africa will now have access to Mastercard’s Community Pass, a digital platform that makes it safer and simpler for farmers to get paid more and faster for their produce, thanks to a partnership between the international non-profit Heifer International and Mastercard.

Heifer International and Mastercard will work together to promote financial inclusion and digitalization among smallholder farmers in Africa. Mastercard Community Pass is created to address infrastructure issues that crop up when rural areas are digitally transformed, such as sporadic access, low smartphone ownership, and a lack of uniform identification or credentials.

Community Pass offers farmer visibility through a straightforward and cost-effective infrastructure for issuance and acceptance, enabling digital transactions and establishing a farmer’s online presence so that Heifer International can more effectively reach and assist them.

The partnership supports Heifer International’s goal of using technology and innovation to hasten Africa’s transition to an agricultural sector that is digitally dominant and has strong value chain networks that generate stable living incomes for smallholder farmers and farming communities through partnerships, access to finance, and access to markets.

Heifer International is working to enable financial inclusion for farmers on the continent by collaborating with innovators and utilizing cutting-edge platforms that use data to create digital footprints. This gives farmers visibility who, on average, are unable to account for daily data they generate from business transactions and commodity exchanges for goods and services.

Heifer International seeks to connect social entrepreneurs with farmers and farmer data by striving to increase farmer awareness. This will allow these entrepreneurs to offer specialized solutions to benefit farmers and co-ops at scale. According to Heifer’s aim, 6 million smallholder farming households in Africa will be reached by 2030.

Heifer International, through Mastercard Community Pass, will initially concentrate on smallholder farmers in a few African markets, starting with Tanzania and Kenya, to attain this digital visibility for smallholder farmers in Africa.

At the core of what we do at Heifer International is the sustainability and transformation of Africa’s agriculture, as well as the growth and higher living incomes for smallholder farmers. Adesuwa Ifedi, Senior Vice President for Africa Programs at Heifer International, said: “This is why our collaboration with Mastercard is essential to ensuring smallholder farmers are financially included, removing some of the barriers that keep them unbanked and perceived as high risk by traditional financial institutions. “We are still committed to using innovation and significant collaborations to give smallholder farmers the resources and assistance they need to succeed. We truly believe that smallholder farmers contribute significantly to the resilience and self-sufficiency of the continent’s agricultural sector.

According to Daniel Huba, Vice President of Sub-Saharan Africa, Humanitarian and Development, Mastercard, “We are inspired and honored to collaborate with Heifer International to bring an ecosystem for greater efficiency and effectiveness to their work with smallholder farmers, enabling safe, simple, smart, and commercially sustainable digital solutions for remote and marginalized communities in Africa. “By empowering underprivileged groups and individuals, we can fuel economies and promote inclusive economic growth. By providing a digital platform that makes it simpler for smallholder farmers to transition from subsistence to commercial farming, Mastercard Community Pass helps to achieve this. As a result, Africa’s agriculture will grow, become more competitive, and have better food security. We anticipate collaborating with Heifer International to advance our shared mission.

Millions of farmers in Africa use Community Pass to access agricultural markets, input suppliers, and financial services to help them establish and expand their businesses. Mastercard is working to link people in underserved, distant, and typically offline communities with digital tools.

Heifer International has been collaborating with more than 40 million people worldwide to eradicate hunger and poverty since 1944. Heifer International works with rural communities in 20 countries across Africa, Asia, and the Americas, including the United States, to enhance local economies and create stable livelihoods that can provide a living wage for farmers and regional food producers.

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