MiKashboks, a committed savings scheme that allows farmers to save via mobile money to purchase crop inputs, has received a grant of US $ 50,000 from the United Nations Capital Development Fund’s (UNCDF) Mobile Money for the Poor (MM4P).
UNCDF is the United Nation’s (UN) capital investment agency that is present in the 48 least developed countries (LDCs) in the world. It creates new opportunities for poor people and their communities by increasing access to microfinance and investment capital.
UNCDF’s MM4P program aims to work with banks, mobile network operators, regulators and users of Digital Financial Services (DFS) to reach millions of the unbanked population in the LDCs. Under the grant agreement, MiKashBoks would be developing the first version of the product’s prototype and piloting it for a minimum period of six months in Sierra Leone. The aim of the pilot would be to reach a minimum of 200 farmers, and to figure out ways in which the product can be further improved to provide critical financial services to unbanked farmers in the country.
MiKashBoks is the first ever mobile money linked committed savings scheme that has been launched in Sierra Leone. Similar products have been successfully launched in other developing countries in East Africa. We are excited at the prospect of working with the UNCDF and expanding the financial safety net to underserved small-holder farmers in Sierra Leone.