Cellulant in Agritech; From using eWallet to power farming to Using Blockchain

The Cellulant e-Wallet platform implemented for the Growth Enhancement Scheme project in 2012 is today the largest mobile account platform in Africa with over 14 million Mobile-Accounts. This is the 2nd part of our case study series on the project, the challenges it sought to address in the Nigerian Agricultural sector and its impact. If you haven’t read the first part, click here. This part delves into how the e-wallet works, the continued impact of the GES scheme in Nigeria and how the project led to the genesis of Tingg & Agrikore.

How the eWallet Works

An e-Wallet allows anyone to receive and send money to anyone with a valid cell-phone number. The money is transferred instantly and can be withdrawn as cash from ATMs or used for other services. It comes with so much convenience for the users as they are provided with the option to choose from different access channels like Web, USSD, SMS and a Mobile application.

The platform is engineered for both online and offline transaction processing thus can be accessed using a smart or feature phone. It utilises advanced data mining, warehousing processing, verification and authentication capabilities.

Although the eWallet can be deployed to various sectors,  our initial implementation of the eWallet technology at a large scale was for the GES Scheme in which it provided important data to participating banks for a transparent lending process.  We were able to leverage the technology to have the following features;

The GES eWallet  Functionalities

  • Registration of farmers
  • Determination of input providers, redemption quantities and pricing structures
  • Establishment of Redemption centers or service delivery points
  • Placement of Help-line Staff or support persons
  • Lending program for Agro-dealers
  • Reconciliation & payment
  • Reporting
  • Redemptions – Farmers
  • Redemptions by inventory
  • Turnout of farmers
  • Transaction reporting to Central Bank of Nigeria
  • Lending Reporting to  Third Party Audit reporting to various FGN & Development Partners and monitoring agents

In December 2017, 2.6 million people in northeast Nigeria faced starvation and a credible threat of famine loomed in areas where humanitarian organizations were unable to deliver assistance.  Through Tingg, families were able to receive electronic food vouchers.  An assessment to capture basic information such as the household numbers was done to provide accurate data for voucher and supplies distribution. This ensured that enough vouchers and supplies were given based on verifiable data.

From an E-wallet technology to Blockchain; The Genesis of Tingg and Agrikore

From the success and scale of impact of the eWallet in the GES scheme, Cellulant got to best understand the specific needs that farmers and Nigerians in the rural areas were grappling with namely; most did not have access to formal banking, many were subsistence farmers who could not scale as they could not get access to credit, farmers did not have information on market dynamics (demand, prices etc).

Beyond the GES scheme whose roll-out contract ended in 2016, two product solutions emerged; Tingg Marketplace and Agrikore – solutions that combine two technologies; eWallet and blockchain to serve two over-arching farmer needs:

a. Access to financial services

b. Access to a system that enables all the players in the agriculture value chain transact in a trusted and transparent environment.

Our blockchain based solution Agrikore seeks to provide farmers with; access to quality farming inputs for primary production, access to pricing and markets as well as access to financial services.

Agrikore is a smart-contracting, payments and marketplace system that ensures that everyone in the agriculture value chain; Farmers, FMCGs, Agriculture inputs providers, produce aggregators, insurance companies, financial institutions, governments and development partners can do business with each other in a trusted environment.

The Agrikore platform at its core provides the tools for the creation of a structured agribusiness economy (agriconomy) in Africa thus;

– ensures a start to end management of interventions (schemes),

– provides visibility of the cashflow movements within the schemes,

– enables the management of accounts,

– executes payment and reconciliation processes, and

– enables a start to end management of services and products catalogue and inventories.

Tingg Marketplace

Tingg Marketplace is a platform for traders targeted mainly at Small & Medium Enterprises (SMEs) to receive payments & promote their business all on the same platform. Farmers, traders can use Tingg marketplace to disburse funds or e-vouchers, collect donations from partners, track expenditure and monitor disbursement processes from one end to another.

Farmers at a Tingg registration point in Nigeria

            Farmers at a Tingg registration point in Nigeria

How Tingg Marketplace Powers Agrikore

Whereas Agrikore automates the processes between the various agricultural parties and value chains, when money needs to change hands, its Tingg marketplace that comes into play.

Tingg is a  payment gateway that enables the transfer of funds either in the form of payments from buyers or in the form of subsidies either from governments or development partners.

The Face of Agritech Impact

In 2018, Cellulant was featured in the global Endeavor Faces of impact’ report for the transformational work the company is doing in digitizing payments for the Agriculture sector in Africa.

Here are some quick facts impact the technology continues to have on Nigeria’s economy;

  • 92% of targeted farmers were reached across 30 states with an average of 6 Million farmers served annually.
  • Annually, the program covers the 774 Local Government Areas (LGAs) in the country, over 95,315 villages and serves close to 17 million farmers and 2,714 agri-businesses across Nigeria.
  • 400 agribusinesses were re-activated
  • 1,866 jobs have been created
  • 160 MFBs, MFI and finance cooperatives linked to 660,112 farmers

We believe that this solution can help solve food crises and hunger in Africa which has the landmass and climate to grow as much quantity of food that can feed the continent. The agricultural market in Africa is projected to grow to $1 Trillion by 2030 and thus is at the heart of our transformation agenda for Africa.

Contact us here to learn more about your Agritech solutions in Africa.

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