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Visa Collaborates with ThriveAgric to Launch Operations in Kenya

Visa Expands Its Fintech Fast-Track Program to CEMEA
via Visa Expands Its Fintech Fast-Track Program to CEMEA thechiefobserver.com
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Visa has announced a new partnership with ThriveAgric to aid their expansion into Kenya. ThriveAgric, a startup dedicated to using technology to revolutionize the payments landscape for smallholder farmers, has been named the global winner of the 2022 Visa Everywhere Initiative.

This open innovation program helps startups unlock new opportunities. As part of this partnership, ThriveAgric will establish local hubs to support farmers in five counties: Busia, Homabay, Migori, Nandi, and Narok. These hubs, located in Homabay and Busia counties, will serve as learning centers where farmers can attend training sessions and facilitate the distribution of inputs. The project aims to impact up to 10,000 farmers.

Smallholder farmers play a crucial role in the Kenyan economy and align with our goal of expanding the digital payments ecosystem. Through this partnership, we aim to establish a robust network that will directly benefit these farmers. Additionally, we are thrilled to collaborate with a start-up that has risen from our Visa Everywhere Initiative contest, showcasing the significant value it provides to participating start-ups,” stated Eva Ngigi-Sarwari, Visa’s Country Manager for Kenya.

The hubs will serve as collection points for produce during harvest season, enabling farmers to deliver their goods and receive payment based on quality standards that meet market requirements.

In discussing the partnership, Ayo Arikawe, Co-founder of ThriveAgric, stated that this collaboration signifies a significant milestone in ThriveAgric’s expansion into Kenya, which began last year, and the establishment of local hubs in Busia and Homabay counties.

Financial literacy and inclusion are key components of the program. Through training, farmers will receive customized financial education. Additionally, the program will provide farmers with access to financial services, including the opening of bank accounts and the issuance of Visa cards, to further promote financial inclusion.

Although the share of agriculture in Kenya’s GDP has decreased over the years, it remains vital to the country’s economy, accounting for about 21.3 percent of the nominal Gross Domestic Product (GDP), as per data from the Central Bank of Kenya (CBK). Furthermore, it contributes indirectly through its connections with other sectors.

The agriculture sector employs over 40 percent of the total population and more than 70 percent of Kenya’s rural inhabitants, highlighting its critical role in the overall economy. Nevertheless, accessing finance continues to be a challenge, with high interest rates being the most significant obstacle. Most of these funds are directed towards purchasing farm inputs and covering labor costs, which are two major operational expenses.

Since its inception, ThriveAgric has empowered over 800,000 smallholder farmers and more than 5,000 young people with cutting-edge technology and financial inclusion. This transformation of the agricultural landscape began in Nigeria and is now expanding into other African territories, including Kenya and Ghana.

ThriveAgric has empowered farmers by providing access to capital, premium global markets, and data-driven farming techniques, resulting in substantial increases in their yields and income. This enhancement in their livelihoods also promotes food security.

This innovative strategy has not only boosted agricultural productivity but also sparked economic growth in rural communities while supporting climate mitigation and adaptation. ThriveAgric’s success story exemplifies the transformative power of agri-tech solutions in fostering sustainable development and prosperity in developing economies.

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