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Digital Financial Services in Uganda: Uganda’s Tea Payments Profile

Uganda experiences the favourable climate that is necessary for tea growing. Tea growing was introduced during the colonial days, and by the mid-1950s, tea production and export had made tea Uganda’s main estate crop. Today, tea is Uganda’s second largest foreign export earner (after coffee), with over 21,000 hectares of land dedicated to its growth and harvest. The tea sector produces over 10,000 metric tons of tea per annum, about 90 percent of which is exported.

Upon learning that one of the tea companies, drops money from moving aircraft over its tea estate in order to pay its workers, a Mobile Money for the Poor (MM4P) team together with Vital Wave, a consulting firm with bulk payment experience and expertise, conducted a three-day visit to explore the Ugandan tea industry and the potential for digital financial services (DFS) within the tea value chain. This MM4P Briefing Note discusses the key findings.

The UN Capital Development Fund makes public and private finance work for the poor in the world’s 47 least developed countries (LDCs). With its capital mandate and instruments, UNCDF offers “last mile” finance models that unlock public and private resources, especially at the domestic level, to reduce poverty and support local economic development.

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