AgSave is a fin-tech social enterprise that enables farmers to pay for agricultural inputs such as fertilizer from agro-dealers via mobile phone. Our platform is designed for farmers in rural-low income communities who need finance for farming activities and do this by providing value added services such as micro-savings, micro-credit and micro-insurance so that they can have a successful harvest.
AgSave is a fin-tech platform that allows farmers to access the finance they need to purchase input subsidies from agro-dealers via mobile app and USSD.
We work with a network of agents who act as agricultural extension officers working with us to on board and provide technical support to farmers.
Our platform has a cloud-based storage system which has demographic data on farmers and their transactions and allows us to remotely monitor and manage our platform.
Our platform has the additional services of micro-savings, micro-credit and micro-insurance in order to maintain food security so that they have access to finance in case of emergency.
We are ensuring that access to finance is provided to Zambia's 1.6 million small holder farmers and 3,800 agro-dealers by working with stakeholders to make sure that farmers have the credit they need to have a successful harvest.
In Zambia, 80% of the 17.5 million population are dependent on agriculture for their livelihoods with the sector, which has 1.6 million small holder farmers (SHF's), being the clearest way to alleviate poverty in the country. Agriculture finance is essentially the bedrock of the agricultural industry in that they allow access to resources be it material or mechanical support which is essential for the economy at large SHF's need access to finance to ensure a successful harvest and agro-dealers act as middlemen who supply agriculture inputs to farmers with the aim of making a profit. The problem that has come up lately is that agro-dealers in Zambia are rarely able to live up to expectations as they often delay the supply of agriculture inputs to SHFs if at all as both parties lack the adequate finance to ensure that they have all material needed for the farming season.
Our solution is to develop a fin-tech platform called AgSave that will allow farmers to pay for farming inputs such as fertilizer and enable them to access finance via mobile app and USSD.
The platform will also have provision for;
-Micro-savings i.e. through banks.
-Micro-credit i.e. farmers will be able to borrow money via our platform.
-Micro Insurance i.e. farmers and agro-dealers can protect themselves from risk with payouts made within 24 hrs.
AgSave accounts are 'locked' meaning that transactions are solely used for the purchase of agriculture inputs. In addition, stakeholders such as donor agencies can use our platform to provide finance to farmers and agro-dealers with the provision to access transaction records. Also, government through the Ministry of Agriculture and the Ministry of Finance can have an efficient way of providing finance to farmers via our platform. Once funds are disbursed in their AgSave mobile wallets, farmers, more so those in rural low-income communities, will be notified and will be able to carry out transactions needed to purchase agricultural inputs.
Meet Bessy. She is a farmer in Zambia's Petauke district and each year she has to look for funds for faming inputs such maize seeds, fertilizer and insecticide. The problem she faces is that she lacks an effective means of gaining access to credit in order to purchase these inputs as she often has to resort to borrowing from family, taking money from her saving as well as borrowing from credit providers who often charge high interest rates which make it difficult for her to pay back.
With AgSave, she is able to go into an agro-dealer store registered with us and pay for the inputs she needs via mobile phone. She is also able to tap into her saving on the platform which grow with interest, borrow from the platform via credit facilities designed for farmers and receive insurance monies within 24hrs which protects her from risk in case of emergencies e.g. floods, army worms etc. With AgSave, farmers are able to use mobile money to purchase input subsidies such as insecticides, fertilizers etc. from agro-dealers thereby improving food security and allowing farmers to access the finance they need in order to have a successful harvest.