TBL partners with Vodacom to launch BanQu, digitizing procurement of raw materials from farmers

TANZANIA – Tanzania Breweries Limited (TBL), a subsidiary of AB InBev, has partnered with Vodacom Tanzania to launch BanQu, a block-chain economic-identify technology solution, aimed to foster transparency and traceability along its supply chain.

The platform will be highly beneficial to both the drink maker and its raw material suppliers i.e., farmers, b6y availing immutable digital record of their financial transactions and ease mode of payments.

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To this end, Vodacom’s mobile money service, M-Pesa, is integrated on the purchasing platform, BanQu, enabling direct deposit of payment by TBL to farmers’ M-Pesa accounts.

Farmers do not need a sophisticated gadgets to access the platform as it has a USSD/SMS functionality.

Alternatively, farmers can register by creating a user ID on BanQu that can later be linked to a phone,” the two companies said in a joint statement yesterday.

The BanQu platform records all transactions between TBL and farmers and presenting it in form of a digital ledger known as an ‘economic passport’.

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“The ledger will describe every agricultural cycle from input to harvest. It will keep a transparent and traceable payment history of every kilogramme of the crops sold and provide usefully, quality metrics to improve productivity and business practices,” the companies say.

According to TBL’s country director Jose Moran the platform provides the company with access to a digitally secured (and privacy compliant) record of members, a detailed record of sales and purchases tracked and traced to an individual farmer as well as a summary of payments and inventory of harvest or inputs.

“Through BanQu, we are now able to ensure that our farmers constantly have access to solutions and insights that will help them make informed decisions.

“The platform has been created to protect farmers, extend opportunities for financial inclusion through our partners Vodacom Tanzania Plc, enhance transparency, and ultimately drive inclusive economic growth,” he said.

Vodacom Tanzania Plc managing director Sitholizwe Mdlalose said the partnership was in line with M-Pesa’s goal of contributing toward financial inclusion and facilitating digital payments in Tanzania.

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“M-Pesa’s main objective is to facilitate digital payments as well as connect the otherwise unbanked onto some formal financial system.

“This partnership with BanQu ensures that these farmers are connected and can make use of our M-Pesa platforms to not only to receive payments but also to save, transfer and access micro-credit to increase their productivity,” said Mr Sitholizwe.

BanQu has already connected over 5,000 farmers to the TBL value chain, including; grapes, sorghum, and barley farmers who were connected during the technical integration and pilot done in last December.

TBL sources 74 percent of its raw materials locally and seeks to ensure that 100 percent of its direct farmers are skilled, connected, and financially empowered by 2025.

In other related news, TBL has signed a Memorandum of Understanding with Mwananchi Communications Limited (MCL), a subsidiary of Nation Media Group in Tanzania, to raise awareness on initiatives that mitigate the effects of climate change.

As per the MoU the parties will undertake a series of public and professional events to develop awareness of climate change and the importance of a deeper analysis of the possible impacts of the scourge to connect citizen science communities in Africa as a whole.

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