Kathmandu, April 11
The United Nations Capital Development Fund (UNCDF)’s Mobile Money for Poor (MM4P) programme has partnered with Sun Farmer Nepal and Prabhu Management to implement the innovative project that will enhance farmers’ income by integrating digital technology in agricultural value chains.
This partnership aims to facilitate the farmers to buy quality inputs to bring transformation in production of crops and vegetables and help them link with the market.
UNCDF believes that transformation in the agriculture sector and improvement in livelihoods of rural smallholder farmers is possible through the use of advanced technologies. With support from UNCDF, Sun Farmer Nepal in partnership with Prabhu Management will help farmers dramatically increase their income with modern agricultural solutions and digital finance.
Farmers will get support in infrastructure (irrigation and processing), quality inputs, training on cultivation of high-value crops and improving linkages to the market, as per UNCDF country office.
Launched in 2014, Sun Farmer Nepal is a renewable energy solution company that provides solar-powered irrigation solution to help farmers increase their productivity and income. The company will sell farmers products via a co-owned company jointly set up by Sun Farmer Nepal and partner farmers.
Prabhu Management is a sister company and the agent network manager for Prabhu Money Transfer and has one of the largest distribution networks with more than 3,500 agents in rural areas, mainly in saving and credit cooperatives.
UNCDF MM4P will support Sun Farmer to implement an innovative community-owned contract farming model driven on digital innovations. The solution will include pay-as-you-go solar pumps, a state-of-the-art agriculture market intelligence system for farmers and access to finance for agriculture inputs, logistics and sales. Prabhu Management, with its vast rural agent network, will provide the distribution infrastructure for financial services.
Agriculture is the primary sector of the Nepali economy. It employs 66 per cent of the population and contributes 35 per cent to the country’s GDP. Most of the farmers own small plots of land, where they grow subsistence crops and vegetables using traditional farming practices with limited access to finance for buying high quality inputs, which is one of the main reasons for low agriculture productivity.
A version of this article appears in print on April 12, 2018 of The Himalayan Times.