Innovative tools for the financial and social inclusion of african farmers
Anchored in the territories in which it operates and participating in the financing of the major players in African agriculture, Societe Generale Group is convinced that improving the value of agricultural sectors is a major challenge for the African continent. To this end, facilitating direct access to financing for the various players in the value chain - small farmers, cooperatives and agribusiness SMEs - is a territory to be explored that requires innovative approaches to implement.
Societe Generale has a solid and historic presence in Africa with 17 universal banking subsidiaries. Also, the commitment to the sustainable development of the continent is part of the Group’s strategic plan and is materialized by the "Grow with Africa" initiative.
The agricultural sector contributes to a major part of the wealth produced on the continent and is the primary source of employment. Societe Generale has long been the banking partner of many local and international players in the sector. The Group wants to pursue this commitment by broadening its scope of intervention. The priority objective is now to address all stakeholders in the sector: farmers, whatever their size, cooperatives and small and medium-sized agribusinesses.
An original partnership
In order to reach this new and unexplored clientele, the Group has implemented a strategy based on the service it offers to its major agribusiness customers, as part of the dematerialization of their cash flows throughout the value chain, thus enabling access to producers. This is made possible thanks to YUP, an e-wallet created by Societe Generale.
YUP has been used, for example, in a partnership with Mambo Commodities, one of the major players in the cotton industry in Burkina Faso and a Societe Generale client. More than 27,000 planters, customers of Mambo Commodities, have used YUP to dematerialize their cash flows.
Planters can now pay directly for their inputs supplied by Mambo Commodities to the 129 Mambo distributors who have become Yup agents deployed nearby and benefit from all the offer made available. The adoption of electronic money for the payment of inputs, and perhaps tomorrow cotton, decreases the exchange of cash, eliminating the logistics that came with it and the associated security issues.
An advantageous solution
YUP is a tool that only requires the availability of a cell phone. Easy to access, the wallet has the advantage of being able to be used by unbanked rural populations for their daily activities, but also to access health services, pay electricity bills, receive aid, etc. It is a tool for financial and social inclusion of unbanked populations.
The YUP platform has also been used in the framework of an agreement with NGOs and United Nations System Organizations involved in humanitarian work. Since 2018, aid, in the form of grants, is regularly paid directly to small farmers, without going through intermediary structures.
A potential to be exploited
Building on its successful experience in Burkina Faso, Societe Generale Group intends to continue developing the use of YUP in other sectors in Africa (cocoa, cashew nuts, pineapple, etc.), by relying on local partners. The objective is to support actors wishing to contribute to the local valorisation of agricultural production, including food crops, by offering rapid execution and complete traceability of payments. These new uses will also allow to comply with the Corporate Social Responsibility requirements.
The platform also offers the possibility of developing banking and non-banking services different from those used in the traditional banking system. Indeed, the data collected from the transactions carried out allows for the analysis of payment behaviour and the establishment of scores. YUP illustrates the potential of new financial tools, made possible by the explosion of new technologies in Africa.
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