• Authored By: Damson Atwesigye
06 Sep 2023

Yesterday, September 5, 2023, the Economic Policy Research Centre in partnership with the Food and Agriculture Organization and Uganda Development Bank embarked on training enumerators who are supposed to collect data to assess the impact of Agricultural digital credit among smallholder farmers using the case study of AgriConnect in Uganda.

The AgrInvest Initiative, funded by the European Union (EU) and FAO, and implemented by the FAO Investment Centre, aims to increase private investments in the country’s agriculture and agribusiness sectors through an enhanced capacity of the Uganda Development Bank (UDB). In partnership with UDB, AgrInvest is conducting a digital finance pilot with a FinTech partner in Uganda, Ensibuuko Ltd., with technical and financial assistance from the UNCDF and FAO and a credit line provided by the Uganda Development Bank (UDB). This initiative presents an alternative method of financing smallholder farmers offered by FinTech lending – potentially more efficient, low-cost, and low-risk.

EPRC is working in collaboration with the partners FAO, UDB, UNCDF, and Ensibuuko Ltd to carry out a baseline survey as part of an impact evaluation study for the digital lending intervention.

Dr. Ibrahim Kasirye giving his opening remarks

This study intends to assess the extent to which the initiative is effective and beneficial for smallholder farmers, as well as the feasible pathways.

During the training held between September 5, 2023, and end on September 9, 2023, at the Economic Policy Research Centre (EPRC), Dr. Ibrahim Kasirye the Director of research at EPRC provided opening remarks and an overview of the project assignment on the impact of agricultural digital credit among smallholder farmers: The case of AgriConnect in Uganda. He emphasized EPRC’s commitment to quality data.

Dr. Kasirye also said that the main purpose of this survey was to generate and provide vital information on the performance of members of Village Savings and Loan Associations (VSLAs) operating in Northern Uganda and the status of the economic activities that they are involved in, as well as the performance of these VSLA institutions, in relation to external support provided to the VSLAs as institutions, and support provided to the VSLA members through the VSLAs in form of credit and other kinds of Interventions.

He also emphasized on collection of quality data and that the data would inform the intervention of the Uganda Development Bank regarding improvement or design of financial solutions or intervention for VSLAs and their members, especially farmers who operate under VSLA arrangements.

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