KAMPALA, UGANDA – On July 19th, 2023, dfcu Bank, Mastercard, and Rabo Partnerships announced a strategic partnership aimed at digitalizing Uganda’s agricultural ecosystem. The collaboration aims to uplift smallholder farmers and other agricultural value chain actors by enhancing their access to markets and credit, thereby improving their livelihoods.
In the current manual, cash-based agricultural ecosystem, farmers and other industry players face numerous challenges, including limited access to markets and financial resources. As a result, farmers often struggle to obtain fair pricing and secure credit, while cooperatives and off-takers face inefficiencies and lack transparency.
To address these critical issues, Mastercard, dfcu Bank, and Rabo Partnerships are joining forces to provide the innovative Farm Pass platform and tailored financial services to Uganda’s agricultural ecosystem. Farmers will gain access to increased buyer opportunities for their crops and credit products that enhance productivity and income by registering on the platform through a network of agents.
Farm Pass, built upon Mastercard’s Community Pass platform, aims to provide access to critical services to underserved, remote, and offline communities. With a common digital identity, these communities can benefit from services in health, education, and commerce. Mastercard aims to register 15 million farmers across Africa by 2027, with over 2 million already onboarded.
Rabo Partnerships, a subsidiary of Rabobank, a leading global cooperative bank in the food and agriculture finance space, will enrich partner Financial Institutions by providing knowledge, networks, and digital scaling solutions. Through the Agriculture Exchange offering, Rabo Partnerships aims to unlock over USD 1 billion in loans to smallholder farmers worldwide.
Over the next five years, the program aims to register 1.5 million smallholder farmers in Uganda, accelerating financial inclusion and promoting sustainable livelihoods. dfcu Bank will drive the program in Uganda, and Mastercard will provide the Farm Pass platform as part of its Community Pass suite. Rabo Partnerships will offer their expertise in food and agriculture banking, working with local partners to onboard farmers onto the platform.
Charles Mudiwa, Chief Executive Officer, and Managing Director of dfcu Bank expressed excitement about leveraging the digital tools and expertise of the partnership to drive financial inclusion in Uganda. David Gerbrands, Global Head of Agri and Banking advisory services and Inclusive Business Ventures at Rabo Partnerships, emphasized the commitment to driving financial inclusion in agriculture.
Daniel Huba, Vice President of Sub-Saharan Africa Market Development for Community Pass at Mastercard, shared the goal of registering 30 million people, including 15 million in Africa, to Community Pass within the next five years.
This strategic partnership represents a significant step towards transforming Uganda’s agricultural sector, bringing unprecedented efficiency, transparency, and financial inclusion to farmers and value chain actors. As the program takes flight, it is set to usher in a new era of sustainable livelihoods and economic growth within the agricultural industry.