Nuru Burkina Faso Supports Financial Inclusion with Mobile Money
USAID-funded TIFR project launches financial inclusion programming for farmer cooperatives in the South-Central and Central Plateau regions of Burkina Faso
Nuru Burkina Faso, in partnership with USAID through the TILIGRE Initiative for Farmers’ Resilience (TIFR) project, promotes economic growth and self-reliance in Burkina Faso by increasing household incomes for farmers and supporting livelihood diversification. As part of this effort, this summer, TIFR launched financial inclusion training activities with farmer cooperatives.
Building Cooperative Capacities
TIFR provides cooperatives with tailored tools and resources to support their growth and transforms informal farmer groups into professional, sustainable businesses. Thriving cooperatives are crucial to ensuring a sustainable pathway out of poverty for their farmer members.
Earlier this year, TIFR organized discussion sessions with cooperative leaders and village committee presidents to discuss digitizing financial systems, beginning with making a shift to mobile money. In addition to these local leaders, representatives of Orange Money, a mobile money application, also attended to explain the advantages, procedures and possible risks of mobile money. Through this meeting, TIFR was able to gather information regarding community concerns, and learn how to best support the cooperative and village leaders through this transition.
Why Mobile Money?
Mobile money offers both farmer members and their cooperatives an ease of accessibility and more security, as loose cash can be stolen or get misplaced. Additionally, cooperatives utilizing mobile money applications are better equipped to build trust among members through their transparency, as finances are easily traceable. Cooperatives will use the mobile money to track member fees and receive payment from buyers. Once payments are received, profits from the sale of crops will be distributed to farmer members through their mobile money application. “Money transfer via electronic applications is secure and solves the problem of cash flow, loss or theft, especially for cooperative members,” says Mr. Nabaloum, a TIFR project-supported cooperative member.
Participants expressed their satisfaction, total agreement, and support for the financial inclusion project. The mobile money transfer service is secure (as it prevents money loss and theft), fast, and available 24 hours a day, equipping member farmers to make transactions at any time, easily accessing money to manage financial emergencies.
Despite the accessibility and customer service features provided by Orange Money, farmer members voiced their concerns about network accessibility. Their villages–like many remote, rural locations–experience unforeseen connectivity disruptions that can impact both communications and financial transactions.
Farmer cooperative leaders were pleased with the exchanges with Nuru Burkina Faso and the services providers. The leaders weighed both the opportunities and challenges and intend to adopt mobile money, which will ultimately support their cash flow, with better financial management tools and transparency in spending.
Aïdara is the Marketing and Communication Associate for Nuru Burkina Faso.Read More Stories of Hope