Kilimo Maendeleo is using FinTech to transform Agriculture. 40 Days 40 FinTechs Tanzania Day Two

On Day Two of the inaugural 40 Days 40 FinTechs initiative for Tanzania, we bring to you the fascinating story of Kilimo Maendeleo; an AgriTech and Fintech company operating as a social enterprise engaged in innovating business solutions for rural enterprises and rural livelihood with a special focus on small & medium scale farmers.

Kilimo Maendeleo provides value chain management services in digitization, communication and integration; smart weighing scale solutions and farmer wallets for visa cards and Umoja switch networks.

According to Mathew Ngwahi, the founder and CEO of Kilimo Maendeleo, the company basically solves the problem of disintegration within the value chains.

“Most of the actors are working in silos. Therefore, it is very difficult to know what is happening across the value chains. We don’t have information that will help to do targeted investment and solve some of the problems collectively in those spaces,” Ngwahi said.

He added: “Our platform offers solutions for farmers. We onboard farmers as a key that enables other enterprises to connect with them and offer them services. Banks can offer them credit services while Input Suppliers can offer them inputs. We also aggregate the farmers and deliver for them huge quantities of input in bulk and at discounted rates.”

The company’s core products and services include KM360, Longa, Cross Border, Mazao, Stawisha, Stawi, API Integration and Jembe Pesa.

Jembe Pesa is a payment platform with farmer wallets, peer-to-peer, Till, bulk payment, Jembecard (Visa & Umoja switch network), insurance products, and loan products and provides integration to banks for individual accounts opening and loan management.

“With Jembe Pesa, we have digital loans for farmers. Time is a factor in agriculture and these digital loans come in handy. Jembe Pesa score engine scores farmers and decides how much a farmer can access as instant digital credit. These loans are accessible through both the USSD and the Jembe Pesa APP. Most of the farmers use feature phones not smartphones and that is why we have a USSD code in place.” Ngwahi explained.

Kilimo Maendeleo has so far enrolled more than 88,000 farmers in Tanzania and some 1,000 sunflower farmers in Uganda, onboarded four banks whilst working to complete partnerships with ten more banks in 2024.

Kilimo Maendeleo is the second participant in the 40 Days 40 FinTechs initiative for Tanzania. First implemented in Uganda, 40 Days 40 FinTechs is an annual FinTech Innovation initiative presented by HiPipo to recognize and celebrate individuals and organizations who are making significant strides in promoting financial inclusivity through the use of technology.

It is aimed at promoting innovation and collaboration among FinTechs in Africa. The initiative is designed to provide FinTechs and startups with mentorship, training, exposure, and networking opportunities to help them grow and scale their businesses.

Ngwahi noted that Tanzania’s FinTech Industry is at its infancy stage with good movements to make the environment more conducive with a better regulatory environment.

“FinTech regulations are coming up and we have been involved. As such 40 Days 40 FinTechs initiative is a perfect way to go about improving the regulatory and business landscape for FinTechs. Without having these conversations, it is very difficult to know what FinTechs need to flourish. Initiatives like these must be more and should come up with some policy briefs for governments to consider. This space is filled with young people and Africa is the youngest continent so you can imagine how important this conversation is right now and how it can help young people to be more innovative and get employed in the innovation space,” Ngwahi said. 

40 Days 40 FinTechs initiative Tanzania is part of HiPipo’s broader Include EveryOne Program that is generously supported by the Gates Foundation and implemented in partnership with Level One Project, ICTC Tanzania, Ideation Corner, Cyber PLC Academy, INFITX, NG Films, Founders Academy and Mojaloop Foundation.

The Include EveryOne program is a beacon of acceleration of FinTech Innovation, empowerment for Women in FinTech and a catalyst for investment and development in the ICT sector. Minus 40 Days 40 FinTechs, other initiatives under the Include EveryOne Program are the FinTech Landscape Exhibition, Women in FinTech Hackathon, Summit and Incubator, Digital Impact Awards Africa and the Digital and Financial Inclusion Summit. HiPipo is recognized as a premier advocate of digital Innovation and financial inclusion champion, a fervent proponent of the #LevelOneProject. HiPipo has been at the forefront, actively promoting digital innovation, Instant, Inclusive Payment Systems (IIPS), and DFS across Africa. With a legacy of advising, mobilizing, and facilitating the adoption of inclusive financial services, HiPipo’s efforts have been nothing short of transformative! For almost two decades, HiPipo has successfully facilitated the inclusive adoption of these crucial services.