Webinar on agriculture, banking, and the digital economy merge to improve South African agriculture
This webinar by Agriculture Finance Support Facility’s (AgriFin) looks at the role of digital infrastructures in driving efficiency and sustainability in the agricultural value chain. Vuyani Jarana, Chief Officer of Vodacom Business, dives into issues that surround emerging innovations, capacity strengthening, and the enabling environment of mobile service banking. Specifically, he speaks about information gaps in existing agriculture value chains, which prevent farmers from gaining access to markets. Also, a lack of transaction records constrains their ability to produce the evidence needed for credit scoring. These combined with several other factors inhibit African agricultural development. The presentation argues for modernization of the agriculture sector through digitization of farming activities and the crop production cycle. Storing the data on accessible platforms and sharing it may lead to increases in farmer knowledge and skills. More digital records could be beneficial to financial institutions who use it to create unique agriculture client profiles. User experience results of agriculturalists and industries who have adopted Vodacom’s Connected Farmer Platform, which uses e-Voucher management to track key points in the agriculture value chain are discussed. A key message of the presentation is that technological improvements in agriculture financing represent not only an attractive business opportunity for lenders but also one of the most promising avenues to significantly increase financial inclusion. The entire webinar can be rewatched on this YouTube channel. The slides of the webinar can be downloaded here.