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ThriveAgric and Visa team up to empower Kenyan farmers through digital payments and financial inclusion. (Image source: Adobe Stock)

ThriveAgric, an Agritech startup from Nigeria, has joined forces with Visa, a leader in digital payments, to facilitate its growth into Kenya 

This collaboration aims to establish additional hubs that will support a network of up to 10,000 local farmers. Founded with the mission to bolster smallholder farmers, ThriveAgric utilises technology to provide financial access, enhance productivity and sales, and ensure food security.

As the winner of the 2022 Visa Everywhere Initiative, ThriveAgric is set to create local hubs in five Kenyan counties: Busia, Homabay, Migori, Nandi, and Narok, to bolster farmer support.

"Our partnership with Visa marks an exciting new chapter in our journey as we double down on our Kenyan expansion which started last year and establish local hubs in Busia and Homabay counties," said ThriveAgric co-founder Ayo Arikawe.

These hubs currently function as educational centers for farmers to receive training and manage the distribution of farming inputs. They will also serve as aggregation points for produce during harvest, allowing farmers to deliver their crops post-harvest and receive payments that reflect the market standards for quality.

With a network of over 450 warehouses, ThriveAgric collaborates with more than 800,000 smallholder farmers across Nigeria, Ghana, and Kenya, including a significant number of youth exceeding 5,000 individuals.

The company has set ambitious goals to extend US$500mn in credit to ten million smallholder farmers by 2027 and aims to double these figures by 2050.

"Smallholder farmers are essential to the Kenyan economy and to our vision of expanding the digital payments ecosystem. This partnership will enable us to build a strong network to directly benefit farmers," added Eva Ngigi-Sarwari, country manager for Kenya at Visa.

Financial inclusion for farmers

Visa emphasises the importance of financial literacy and inclusion as core aspects of the programme. Farmers will receive specialised financial education and access to financial services, including bank accounts and Visa cards, to promote financial inclusion further.

Agriculture remains a vital component of Kenya’s economy, contributing approximately 21.3% to the nominal GDP, as per the Central Bank of Kenya. The sector’s significance is underscored by its employment of a substantial portion of the population, particularly in rural areas.

Despite its importance, the agricultural sector faces challenges, notably in accessing finance due to high interest rates. ThriveAgric’s initiatives have been instrumental in providing farmers with capital, access to global markets, and advanced farming techniques, leading to increased yields and income, thereby enhancing their quality of life and contributing to food security.

In a recent development, ThriveAgric announced a partnership with Acorn-Rabobank in April 2024, aimed at empowering over 30,000 smallholder farmers in Nigeria with access to carbon credits. This move is expected to further support farmers in their sustainable agricultural practices.

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