Writing from Lira, Uganda
The lead ICT Company on the Technology Solutions For Improved Agribusiness Management- MobiPay AgroSys Limited, in partnership with the Ngetta Tropical Holdings (NTHs), has organized a workshop to train key stakeholders along the Seed value chain (SVC) to digitize the SVC to ensure increased production, household income, and financial inclusion. Thus, contributing to the attainment of the goals of Mobile Money for the Poor (MM4P) project implemented by the United Nations Capital Development Fund (UNCDF).
The successful end of the two-day key stakeholders and project inception workshop is expected to facilitate the digitization of the Seed value chain (SVC) in Northern, Uganda to enhance transformational rural agriculture and improved livelihood for over 24, 000 women and youth in the Northern region, Uganda in fulfillment of the Youth Leadership in Agriculture (YLA), a USAID Feed the Future project being run by Chemonics International Inc.
Similar to other agriculture value chains in Uganda, various actors in the Seed value chain also grapple with a myriad of roadblocks in increasing production and household income from limited access to financial services and inputs, market connection and lack of comprehensive management information systems (MIS) to capture and manage farmers information for informed decisions.
Correspondingly, Ngetta Tropical Holdings (NTH), an agro-processing industry engaged in vegetable oil (sun flower seed) milling over the years has encountered various challenges relating to cash-based payments for the sun seed grain suppliers and input suppliers and lack of a comprehensive MIS for the integration and management of relevant and timely data. Thus, sun seed production and farmers income have been negatively affected.
Consequently, under the Technology Solutions for Improved Agribusiness Management project, MobiPay has identified and supporting to address the specific challenges in the sun seed value chain in order to enhance and sustain NTH’s ability to manage farmers information and payment digitally, improve farmer’s access to financial services and provide other solutions that will subsequently help NTHs increase sun seed production and farmers income.
About the workshop
The workshop was on the digitization of the Seed value chain in Uganda with a special focus on NTH’s personnel, cooperatives and farmer’s understanding of MobiPay’s NTHs-customized platform and its significance. The sessions covered areas, including the roles of the partners, use of MobiPay MIS platform for data capturing, management and transaction, data collection techniques and data collection implementation plan for an informed decision and strategic planning.
There were also interactive sessions and hands-on activities on farmer profiling using the MobiPay–NTH data collection app, use of the MobiPay Payment Platform (MPP) for various transactions including crop purchase, digital payment and loan acquisition. Others included participant’s translation of the data collection questions in their own languages and demonstrations of how to conduct interviews with farmers.
The workshop brought together 150 participants comprising of various stakeholders along the Seed value chain (SVC) in the Lango and Acholi regions: MobiPay staff, NTHs’ staff, extension and field officers, 33 cooperatives chairpersons of oil seed producing cooperatives and 80 mobilizers.
Purposeful Partnership and way forward for Uganda’s Seed Value Chain
The MD for MobiPay, Mr. Eric Nana Kwabena Agyei, added that the collaboration between MobiPay and NTHs was a purposeful one that would lead to improving [NTHs’] integration and timely management of farmers’ information and digital transactions and market connections in Uganda.
“MobiPay’s innovative technology- MobiPay’s NTH-customized platform is indispensable for the digitization of the Seed value chain in Uganda. MobiPay’s commitment is to continue to offer high-tech solutions and innovations for agriculture value chain feeding the world and subsequently make agriculture profitable, improve livelihood and reduce poverty”, he indicated.
The CEO of NTHs, Mr. Paul Omara added that the collaboration with MobiPay is an important part of NTHs’ long-term vision of transforming agriculture in the Northern region of Uganda. He said that given NTHs’ vision, it was necessary to ensure access to comprehensive innovation that would not only facilitate access to timely information but also ensure effective and efficient management of value chain finances.
“In the next 5 years, we plan to invest heavily especially in seed silos, about 2,000 tons of oil silos and also to respond to the wider market. Thus, we intend to export our products to the East African region and Europe. So, the partnership with MobiPay is important in a strategic sense, because we [NTHs] have reached a place where we have to build a more efficient payment system and have a robust data for our plaining purposes and build something for the future”, he added
The workshop ended successfully and the data collection team were deployed to commence the data collection from the sun seed farmers under the various cooperatives.
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In our next story, we bring you Mr Paul Omara (CEO NTHs’) talk with MobiPay on his vision in transforming rural agriculture for development and the value o the NTHs’ virgin Oil. Get ready to read: Omara Talks to MobiPay: Video