A Look at SA Startup Wala’s Plans to Lend $10M in Crypto-Tokens to Sub-Saharan Farmers

Updated on 26 March 2018

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Dala, a crypto-token that enables instant, zero-fee, borderless micropayments, and Wala, a blockchain-powered financial services provider, will provide 100,000,000 Dala token loans (equivalent to $10M USD) to 50,000 smallholder farmers starting in Uganda to purchase fertilizer, and in time, the same will be provided to local farmers in South Africa, Republic of Congo, Malawi, Zambia and Zimbabwe.

The launch is in partnership with Block Commodities Limited, a commodity trader operating across Africa and FinComEco Limited, a fully integrated financial and commodities ecosystem fostering financial inclusion with social responsibility throughout the agricultural value chain.

The first of its kind partnership will develop and operate a range of platforms, projects and initiatives in the agricultural commodity markets sector in sub-Saharan Africa.

It’s a giant step in the right direction to tackle and solve the financial inclusion problem that impacts half the world’s population

Access to financing

According a Wala press release, the goal is to empower smallholder farmers with fertilizer to maximize the value of their agricultural output by providing access to financing and tracking their commodities through blockchain technology platforms. The partnership provides a solution to the lack of affordable and accessible financial services faced by many in the industry.

“This is a huge opportunity and potential reset for finance in Africa, and we are very excited to be a part of this,” said Chris Cleverly, CEO of Block Commodities Limited. “It’s a giant step in the right direction to tackle and solve the financial inclusion problem that impacts half the world’s population.”

A collaborative effort

The partnership which enables agricultural finance on the blockchain will be enhanced by existing Dala and Wala partnerships with Mvendr, a mobile point-of-sale service for small merchants, and Spazapp, an ecommerce management platform for small merchants to manage and purchase new inventory from wholesalers and brands.

The Mvendr and Spazapp networks provide Wala users with the capability to transact and cash in/cash out with Dala at over 100,000 merchants throughout Africa. These partnerships further expand Dala payment capabilities for consumers, merchants and suppliers, and form important parts of the fast-growing Dala ecosystem.

“The partnerships we’re announcing today showcase the innovative possibilities being created with blockchain technology to help empower the 3.5 billion ‘unbanked’ and underserved consumers worldwide,” commented Tricia Martinez, director of the Dala Foundation and founder and CEO of Wala. “In agriculture, retail, enterprise and other industries, partnerships like these are helping us move consumers throughout Africa closer to financial prosperity, eliminating the traditional gap between consumers and financial service providers.”

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