Adoption of technology in the agriculture inputs value chain has reduced fraud in farm input subsidy scheme.
Smarting from fraud that denied farmers access to affordable input, the government introduced technology to aid the subsidy scheme.
According to the players in the agriculture value chain, the use of the technology where the information regarding the farmers’ needed inputs and how much has been paid can be transmitted to the central level after placing an order as helped to curb exploitation by middlemen and cartels in the process.
“With the use of technology, whereby farmers can place an order of needed inputs using their mobile phones, it has improved the transparency throughout the value chain,” Joseph Gafaranga, the secretary-general of the farmers’ Federation Imbaraga, told Rwanda Today.
Using their mobile phones and IDs, farmers register and place the order of the inputs they need in a given season through the recently unveiled Smart Nkunganire System (SNS).
The two-year old ystem is currently counting nearly two million farmers and all agro-dealers registered and actively use it to receive their agro-inputs, advisory messages and market information among many other benefits. Mr Gafaranga said the development has improved the delivery of the inputs as they get them on time.
“With the process being transparent from farmers to the government’s central level it has progressively become more efficient, as the farmers can now get their inputs on time, as it happened last season,” Mr Gafaranga added.
With the government moving from a paper-based system to the digitally and automated system of the agro-inputs value chain, curbing the cartels and malpractices in the state crop inputs subsidy have been evident.
Developed by BK TecHouse, a sister company to Bank of Kigali, Smart Nkunganire System has been also widely adopted by several input distributors, among them Tubura, one of the largest players, under which farmers receive more information needed in their venture.
“Farmers who registered with One Acre Fund-TUBURA receive training on improved farming techniques throughout the season,” Evariste Bagambiki, the communication specialist at Tubura told Rwanda Today.