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ThriveAgric Expands to Kenya Through Partnership with Visa

ThriveAgric Kenya

Visa has announced a partnership with ThriveAgric, an innovative start-up that champions technology to transform the payments landscape for smallholder farmers, to support their expansion into Kenya.

ThriveAgric, the global winner of the 2022 Visa Everywhere Initiative, an open innovation program that helps start-ups unlock new opportunities, will set up local hubs to support farmers in five counties, namely Busia, Homabay, Migori, Nandi & Narok.  The hubs, located in Homabay and Busia counties, will serve as learning centres where farmers can gather for training sessions and facilitate the distribution of inputs. The project aims to reach up to 10,000 farmers.

“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. We are also excited to partner with a start-up that has emerged from our Visa Everywhere Initiative contest, demonstrating the value it offers for start-ups that participate,” said Eva Ngigi-Sarwari, Country Manager for Kenya at Visa.

The hubs will allow agents to aggregate produce during harvest time and enable farmers to deliver their produce to the hubs after harvest and receive payment based on the quality that meets market specifications.

Commenting on the partnership, Co-founder ThriveAgric, Ayo Arikawe said “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.”

Financial literacy and inclusion are fundamental factors of the program, and, through training, farmers will gain tailored financial knowledge. The program will also facilitate access to financial services for the farmers including opening of bank accounts and issuance of Visa cards to further enhance financial inclusion.

Even though the share of agriculture in Kenya’s GDP has declined over the years, it is still key to Kenya’s economy and accounts for a notable share of about 21.3 percent of the nominal Gross Domestic Product (GDP), according to data from the Central Bank of Kenya (CBK). It also has an additional indirect contribution through linkages with other sectors.

The sector employs more than 40 per cent of the total population and more than 70 per cent of Kenya’s rural people, cementing its importance to the overall economy. However, challenges remain when it comes to accessing finance, with high interest rates being the most prominent barrier. A majority of these funds are channeled towards buying farm inputs and paying for labour – two significant operational costs.

Through empowering over 800,000 smallholder farmers and more than 5,000 young people with cutting-edge technology and financial inclusion, ThriveAgric has transformed the agricultural landscape since its inception in Nigeria and expanding in other African territories like Kenya and Ghana.

By providing access to capital, premium global markets, and data-driven farming techniques, ThriveAgric has enabled farmers to significantly boost their yields and income, elevating their livelihoods and promoting food security.

This innovative approach has not only spurred agricultural productivity but also ignited economic growth in rural communities while championing climate mitigation and adaptation. ThriveAgric’s success story is a testament to the transformative power of agri-tech solutions in driving sustainable development and prosperity in developing economies.

Read: Visa Introduces Next-Gen Digital Payment Solutions at CEMEA Forum

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