By Mark Kawalya
Agro-input traders in Uganda have something to smile about. EzyAgric, an agro-based startup, has entered into a partnership with Pezesha, an Africa-focused fintech, to offer agro-inputs merchants Buy Now Pay Later (BNPL) services.
EzyAgric was founded in 2015 by Esther Karwera, and George Luyinda as an agtech firm that leverages ICT to deliver production and marketing services to farmers. The firm digitizers value chains of agribusinesses that directly deal with farmers. Using its digital platform, EzyAgric bridges the information and service delivery gaps between farmers in agribusinesses by relying on its well-established network of community-centered agricultural service providers.
Agro-input distributors will be able to access inventory financing using BNPL through short-term credit facilities, which will enable them to buy genuine inputs through the EzyAgric platform.
Based on the just-in-time financing model, merchants are able to access immediate working capital and boost their inventory numbers, in preparation for the anticipated demand as farmers prepare for the new planting season in Uganda.
George Luyinda, EzyAgric’s CEO, said, “As demand for Buy Now Pay Later services grows in Uganda, our customers have made it clear that the agriculture sector should not be excluded from the wave that is heralding more inclusive financial services in the country. The merchants and farmers trusting EzyAgric to deliver quality farm inputs to them want greater choice and more flexible payment options whenever they shop with us.”
Recently, Pezesha raised $11 million to increase its footprint in East Africa and penetrate the West African market.
Luyinda added that “Having Pezesha’s rock-solid digital lending infrastructure integrated within EzyAgric means that we can act quickly to meet the needs of the underserved agro-focused small-to-medium-sized businesses (SMBs) in Uganda while increasing our own user retention and profitability.”
Jessica Tusiime, Pezesha’s Operations Lead in Uganda, said, “We are excited about our partnership with EzyAgric to provide inventory needs and working capital to their merchants. These merchants are underserved as they are not able to access affordable credit due to their being scattered in rural areas and limited information to determine their ability to repay loans. With an already developed digital merchant network on a single platform – EzyAgric; Pezesha Uganda is now able to serve a wide range of merchants. Access to our convenient and affordable loans will enable the merchants to stock critical seasonal inputs ahead of farming seasons. “