When digitizing the Agricultural Value Chain improves financial inclusion in Nepal
For 1.6 million farmers in Nepal, dairy farming is their main livelihood. Most of these farmers largely depend on cooperatives for financial assistance. According to ILO, it is estimated that there are more than 34,000 cooperatives in Nepal, with around 6 million rural members. As per the Finscope Study, 1,700 are dairy cooperatives with a member base starting from 200 to 2000 farmers. These cooperatives provide the best economic means for rural farmers and play a significant role in Nepal’s financial sector. With cooperatives as the key anchor in the rural area, UNCDF partnered with Prabhu Management to digitize the dairy value chain and improve financial inclusion with mobile wallets.
UNCDF identified cooperatives as a key influencers in facilitating the adoption of mobile wallets by smallholder farmers. This led to the initiation of the first digital transformation of the dairy cooperatives in Nepal. With Prabhu Management onboard as a partner, UNCDF supported the introduction of a cloud-based automated digital milk ledger to help cooperatives efficiently manage recordkeeping and their day-to-day operations. An additional cloud-based core banking solution was also offered to help cooperatives manage their savings and credit operations. This system was then integrated with a digital payment solution – a digital wallet that cooperatives could directly use to receive payments and pay farmers on their mobile.