iFarmer, a full-stack agritech company in partnership with UCB (United Commercial Bank PLC), began a project last November to offer financial support to maize farmers using contract farming methods.
Under the project, farmers opened bank accounts at UCB for BDT 10 and received financial facilities along with other agriculture-related support provided by iFarmer. Now, after a successful journey of maize harvesting and sales, the farmers have repaid the loan in full amount!
Under the collaboration between iFarmer and UCB, maize farmers were financed in the Char areas of Bogura, Sirajganj, and Gaibandha. They also received high-quality agricultural inputs, weather updates, and advisory services from iFarmer.
Upon receiving the financing, farmers began working on the farms as iFarmer’s field force routinely monitored the farmers to ensure transparency throughout the whole project.
Amid challenges, farmers were able to produce a large quantity of maize. iFarmer purchased all the maize from the farmers through their supply chain and ensured the repayment. 535 farmers were given funding through the project totaling around BDT 20,759,000. iFarmer also facilitated funds to more farmers via retail financing.
Regarding the initiative, Fahad Ifaz, Co-founder and CEO of iFarmer said, “We have taken the initial steps for better financial inclusion of the farmers and the banks have played an important role.” ATM Tahmiduzzaman, DMD of UCB, said, “Our goal was to make financial services easily accessible to farmers. iFarmer played a pivotal role in driving the success of this project.” Mohammed Golam Mostofa, a farmer hailing from the char area of Kazipur in Sirajganj, said about this initiative, “I was struggling with farming owing to financial constraints. Later, I came to know about iFarmer’s low-cost finance. I took financial support of BDT 50,000 from this project to do maize farming and cultivated 270 decimals of land. I could successfully produce 14,400 kgs of maize this year”.