Mastercard and Rabobank are partnering to offer a digital platform to 1 million farmers in emerging markets, Mastercard said in a press release on Wednesday (Sept. 25).
The product will make it easier for farmers to sell produce and builds on the Mastercard Farmer Network. Rabobank’s Banking for Food vision reaches agricultural regions in Europe, Africa and Asia.
“At Mastercard, we envision a world in which economic growth is truly inclusive,” said Arjan Bol, Netherlands country manager for Mastercard. “Mastercard Farmer Network contributes to this by offering a digital platform that makes it safer and simpler for small-holder farmers to grow their business. Through close collaborations with important partners as Rabobank, we are able to create even more impact, putting the digital economy to work for everyone, everywhere.”
The partnership will grow across Uganda, Tanzania, Kenya, Ghana, Egypt and India. Farmers in these countries have limited finance options.
Mastercard Farmer Network launched in 2015 and has connected with over 250,000 farmers in Uganda, Tanzania and India. The solution connects farmers with buyers through a common digital infrastructure.
“We believe that sustainable partnerships in the food and agri value chain are key to guaranteeing food security in the future,” said Wiebe Draijer, CEO Rabobank. “This partnership creates a unique opportunity to expand access to the formal economy and financial services for hundreds of thousands of farmers. By joining forces with Mastercard we address both of our goals to increase financial inclusion in the agri-sector, while also contributing significantly to Rabobank’s Banking for Food strategy.”
Other AgTech innovations include Barclaycard’s introduction of a commercial card product in conjunction with AGCO Parts, a supplier of parts and after-sales services for the farming machinery space. Announced in May, the credit card will be issued by Barclaycard and is designed to support U.K. farming businesses. Users can obtain additional benefits from the card, including an extended interest-free credit period when they make purchases at participating AGCO dealers.
Iron Ox is opening its first fully autonomous production farm and planned to start selling its own produce. The crops are tended by a robot dubbed Angus, a 1,000-pound machine that can lift and move the large hydroponic boxes in which the produce grows, and also has a robotic arm that harvests the produce.