Agro Business

ThriveAgric to Provide 125,000 Smallholder Farmers With Access to Financial Inclusion Services through AYuTe Project

In order to officially announce the opening of the ThriveAgric’s AYuTe (Agriculture, Youth, and Technology) Project, agricultural technology company ThriveAgric today sponsored a breakfast meeting in Abuja, Nigeria, in partnership with international charity organization Heifer International. The program, which aims to provide 125,000 smallholder farmers with access to financial inclusion, further reaffirms the company’s commitment to creating the greatest network of successful farmers throughout Africa while safeguarding the continent’s food security.

Twelve months from now, ThriveAgric and its technical partners will help 125,000 smallholder farmers in eight northern states—Adamawa, Gombe, Yobe, Jigawa, Kaduna, Kano, Katsina, and Bauchi—open bank accounts so they can use debit cards and other financial services. The Project will achieve its goal of winning Heifer International’s biennial Agriculture, Youth, and Technology (AYuTe) Africa Challenge in 2022.

Along with hiring over 200 young people to carry out this project, ThriveAgric will also give 1,000 Point of Sale (POS) devices to chosen Nigerian youths to help them grow and supplement their family’s income.

Only 51% of Nigerian citizens use formal financial services, with women consistently being more excluded than men, according to the EFInA Access to Financial Services Survey 2020. The report emphasizes in particular that people in Northern Nigeria are substantially more financially excluded than adults in the South of Nigeria, indicating that there are still major inequalities in financial access for some of Nigeria’s most economically excluded communities. Adults in rural areas are considerably more marginalized than adults in cities, which results in severely restricted access to funding or funding possibilities. Therefore, ThriveAgric will approach this project with a gender perspective to ensure that at least 40% of the targeted beneficiaries, including smallholder farmers, POS operators, and project personnel, are female.

Ayodeji Arikawe, Co-Founder of ThriveAgric, commented on the company’s philosophy behind the AYuTe Project, saying: “of ThriveAgric, our driving force has always been to empower smallholder farmers for a dignified existence. Smallholder farmers are better positioned for access to money, credit, digital services, and the formal economy when they are connected to it, which will have a variety of long-term advantages. We are enthusiastic about the project we are working on with Heifer International through the AYuTe Africa Challenge, as well as the long-term effects of our strategic alliance with VISA on the development of job possibilities, financial inclusion, and social inclusion. Our unshakable dedication to having a positive influence on smallholder farmers and the local communities where they live will be even more clear through this project, as we aim to create the biggest network of successful farmers in Africa.

ThriveAgric won the annual AYuTe Africa Challenge in 2017 and was awarded a $1 million grant as the West African champion. The Agriculture Youth Technology (AYuTe) Challenge was established by Heifer International to assist young entrepreneurs striving to increase food security on the continent by creating and implementing cost-effective digital solutions that have an impact on smallholder farmers. Heifer International provides AYuTe Africa Champions with financial grants as well as a team of knowledgeable advisors and successful business veterans to help them as they turn this financing into business expansion plans.

Rufus Idris, the country director for Heifer International, claims that inadequate access to financial services is a major impediment to smallholder farmers’ adoption of innovation, the improvement of farming techniques, and the expansion of their outputs. We are pleased about the chance to build up an agritech innovation that addresses the difficulties of financial inclusion faced by smallholder farmers in Nigeria in addition to investing in ThriveAgric’s solutions.

One of the largest issues facing smallholder farmers in Africa is still obtaining money. In rural Sub-Saharan Africa, only 10% of farmers have access to loans, according to WillAgri. ThriveAgric will be increasing access to formal financial services through digital tools by facilitating account opening, distributing bank cards, and setting up POS operators in the rural northern communities. This will drive financial inclusion, a crucial factor in promoting access to finance and markets for more smallholder farmers. How ThriveAgric will use strategic partnerships to achieve the company’s goal of providing $500 million in credit to 10 million smallholder farmers across Nigeria, Ghana, and other countries is demonstrated by key partnerships with businesses like Visa to reach the most financially excluded groups, many of whom are smallholder farmers.

Ayodeji Alabi, Fintech Lead at Visa Inc. West Africa, commented on the creative approach by saying, “We wish ThriveAgric well with this project to onboard over 125,000 farmers on the Financial Inclusion campaign in Nigeria. We fully support ThriveAgric in their efforts to facilitate payment solutions in order to ensure that underprivileged communities be banked if they are chosen as winners of the Visa Everywhere Initiative in 2022.

As ThriveAgric moves closer to its objective of creating an Africa that feeds itself, the AYuTe Project is yet another positive development.

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