Digital Agriculture Webinar Series | Farm to Fork

May 27, 2020

Farm to Fork: How Digital Payments Can Transform Agricultural Supply Chains in Ethiopia

The role and applicability of Digital Payments Systems in mitigating COVID-19 related disruptions in Agribusiness value chains: examples from Ethiopia and Kenya.

The Coronavirus pandemic is having significant disruptive and negative structural and economic impact on countries around the world. This discussion focused on the different ways key actors can push and promote digital, contactless payments and remote banking and the impact it can have on the agriculture sector.

As various restrictions are put in place in response to COVID-19, food remains an essential item and the agriculture sector plays a central role in ensuring that existing supply chains are maintained. Over the last few years, Ethiopia has made important progress in the modernization of the payment system, with a number of technology providers offering digital payment platforms and local banks embracing modern methods of reaching their customer base. Various productivity gains are associated with digitisation and as a sector agriculture is seen as a laggard and behind the curve. Despite positive developments in introducing online banking, mobile banking, p2p and p2b payments; these unprecedented times, may force the agriculture sector to embrace this form of technology to improve efficiency and transparency.

The panelists focused on the push to go digital and the key considerations for the Agricultural sector in Ethiopia

  • Reaching the rural market—scaling beyond the urban hubs and delivering payment solutions.
  • Reliability of the telecoms sector—relying on a single player and agility to provide services offline.
  • Local regulatory framework—robustness and gaps in the legal framework, interoperability, Payment System Proclamation, national payment system and central switch.
  • Applicability in the Agriculture sector-the value proposition of payment systems to different actors in the agriculture value chain.