At hiveonline, we work with incredible and inspirational people that help us achieve our projects’ goals’ and who are our presence on the field, during these times when travel is restricted. To highlight their contributions and showcase the people behind our projects, we would like to share their stories and experiences, starting with Natalino Barnete.
Hiveonline is currently collaborating with the Association for the Promotion of Modern Cooperatives in Mozambique (AMPCM), an NGO in Mozambique, to help small-scale farmers make good financial decisions and give them access to finance from the formal financial system through mycoop.online.
We would like to introduce you to Natalino, who is one of the regional coordinators from AMPCM and in contact with the communities, in which farmers associations are formed. Natalino is responsible for the testing of MyCoop in Mozambique and the coordination of partners.
Why do you believe in your work and the usefulness of MyCoop for the communities?
“We have to get more digitized. The farmers need a platform to increase their access to finance and thus, productivity. Mycoop gives them this opportunity through trust and commitments”. Right now, he doesn’t see an alternative to build trust of often illiterate farmers to the formal financial system. He says tech is always a challenge in rural areas, where factors such as a high illiteracy rate, the lack of access to internet and the need for regular meetings in a cooperative are high. With MyCoop, farmers are provided with phones and tablets in their cooperatives.
The farmers participating in this project are mostly farming cashews and groundnuts. Cooperatives provide them with training and mostly a community, in which they can share their experiences. Everyone can be part of a cooperative. The benefits for the farmers include the cooperation between the members of the platform to plan the farming season and a system based on ratings and trust. Right now, the price of cashew nuts, for example, is decreasing and financial communication helps the cooperatives to make informed decisions.
Before joining AMPCM, Natalino worked in South Africa with associations of farmers. He likes to work with cooperatives, to advise them, connect them to buyers and work towards Financial Inclusion. Natalino supervises 65 cooperatives, of which the number of members varies between 30 – 2000 farmers. In their office in Nampula, he works with a team of 10, coordinating the activities on the ground.