VAYA TROTRO partners Togo Government to drive the nation’s Agricultural Sector.

The Togolose Government has adopted digital technology to boost agricultural production, has announced the launch of interest-free loans to farmers across the West African nation.

The Togolese Government has adopted digital technology to boost agricultural production, has announced the launch of interest-free loans to farmers across the West African nation.

The YOLIM agricultural financing programme is complemented by the partnership between the Togolese Government and VAYA TROTRO that will allow Togolese farmers to hire farm equipment using a mobile phone application. VAYA Technology Limited a Mauritius based company partnered with TROTRO Tractor Limited from Ghana to develop a “shared economy platform” for mechanisation.

Through VAYA TROTRO platform, farmers will have access to services that include ploughing, discing, ripping, planting, boom-spraying, fertiliser spreading, trailer work and mechanized harvesting using their mobile phones.

The “YOLIM” programme (YOLIM means rains and sowing season in the local language) is set to enhance farmers’ digital and financial inclusion by granting them instant access to credit remotely, from a simple mobile phone using USSD technology. The loan, worth 96 000 CFA Francs (≈146 Euros), will be paid directly into the farmer’s mobile wallet in the form of an electronic voucher.

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The farmer, using the USSD code *824#, can immediately use YOLIM to purchase fertiliser, seeds, pesticides, and other inputs from partner stores. The partnership between the Government of Togo and VAYA TROTRO will give YOLIM beneficiaries the convenience to simply dial the USSD code *824# and use their YOLIM credit to rent tractors on a “pay-as-you-go” basis.

So far, 57 483 farmers have already registered for the YOLIM programme to access loans amounting to 5.5 billion CFA Francs (≈8.4M Euros).

Since 2016, the Ministry of Digital Economy has supported the Ministry of Agriculture in various projects by employing digital tools aimed at helping farmers to improve their productivity and quality of products for better yields and higher incomes. By providing farmers with digital credit, the YOLIM programme is a decisive step in the integration of small-holder farmers into the national agricultural value chain. Our partnership with VAYA TROTRO embraces our strategy to introduce digital transformation across the agriculture value chain, increase equipment utilisation and provide transparency on the usage of equipment,” said Cina Lawson, the Minister of Posts, Digital Economy and Technological Innovation.

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Minister of Agriculture, Animal Production and Fisheries, Noël Bataka, said access to credit had previously been a major obstacle for small-holder farmers. “Owing to the seasonality of their activities, these major players in the agricultural value chain require recurring cash flows to fulfil their financial needs. Many of them need money for inputs, mechanisation and other things during the sowing season. However, their income is often insufficient to repay these loans due to the limited investment they can make with the limited resources they have.

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