JICA, ONDI Launches Credit Scoring Project In partnership with Zowasel and Mitsubishi Corporation (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, 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 period of approximately one year (June 2022 – August 2023).
The project is aimed at enhancing access to finance by smallholder farmers and improve their livelihood. Starting from Nasarawa and Ondo states, the project would expand nationwide to other states in the nearest future.
Zowasel would be utilising its Crop Centres across the selected regions for profiling of smallholder farmers and data collection, develop the credit scoring model, and verify the accuracy of the model while actually providing agricultural loans to smallholder farmers through its local financial institution partners.
“The project will partner with Zowasel, a Nigerian startup, and Mitsubishi Corporation (Nigeria), a Nigerian entity of one of Japan’s largest companies, to improve smallholder farmers’ access to finance using digital technologies.
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”, said Nao Fuwa, JICA Expert in Nigeria.
“Innovation and Startups” will be one of the most important themes at Tokyo International Conference on African Development (TICAD) to be held in August 2022. 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.
JICA launched “Project NINJA (NINJA: Next Innovation with Japan)” in 2020, a platform for entrepreneurship support, with the aim of nurturing entrepreneurs who can solve social issues as businesses and create high-quality jobs to assist nation-building in developing countries. This credit scoring activity is a part of Project NINJA.
The Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA) coordinates official development assistance for the Japanese government in developing countries and aims to promote international cooperation by supporting the socio-economic development, recovery, or economic stability of emerging economies.
ONDI, the Office for Nigerian Digital Innovation (ONDI), is a subsidiary of NITDA, created to ensure the promotion, growth, and protection of Nigerian digital innovation ecosystem for the growth of Nigeria’s digital economy. The Office has responsibility to facilitate the growth of the Nigerian digital economy through the creation of innovation-driven enterprises that will promote job creation and the proliferation of market-creating innovations to create more prosperity for Nigeria.
Overall, ONDI is focused on promoting Nigerian technology innovations through the creation of Innovation-Driven Enterprises (IDEs), and the protection of such enterprises by ensuring compliances with local content
guidelines to advance the digital economy.
Zowasel is a sustainable commodity marketplace that connects buyers and sellers to trade transparently to save time and money.
The agtech company offers an online platform and offline remote Crop Centre infrastructures that serve smallholder farmers across their
communities as a one-stop-shop for everything agricultural cultivation.
With over 45 remote Crop Centre infrastructures across key farming communities in Nigeria, the company generates agricultural digital footprints that create and capture value for smallholder farmers andc corporate organizations across value chains. (Visit https://www.zowasel.com/ to learn more about Zowasel.)
**Featured Photo: Zowasel field staff profiling smallholder farmers in Kawo, Nasarawa State.