hiveonline is excited to announce that we are partnering with the Mozambican Association for the Promotion of Modern Cooperatives (AMPCM) and Det Kongelige Selskap for Norges Vel for the development of a digital solution for cooperatives in the Cashew Industry in Mozambique. We have been hard at work developing a proof of concept for the Cooperatives Module over the earlier part of this year and are now in the early stages of the first phase of the project.
The Cooperatives Module builds on the success of Cashew Connect I (CCI), a two-year programme (2016-2018) with the INCAJU, NorgesVel, and Technoserve. CCI made significant strides in digitizing the cashew sector and onboarded over 100,000 farmers into the CC system. Cashew Connect II aims at expanding the project, onboarding more farmers, and fostering overall sector digitalization.
In the design of CCII, stakeholders derived from project evaluations the potential benefits to developing a “Cooperatives Module” which would enhance farmer aggregation through Cooperative and Farmers Association management and formalization.
In addition to low aggregation, financing constraints across all levels of stakeholders have demonstrated to be the top barrier to the growth of the cashew sector. However, this difficulty is particularly acute at the level of small scale farmers. Linked to the lack of access to financial institutions and credit, is low access to savings, insurance or pensions, and a lack of structured financial products that can help farmers manage revenue peaks and troughs through the year. Farmers lose harvest profits to middle-men that could be retained if farmers aggregated through Cooperatives or Associations.
The hiveonline digital solution for cooperatives aims to establish identity, aggregation, and reputation scoring leading to the professionalization of the sector at the smallholder producer level through a ‘virtuous cycle’ of inputs and expanded production capacity. Longer-term, the digital money through the platform will provide a smoother experience for farmers, enabling them to transact digitally and enhancing transparency.
This week, hiveonline partner AMPCM has been visiting and interviewing cooperatives in line with COVID-19 restrictions in order to select those to take part in the pilot of the program. We are excited to be moving from the research phase and moving into implementing and developing our solution in partnership with the cooperatives to deliver value in time for the September cashew harvest.