afghan farmers to repay loans using their mobile phones
Afghanistan based mobile network, Roshan has expanded its mobile banking service, M-Paisa so that members of the Eastern Region Fruit Growers Association (EFGA) can repay loans to the Agricultural Development Fund (ADF).
The ADF is a program launched by the Ministry of Agriculture aimed at proving Afghan farmers with access to credit. The ADF was initially established with a US$100 million grant provided by the United States Agency for International Development, and is expected to grow further with contributions from other donors, as well as the Government of Afghanistan itself.
One of the factors constraining loan payments is the distance between rural households and financial institutions; currently, farmers travel long distances to make payments in person. To bridge this distance, approximately 500 farmers, as part of a pilot program, in Kunar, Laghman and Nangarhar, will use M-paisa to make loan repayments, on their mobile phone.
“This partnership with M-Paisa constitutes a unique opportunity to use a technological innovation to facilitate loan repayments by shortening the distance between farmers and financial institutions, reducing their security risk and helps them save time” says Mr. Juan Estrada, Chief of Party of the Agricultural Credit Enhancement (ACE) Program, currently managing the ADF.