Sucafina: Insights on Digital Payments for Ugandan Coffee Farmers

Over the past two years, Sucafina has enabled digital payments for all coffee producers through mobile money. 60 Decibels conducted phone surveys with 500 Arabica coffee farmers receiving digital payments from Sucafina – here's what we found.

As the coffee industry deepens its interest in digital payments, it is important to monitor the lived experiences of coffee farmers and the impact of this digitization on their lives and livelihoods. Through these insights rooted in farmer voices, we hope to help the stakeholders in the coffee value chain better appreciate if and how digital payments and deeper financial engagement can support realizing their goals; motivating them to engage in responsible digital payments across their supply chain more actively.

Sucafina Uganda (UGACOF) is a leading coffee buyer and food processor, working with over 8,000 farmers, with a focus on agricultural extension and improving processing infrastructure. Over the past two years, Sucafina has enabled digital payments for all coffee producers through mobile money. 60 Decibels conducted phone surveys with 500 Arabica coffee farmers receiving digital payments from Sucafina – here’s what we found.

88%

of farmers ‘never’ require help with mobile money

90%

of farmers are ‘very confident’ with mobile money

78%

of farmers are very likely to recommend Sucafina

Key insights

Farmers are experienced mobile money users and express comfort with the mode of payment

Farmers have typically been using mobile money for the past 8 years, with nearly all saying they had access to a mobile money account prior to Sucafina. All farmers used mobile money to make or receive payments in the last 30 days.

Farmers, on average, report being paid within 2 days. Typically, it takes them 10 minutes to get to the nearest agent.

On average, farmers receive payments for their coffee a day later than anticipated. However, 89% of farmers expect to be paid within one day or at the point-of-sale. They typically wait 3 minutes to withdraw their payment.

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Sucafina Report
3 in 5 farmers report incurring a cost when cashing out their most recent payment.

Of those who incurred a cost during withdrawal, 70% talk about deductions on their income. This is typically 1% of the total payment value.

Farmers are largely satisfied with their mobile money payments from Sucafina

Nearly 4 in 5 farmers say their most recent payment experience with Sucafina was good. Based on this experience, more than 9 in 10 farmers are ‘very likely’ to continue selling their produce and recommend Sucafina to others.

“With mobile payments we are able to quickly transfer our money from one place to another and this saves us a lot of time. It also improves our safety because in the past we could be easily attacked by thieves but now, this has reduced.”

Female, 20

“Compared to other local coffee buyers, Sucafina’s prices for coffee are higher. They also send our payments on time, and they include an additional mobile money withdraw fee on top of it. ”

Female, 56

“Personally, I would recommend that all my fellow farmers use mobile money because they can access a payment method that is very safe and easy to use. I would not want to see my colleagues robbed since we put in a lot of effort to produce good quality coffee.”

Male, 40

“Mobile payments keep my financial status private, and this has reduced competition in our area because no one can tell how much money we receive after each harvest.”

Male, 63
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