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Digitization of Agribusiness Payments in Sub-Saharan Africa: A Game-changer for Farmers?

November 18, 2020


If you are farmer in Sub-Saharan Africa (SSA), chances are that the payments you receive for your produce would involve bundles of cash being transported in armored vehicles and held in plastic bags, and many hours spent travelling and waiting in line. Paying farmers in a timely and cost-effective manner for their produce is a challenge that both agribusinesses and farmers are constantly trying to navigate.

In this webinar, the authors will present their report on the digitization of agribusiness payments in Sub-Saharan Africa (SSA) and panelists will exchange views on innovations in agribusiness payment digitization and opportunities going forward.

  • Chair

    Panos Varangis, Global Lead, Agriculture Finance, WBG


    Opening Remarks




    Harish Natarajan, Global Lead, Payment Systems, WBG



    Ajai Nair, Senior Financial Sector Specialist, and Minita Varghese, Financial Sector Consultant, WBG


    Panel Moderator




    Emilio Hernandez, Senior Financial Sector Specialist, CGAP


    Katie Hoard, Global Director of Agricultural Innovation and Sustainability for AB InBev

    Daniele Tricarico, Director of Insights, GSMA AgriTech

    Sidhartha Samal is Vice President, Digital Head for Africa and Middle East for Olam,

    Alfred Njagi, Managing Director, Kenya Tea Development Agency Management Services


    Closing remarks


    Chris Brett, Global Lead, Agribusiness, WBG

  • Image

    Ajai Nair

    Senior Financial Sector Specialist

    Ajai Nair is a Senior Financial Sector Specialist in the Finance, Competitiveness and Innovation Global Practice of the World Bank Group. He works primarily on countries in Sub-Saharan Africa focusing on agriculture finance, SME finance, development banks and financial inclusion. Previously, he managed the Agriculture Finance Support Facility and the Financial Inclusion Support Framework, WBG global initiatives that provided dedicated technical assistance on agriculture finance and financial inclusion respectively. Ajai has graduate degrees in Agricultural Economics from Tamil Nadu Agricultural University and in Public Policy from Princeton University.


    Minita Varghese

    Financial Sector Consultant

    Minita Varghese is a Financial Sector Consultant in the Finance, Competitiveness and Innovation Global Practice of the World Bank Group. She works primarily on countries in Sub-Saharan Africa and focuses on digital financial services, impact assessment and financial inclusion. Prior to this, Minita worked for Innovations for Poverty Action in Dhaka, Bangladesh. She has a graduate degree in Economics from Warwick University.


    Daniele Tricario

    Lead at AgriTech programme at the GSMA

    Daniele Tricario leads the insights and research work stream for the AgriTech programme at the GSMA, the global association of the mobile industry uniting more than 750 operators with over 350 companies in the mobile ecosystem. Daniele and his group of work produce industry analysis and intelligence to support service providers with their digital agriculture initiatives, focusing on emerging use cases, business models and social impact opportunities. Prior to joining the GSMA, Daniele was a telecoms analyst at Pyramid Research and Informa Telecoms & Media. Daniele holds an MSc in new media and information systems from the London School of Economics and an MA from the University of Bologna.


    Katie Hoard

    Global Director of Agricultural Innovation and Sustainability for AB InBev

    Katie Hoard is the Global Director of Agricultural Innovation and Sustainability for AB InBev based in Leuven, Belgium. In her role, Katie is responsible for the global strategy to achieve the AB InBev Smart Agriculture 2025 Goal and the growth of sustainable agricultural supply chains through partnerships and the development of innovative solutions for AB InBev’s agricultural development programs, including the global SmartBarley platform (smartbarley.com). Prior to joining AB InBev, Katie worked in politics and commodities regulation in Washington, DC. She earned a Bachelor’s degree in International Finance from the University of Arkansas, a Master’s degree in Comparative Politics from the London School of Economics, and an MBA from Columbia Business School in New York.


    Sidhartha Samal

    Vice President, Digital Head for Africa and Middle East for Olam

    Sidhartha Samal is Vice President, Digital Head for Africa and Middle East for Olam, a leading food & agri-business company with presence in over 60 countries. Prior to this role, he has been a career marketer and has worked for leading brands like Airtel, Hewlett Packard in India and Olam’s Packaged Foods Business in Nigeria. He has championed digital marketing initiatives in Nigeria including a series of advertising campaigns with Mark Angel comedy which generated more than 50 Million+ views in YouTube & Facebook. In his current role he interacts with farmers, traders, consumers, start-ups across different parts of Africa. He uses that understanding to develop digital products which are tailor made for Africa. He can be reached on twitter @sidsamal


    Alfred Njagi

    Managing Director at Kenya Tea Development Agency Management Services Ltd

    Alfred Njagi is the Managing Director at Kenya Tea Development Agency Management Services Ltd. This company manages the tea business on behalf of over 600 thousand small holder tea farmers in Kenya who own 69 factories that process over 300 thousand metric tons of tea annually. Mr. Njagi has 28 years experience in tea management, holds a Master’s degree in Business Administration (MBA) and a Bachelor of Science degree in Agriculture from the University of Nairobi


    Emilio Hernandez

    Emilio Hernandez explores digital financial solutions for last-mile clients. He leads work on inclusive digital distribution networks and the impact financial inclusion has on poor people’s lives. He provides technical guidance to better understand the financial behavior and needs of underserved client groups, like smallholder families, and to experiment with providers on innovative strategies and products that meet those needs. Before joining CGAP, Mr. Hernandez led technical cooperation programs focused on inclusive rural and agricultural finance at the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations overseeing field interventions in Latin America, Africa, and Asia. He also oversaw business operations for a large international agricultural technology company throughout Central America. He has a Doctorate degree in Agricultural Economics and Development Finance from The Ohio State University.