- On 29 October 2018 /
- door Nick /
- In Agri-Wallet, blockchain, COIN22, digitial finance service, mobile-wallet, yameo
COIN22 is a blockchain platform that is developed by Yameo. We are proud to see that our hard work and customised software is having a positive impact on the world and is helping to solve global issues!
Ad Rietberg (founder of COIN22) is also the instigator of the idea behind Agri-Wallet, a mobile wallet for independent farmers who have little cash and just a small plot of land. The concept works using Blockchain technology. “Using tokens farmers can save, borrow and purchase the materials they need for a better harvest.” This Friday Agri-Wallet will take part in the Finals of the Accenture Innovation Awards in Utrecht, the Netherlands.
Their plots may be relatively small, but together they are many. And their work is of vital importance! Half a billion small-holder farmers together produce a considerable amount of food for an ever-growing global population. Ad: “Unfortunately, a fifth of these farmers has no access to financial resources to improve the productivity of their farm. An improvement of 300%.”
From the beginning…
What is Agri-Wallet?
“Agri-Wallet is a 100% mobile and digital financial service specifically targeted for farmers who run a small business. These farmers can now safely and efficiently lend money. The Agri-Wallet works on every mobile device. In reality most users use old Nokia phones but the Agri-Wallet works just as fine on newer smartphones. The communication runs through simple SMS messages. For example, sending a ? symbol shows you your account balance. We use as many simple symbols for communication since most users possess a low-level of literacy.“
Why don’t the farmers go to an ‘ordinary’ bank?
“Firstly, these farmers cannot offer any collateral for a loan, they have trouble filling in forms and often live too far from any bank offices. This means that for banks it is difficult and too risky, while for farmers it means nothing will change since they cannot get a loan. The convenience of the Agri-Wallet gives that extra stimulus and opportunity so that farmers can purchase fertilisers, crop protection resources or better seeds.“
How do you get the “300%” improvement in harvest?
“I personally saw that Kenyan farmers produced around 600 kilograms of produce per acre, while after buying some relatively simple tools the harvest increased to 1,800 kilograms. By way of comparison: in the Netherlands we produce on average ten times more per hectare compared to African farmers. Imagine if Agri-Wallet reaches all the hundred millions of farmers who do not have access to financial resources, then you literally reap what you sow.“
Why did you start the Agri-Wallet? How did it originate?
“A speciality of COIN22 is the development of mobile wallets. We mainly focus on market segments that are ignored by the major banks. Besides the Agri-Wallet we also have the Edu-Wallet which allows parents to save money for school fees for their children. A contact of mine at Dodore in Kenya asked if we could developed the Agri-Wallet for their farmers. We did this in 2017 together with our partners the Rabobank and the MasterCard Foundation.”
When did you know the Agri-wallet was feasible?
“After the enthusiastic response from our users. Farmers’ cooperatives and NGO’s are now coming to us to use the Agri-Wallet. We now have 20,000 users in Kenya with expansion planned for Rwanda and Bangladesh.”
How can you be sure that the farmers use the money for their business?
“This is where blockchain plays an important role. This ensures that we determine where the money is spent. The user lends and pays with tokens, which are only exchangeable at cooperating organisations and businesses that sell agricultural resources. This prevents the opportunity and temptation to purchase other items such as alcohol or tobacco with the money.“
What do you expect from your participation in the AIA18? Why did you decide to register?
“It is great to be in the final. We decided to register because it gives us some publicity and credibility. Participation in the AIA18 helps us to find new customers. And thanks to the AIA18 we now work together with the World Food Program to introduce the Agri-Wallet to their 1.5 million farmers in 22 countries. We thank AIA18 for this wonderful opportunity!“
What are the challenges for the Agri-Wallet, what could halt your progress?
“Growing without making mistakes is essential now. The Agri-Wallet is very popular now, but we know that the trust we build and can just as quickly be diminished. So we aim to grow quickly but in a careful and controlled manner. The same is with internet banking in the Western World, the Agri-Wallet will grow or fall depending on continuous availability. If the system is regularly down this has a negative influence on the image of the product.”
What kind of trends do you see in the coming years in the markets where Agri-Wallet operates?
“I see financial niche products emerging for specific market segments. Products that are 100% digital and 100% mobile. Because large expensive offices are unnecessary, these will be quickly profitable products. The niche products will be complementary to what the big banks are offering. I don’t think Fin-Tech companies will knock them out of the market in the near future. I see them more in a collaborative role.“
What is your golden tip for innovators?
“Do not start with with an office, software and employees. First discuss your idea with potential customers and test if the idea generates interest. You are more likely to achieve success this way and you save the start-up costs.“