About the Project
With an estimated population of 45 million, Tanzania is one of the largest countries in Africa but also one of the poorest with around 33% of her population living below the poverty line. The Tanzanian economy depends heavily on agriculture, which accounts for almost half of GDP and provides 65% of exports.
In 2015, Vision Fund Tanzania, the 4th largest growing microfinance institution in Tanzania which supports low income families and communities to build better future by providing agro loans and other financial services, introduced a mobile IT platform targeting to make the internal processes of agro loans and savings account applications paperless. The system also GPS marked and biometrically tagged all clients and internal transactions to reduce opportunities for fraud. In 2017, application was amended to include a MLC Agro Lending Application, which aimed at increasing the efficiency of collecting and processing information.
In order to assess the efficiency of Agro Loan application and measure its impact on target communities, as well as identify gaps for improvement, VFT commissioned study in 2018, which was carried out by ACT.
The goal of this project was to evaluate the effect of Agro Loan Application on the performance of the organization and to provide recommendations for improvement.
The research covered two main target groups: the staff of the Vision Fund Tanzania (business center/branch managers, credit officers, IT department staff, and change manager) and farmers who have used VFT agricultural loans. This was a qualitative research using in-depth interview and group interview technics.
· General context and pattern of agro loan mobile app usage (including usage of VFT tablet application, in general);
· Likes and dislikes related to agro loan app;
· All changes and improvements after inculcation of agro loan app;
· Factors in VFT tablet usage provide good/bad preconditions for usage agro application;
· Desirable changes and recommendations regarding agro loan mobile app and VFT tablet update/improvement in general;
· Attitudes towards a practice of using mobile money – pros and cons;
· Attitudes of farmers towards agro loan and its impact on their life;
· Farmers wishes and recommendations regarding agro loans and their conditions.
Based on our recommendations Vision Fund International improved the management of the agro loan disbursement process and provided local farmers with more user friendly application. The recommendations provided covered 4 different areas of application improvement: Development, Functionality, Process, and Support.