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Thursday, 27 July 2017

HALOTEL, MERCY CORPS AGRIFIN PARTNERS TO BOOST FINANCIAL INCLUSION TO FARMERS

Farmers in rural areas will be the beneficiaries of the financial inclusion initiative to be implemented by Halotel Tanzania under advisory by Mercy Corps AgriFin accelerate across the country.
 “Tanzania is currently experiencing transition towards industrialization and has a robust digital financial services (DFS) market with a competitive market structure and major advances in interoperability. In order to make the goal of industrialization a reality we must among other things seek to improve the Agriculture sector, currently dominated by smallholder farmers, with innovative solutions.
In making this project work we will be partnering with banks, agribusinesses and other ecosystem stakeholders who are committed to expanding delivery of services, particularly financial services, to smallholder farmers (SHF) on digital channels. The ultimate goal is not only providing financial services to farmers in rural areas but also to increase their productivity and income to enable rural communities improve their livelihoods,” Country Director for Mercy Corps’ AgriFin Accelerate program, Mr. Paul Kweheria said.

He noted that among the setbacks which holds agricultural and rural communities from advancing are both lack of well designed, accessible and demand-driven financial services as well as inadequate productivity tools and services. AgriFin Accelerate program was launched by Mercy Corps with support from MasterCard Foundation to support the expansion of digital financial and non-financial services to smallholder farmers (SHF).
“As we select which organization to partner with, we review considerable qualities including a wider reach in rural areas where most of the farmers are based. Obviously, Halotel is a perfect match when it comes to its well established network in Tanzania with its both telecom and budding mobile money services, Halopesa. We will specifically support Halopesa expand its mobile money services including innovative digital savings and credit services to smallholder farmers who make up a bulk of rural communities. Therefore, we would be able to both reach a wider population through its network,” Mr. Kweheria said.
 On his part the Managing Director of Halotel Tanzania, Mr. Le Van Dai said that this project is a huge step towards supporting the government and promise to continue collaborating with other stakeholders through providing technological solutions to farmers so as to cope with the current situation.
 “Since our network cut-across various rural areas we thought it could be useful to use that as a tool to impact customers’ lives. And in order to attain that goal effectively financial education is the key. We are aware of the challenges face most of the Tanzanian farmers and it’s our responsibility to be part of providing possible solutions. In addition to that, Halotel takes into consideration that agricultural sector plays a significant role in transforming the country into industrial one,” said Mr. Dai.
 “We believe that the Halopesa service which is scattered all over the country will be used to empower farmers financially. Apart from enabling farmers with easy financial

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