NETWORK mobile service operator, MTN Ghana, and Global System Mobile Association (GSMA), a trade body that represents the interest of mobile network operators worldwide, are jointly piloting digitisation of agricultural value chains for cocoa farmers in some cocoa growing communities in the Western, Ashanti and Eastern Regions and projected to expand the initiative to other cocoa growing regions in the coming years.
Today gathered that MTN Ghana, with technical support from the GSMA, has invested in supporting improvements in cocoa farmers’ livelihoods and cocoa growing communities through the use of the MTN Mobile Money.
The project—which is aimed at digitising cocoa farmer identifications (IDs) and digitising the process of procurement and payment of their crops, is being undertaken alongside counter-fraud measures and risk management practices to ensure effective sustainability of the project, Today has learnt.
The project, Today understands, has offered a unique opportunity for cocoa farmers in the above mentioned cocoa growing regions to transition from cash to digital payments with the primary focus of making the value proposition for cocoa farmers stronger.
Today was also reliably informed that another equally important aspect that has received attention with the implementation of the digital project was measures adopted by MTN and GSMA to strengthening the digital transaction security of cocoa farmers which has minimised fraud and encouraged confidence in the use of the MTN mobile money.
Today can report that the results of a pilot project implemented in the past few years by MTN Ghana in these cocoa growing communities in the country were very promising.
There are clear indications that the commercial digital mobile services of MTN Ghana were really improving productivity and incomes of cocoa farmers.
So far, Today has discovered that a significant number of cocoa farmers in the project implementation communities have been largely digitised and have access to more financial transactions via the MTN mobile money which currently was improving their livelihoods and productivity.
The existing initiative, the paper observed, exudes confidence in farmers in their use
of the MTN mobile money.
The project has also helped cocoa farmers to have easy access to their funds via MTN agents available in their towns and villages.
Furthermore, the project is helping farmers to adopt best farming practices on their farms to improve yields and the wellbeing of farmers and their communities.
Speaking at a workshop organised by MTN for Journalists for Business Advocacy (JBA) on Thursday, 11 July, 2019 in Accra, the General Manager of MTN Mobile Money Limited, Mr Eli Hini, highlighted the success stories of the implementation of the project.
He stated that the project with leadership from MTN Ghana has demonstrated the widespread adoption of mobile technology by farmers and a willingness to use mobile technology in improving cocoa farming practices.
According to him, mobile money adoption has been recognised as an area of interest and exploration by MTN Ghana.
Mincing no words, Mr Hini called on management of Ghana Cocoa Board (COCOBOD) to immediately come on board to collaborate with MTN to continue to insert mobile money into the cocoa value chain for cocoa farmers in Ghana, citing the benefits and opportunities under the digital financial services.
To this end, Mr Hini stressed the need for the expansion on transaction limit on MTN wallet for subscribers to equally enjoy the service.
Story: Freeman KORYEKPOR AWLESU
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