Liberia’s economy and agriculture sector is on the threshold of a new dawn following the pro-development policies of Liberian President Ellen Johnson-Sirleaf led government which recently formed a strategic alliance with Cellulant Corporation, a pan-African mobile and digital commerce operator, which is supporting Liberia’s social and economic reconstruction agenda.
The West African nation’s dogged mission to build a resilient, modern economy is beginning to yield positive results as
President Johnson-Sirleaf and the Government of Liberia last week celebrated the registration of 80,000 farmers into the Liberian Agriculture Transformation Agenda (LATA) program, which was launched a month ago with the support of the African Development Bank.
Mobile technology provided by Cellulant is the core of this program which seeks to transform Liberia’s agricultural sector and boost its economic and financial inclusion credentials.
Cellulant which is the leading digital and mobile technology company currently operating in over 12 African countries is providing the electronic wallet technology which is being deployed by the Liberian authorities to inject much needed productivity into the country’s agriculture and agri-allied sectors.
The LATA scheme connects recipients of agricultural inputs (fertilizers and seeds) to financial services providers via mobile wallets.
This new technology can map existing farms and tag them to their owners in a unique database.
The program’s econometric model is able to forecast the amount of input support needed from the collected information (land size, crop type, demand).
This partnership with the Liberian authorities which seeks to transform Liberia’s agriculture value chain using mobile technology further reinforces Cellulant’s reputation as a promoter of economic and financial inclusion and technology innovation across Africa.
Gradually emerging out of its Ebola-induced economic recession, Liberia is eager to promote innovation and fast track growth in mining and particularly agriculture, a crucial economic and social development sector for Liberia, where about 10% of the adult population already subscribe to mobile money accounts.
Liberia despite being richly endowed with water, mineral resources, forests and a climate favorable to agriculture, remains a low income economy, and adjudged to be one of the poorest nations in the world, with a population of about 4.3 million people.
Whilst GDP growth for 2014 and 2015 stood at 0.7% and 0.5% respectively, it is projected to recover to about 3.9% in 2016, as more rural and urban sections of the country open up to commercial activity.
“There is no doubt that Liberia is coming out of the doldrums and creativity and technology innovation will be a key aspect of this journey into the future,”Bolaji Akinboro, CEO of Cellulant Nigeria Ltd said.
“I am particularly pleased that African governments are waking up to the benefits of Cellulant’s eWallet services and solutions. Clearly, the work that started in Nigeria in 2011/2012 is now a force for change within the agriculture sector across Africa.”
The LATA program leverages on a similar technology provided by Cellulant to the Nigerian agriculture sector four years ago.
Cellulant widely adjudged as probably the most innovative digital platform supplier to the agri-business in Africa, continues to build on its multi-country knowledge and expertise to develop digital technology systems and solutions which are appropriate to the extant realities of agricultural ecosystems across the continent.
For this Liberia eWallet scheme, Cellulant will support the Liberian government’s ongoing Smallholder Agricultural Productivity Enhancement andCommercialization (SAPEC) Project, which is expected to capture and incorporate the activities of 150,000 Liberian farmers before the end of the current 2016 planting season.
From a simple wallet in their homes and rural locations, farmers will be able to directly receive input support for their fertilizers, get relevant data and alerts, become visible in the agro-economic value chain and simply exist in the financial system.
In a parallel arrangement, the SAPEC Project will also promote SME financing by allowing agro-dealers to receive funding from commercial banks through a risk-sharing agreement with the Liberian Government.
Economists expect interest rates on lending to drop several points, boosting microcredit, as result of this scheme.
The African Development Bank, in a recent statement, said these innovative programs will usher in wider financial services in Liberia, further encouraging premium insurance, microcredit and a savings culture.
Further commenting on the landmark development from the Nairobi, Kenya head office of Cellulant Corporation, Ken Njoroge, group CEO for Cellulant, said: “This is a deeply gratifying moment in history for Liberia and for Cellulant…Bringing onboard over 80,000 farmers within just one month of the commencement of the nation-wide agricultural transformation program is surely a milestone for the government and good people of Liberia.”
“Liberia now joins a fast growing list of progressive institutions and public sector authorities across Africa deploying appropriate technology to foment positive outcomes for their agriculture ecosystem,” Njoroge said.
Cellulant is a pioneering enterprise digital services provider in Africa.
The company’s reputation and 14-year track record deploying be-spoke technology solutions for public and private sector institutions across Africa is well known by financial and technology industry cognoscenti.