Verve International has signed a partnership agreement with the United Bank for Africa to deliver cost-effective prepaid cards to farmers under the Zambian Ministry of Agriculture’s FISP programme.
It was gathered that as part of the partnership deal, UBA will issue Verve prepaid cards in the next season of the Farmers Input Support Programme, an agricultural subsidy initiative of the government to help farmers purchase agricultural inputs like fertiliser, seed and chemicals at subsidised costs.
A statement by Verve said, “Through the programme, the government intends to boost food production in the country by funding the cards issued to each farmer with $170, while the farmers contribute $40 towards the purchase of farm inputs.
“While many farmers in the country have benefited from the programme since it started in 2015, the government plans to extend it even further with more than one million farmers expected to receive over $290m in funding during the 2017/18 season.
“In order to help the government combat the challenges of high cost of card issuance and transaction as well as the issue of accountability and transparency, which have plagued the scheme for long, Verve has been contracted to provide its superior technology and affordable cards solution through commercial banks and other financial institutions in Zambia.”
Sharing his thoughts on the partnership, Mike Ogbalu, the Chief Executive Officer, Verve International, said, “Partnering UBA on the FISP programme is a huge milestone for us. We are really excited to work with Smart Zambia, UBA and other banks, farmers, agro-dealers and other stakeholders to ensure that the subsidy programme runs efficiently and achieves its objective of boosting food production in Zambia.”