Insights into the operational challenges of digitizing a coffee value chain in rural areas
This paper tells the story of how the United Nations Mobile Money for the Poor (MM4P) team in Uganda worked with exporter Kyagalanyi Coffee Limited (KCL) to digitize one of the country’s most important cash crops: coffee. In addition to addressing the complex dynamics of digitizing agricultural value chains, the paper illustrates how seven organizations from different sectors embarked on a three-year journey to digitize Uganda’s coffee value chain. The solutions they built and lessons they learned have fueled the digitization of several other agricultural value chains in Uganda—particularly, tea, dairy, and maize. Their work helped to build a foundation that enables greater financial inclusion of smallholder farmers by increasing financial participation of farmers, traders, off-takers, and exporters in the formal economy.
The paper addresses several questions, including:
Why digitize? Will it bring greater financial inclusion for the poor?
What level of market readiness is needed to make this happen?
How should a digitization solution be implemented?