When Badjane Diouf, a farmer in rural Senegal, was asked what her harvest is like since farming with myAgro, she shared that her harvest tripled from five bags of peanuts to 15 bags in her most recent growing season—enabling her to sell some of her harvest to save money and meet her family's food needs.
Ms. Diouf is one of more than 115,000 smallholder farmers, 60% of them women, who have been able to increase their yields and achieve greater financial security thanks to an innovative, mobile layaway financing model pioneered by myAgro, a Senegal-based company that aims to expand throughout West Africa.
Using pre-paid scratch cards and their mobile phones, farmers can pay small amounts throughout the year toward the purchase of high-quality seeds, fertilizer, and other supplies so that they will have what they need at planting time. They also receive agricultural training and assistance with the mobile platform from local “village entrepreneurs,” who receive training in entrepreneurship and marketing from the company.
During the UNSGSA’s visit to Senegal in June 2022, Ms. Diouf told her, “Feeding my family used to be a real challenge. With myAgro, I have increased both the volume and quality of crops I produce. As a result, I earn more money and no longer worry about food insecurity within my family.”
The Special Advocate also met with another farmer, Samba Dione. Mr. Dione, a peanut farmer, told the UNSGSA that his yield has doubled since he started using myAgro seeds and supplies, and that the layaway model makes payments easy for him.
“myAgro has given me the tools needed to earn a higher level of income. This helps me support 12 people in my family. It also allowed me to invest in livestock, diversifying income streams and providing more financial security,” explained Mr. Dione.
Ms. Diouf agreed that paying gradually throughout the year makes it easier for her to afford the inputs she needs. She shared with UNSGSA that with her expanded harvest of okra, peanut, and millet, she can feed her own family and earn extra money by selling produce at the market. With inputs paid for incrementally, it is easier for her to spend money on other family needs, such as school fees and medicine.
The UNSGSA also met Mame Diarra, a Village Entrepreneur for myAgro. In this role, she helps farmers in rural villages gain access to the program, and tracks registration and payments on the platform. She also uses the company’s mobile app Connect to collect and track data from the farmers, which the company uses to understand their needs and their spending habits. This is particularly important for female farmers, who receive less support and training from governments and the agricultural sector, despite representing a growing proportion of the workforce in West Africa.
“Proximity to the community is key. This allows me to ensure myAgro responds to the needs of clients and results in more productive farming practices. The mobile app Connect is a great way for me to track usage and tailor training accordingly,” said Ms. Diarra.