ETHIOPIA – Green Agro Solutions, an agribusiness service provider in Ethiopia offering a one stop shop for farming solution, has on-board the services of Commercial Bank of Ethiopia (CBE) on its digital platform known as Lersha to enable farmers carry out secure and efficient financial transactions.

Lersha is a digital platform that gives rural farmers access to information and services pertaining to their agricultural practices. In addition, it enables farmers to procure raw materials and machinery.

Weather forecasts, pest detection, advisory service and mechanisation equipment to help the farmers increase their productivity are among the kinds of information dispensed.

The platform combines a mobile application, a call centre, and Lersha agents to facilitate farmers’ transactions and offer timely and critical advisory services, reports Addis Fortune.

With the current partnership, CBE’s Birr platform will be incorporated in Lersha where farmers can easily make their payments to suppliers via the platform eliminating the risks associated with carrying large amounts of money to buy materials.

Also, the money in circulation is monitored by the bank and it will increase cash deposits by farmers encouraging financial inclusion and financing.

The application is currently available in three languages including Amharic, English and Afaan Oromo.

The partnership will enable farmers make payments to suppliers via the platform eliminating the risks associated with carrying large amounts of money

Other than partnering with CBE, Green Agro is also working with the Ministry of Agriculture, GIZ and the International Maize & Wheat Improvement Centre, among others, to facilitate their reach to the small-holder farmers in the country.

Green Agro Solutions has previously partnered with Techno Brain to provide digital insights to over 100,000 small farmers in Arsi Zone who produce malting barley.

The platform is currently working with 145 Lersha agents, 32 mechanisation service providers, over 35,000 smallholder farmers and 250 development agents.

Additionally,10 farm service centres supplying herbicides, pesticides, fertiliser and seeds and 88 CBE Birr agents have also been added to the service.

In other related news, aWhere, the provider of agricultural weather data and analytics, announced a new agreement with the government of Kenya.

Under the partnership, the Kenya Agricultural & Livestock Research Organization (KALRO) will gain use of aWhere’s 6,787 virtual weather stations in the country for the next two years to provide advanced weather data and analytics that support climate-smart agricultural decisions as Kenya adapts to climate change.

KALRO launched a pioneering weather services platform in 2020, the Kenya Agriculture Observatory Platform (KAOP) to provide real-time access to local weather forecasts, observed rainfall and temperatures to inform farm operations.

The platform also offers the ratio of precipitation to potential evapotranspiration (P/PET) that indicates if a crop is under water stress. These are critically important inputs for farmers dependent on rainfed agriculture.

“We are pleased to build on the past success of the Kenya Agriculture Observatory Platform to ensure farmers across the country have access to the latest weather forecast and know the amount of rainfall their farms have received to maximize their production and profitability against the backdrop of increased weather variability Kenyan farmers have experienced this past decade,” said Boniface O. Akuku, Director ICT, Kenya Agricultural & Livestock Research Organization (KALRO).

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