The Netherlands Embassy in Kampala partnered with the award-winning Ugandan fintech Emata to accelerate the availability of affordable digital loans to smallholder farmers in Uganda. The partnership includes a grant of up to $590,000 (UGX 2.1 billion) to fund loans to thousands of smallholder dairy farmers.
The news was announced during the opening of this year’s Harvest Money Expo at Kololo Airstrip in Kampala. The 3-day event is one of the largest and most important agricultural events in Uganda, and is organized by New Vision in partnership with The Netherlands Embassy in Kampala.
Emata is an innovative financial inclusion company that uses technology to bring affordable digital loans to millions of farmers. Emata is the first agricultural lender in Uganda to automate the entire loan process: data collection and credit scoring to loan disbursement. This allows Emata to deliver loans to the smallest and most remote farmer (even without a smartphone) with lending amounts that start at UGX 100,000 ($28).
This innovation is much needed. Financial institutions in Africa struggle to lend to smallholder farmers. Farmers often resort to informal moneylenders that charge exorbitant interest rates that are too high for farmers to make productive investments in their farms. As a result, farmers struggle to achieve prosperity, and Uganda’s vast agricultural potential remains underdeveloped.
“The Netherlands government actively seeks innovative and potentially impact-full ways to grant smallholder farmers access to (affordable) finance. Emata clearly fits in that picture and we are thrilled that Emata can now scale up the activities and we hope other investors will follow soon.” the Dutch Embassy said
“We are very excited to partner with the Dutch embassy to accelerate the availability of affordable digital loans to smallholder farmers across Uganda. This partnership will provide much-needed capital to drive investments in Uganda’s agricultural productivity and rural prosperity!” Bram Van Den Bosch, CEO, Emata.