JICA, ONDI launch credit-scoring project for smallholder farmers

...partner Zowasel, Mitsubishi Nigeria

Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA) and Office for Nigerian Digital Innovation (ONDI) have launched a credit scoring modeling project for smallholder farmers in Nasawara and Ondo States.

The launch of the credit scoring initiative is in partnership with Zowasel Inc. and Mitsubishi Corporation Nigeria Limited. The credit scoring project will be implemented in Kawo village in Doma Local Government Area of Nasarawa State and Bamikemo village in Ileoluji/Oke-Igbo Local Government Area of Ondo State for a year from June 2022 – August 2023.

The project is aimed at enhancing access to finance by smallholder farmers and improving their livelihood. Starting from Nasarawa and Ondo states, the project would expand nationwide to other states in the near future.

“The project will partner with Zowasel, a Nigerian startup, and Mitsubishi Corporation, a Nigerian entity of one of Japan’s largest companies, to improve smallholder farmers’ access to finance using digital technologies,” said Nao Fuwa, JICA Expert in Nigeria in a statement.

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“The project will provide smallholder farmers with overall support for improving their financial knowledge by opening bank accounts and providing financial services and education in savings and loans. These will enable smallholder farmers to lead more stable livelihoods,” Fuwa said.

“Innovation and Startups will be one of the most important themes at the Tokyo International Conference on African Development (TICAD) to be held in August 2022,” he further said.

“This activity is a joint project between Japanese and Nigerian government organizations (JICA and ONDI), a Japanese company (Mitsubishi Corp.), and a local startup (Zowasel), and we believe that we can make a significant contribution to the development of Japan and Africa through this activity,” he added.