Farmers, the new recruits of financial technology services (FinTech), want innovators not to just develop apps but innovations that provide solutions to farming problems.
If this is done, the farmers’ leadership, whose members, especially the cooperatives, are beginning to digitise their financial operations, will do so in droves.
It was revealed last week at the 3rd FinTech meet-up of stakeholders to discuss avenues through which milk delivery and sales transactions can be digitalised that to an extent the cost involved in digitisation remains one of challenges.
Speaking at the event, the general manager Twezimbe Area Co-operative Enterprise, Ms Rhene Nanziri Bukomeko, said: “Innovations and digitisation of our operations are things we all want, but the issue now is the cost involved.
She continued: “Our farmers have issues with cost involved in mobile money transaction. Most of them also have basic phones and they are in remote places so how do they benefit from the advantages of smart phones and technologies?”
Coupled with the irregular Internet connectivity, especially outside Kampala, it will take long for farmers to reap from digitisation and online transactions.
According to Ms Nanziri, this is where technology becomes frustrating and loses meaning to the farmers.
She therefore urged the Fintechs and other relevant players to deal with these challenges hindering uptake of digital financial service that they all would want to partake.
In an interview, Mr Nathan Were of the Consultative Group to Assist the Poor, said the essence of the meet-up with different stakeholders, key among them Fintech industry players, is to take note of the challenges the farmers are raising and thereafter find a way of addressing them.
He said: “We need to hear from them (especially farmers) then it allows us to design a product that addresses their challenges.”
He continued: “Our research shows that about 45 per cent of farmers do not have smart phones and that means that solution that can be used using basics phones needs to be developed, something we believe will be beneficial.”