Bitcoin startup Bitmari is leading efforts at introducing a Zimbabwe Women Farmers Accelerator program that is aimed at opening the doors of bitcoin to farmers as an alternative to cash, reports TechZim, a Zimbabwe technology news site.
The bitcoin-based money remittance service for the African market based in Zimbabwe has recently been laying the foundations to extend its financial services to a small group of rural female farmers through an accelerator program.
The Zimbabwe Women Farmers Accelerator has been set up that will work with ten women farmers from ten provinces. Its aim is to provide support to the women such as farming assistance from experts in the field.
Each of the farmers will receive support for their projects in the form of the digital currency, bitcoin, which is being paid for through a crowd fund started by Bitmari. The bitcoin will then be employed to help the farmers receive assistance. The money that will be repaid by the farmers is expected to go toward the next group of women farmers in the program.
At the beginning of the year, Bitmari announced that it had entered its beta phase and was working to meet Zimbabwe regulatory requirements for financial services.
The main reason behind the accelerator program is to bring a greater awareness to bitcoin and the benefits it can provide, particularly to people who would not necessarily use the digital currency. It is hoped that this will help to raise awareness and bring a new type of money to people in rural areas.
According to a report in 2014, the bitcoin dream is happening in Africa. It states that digital payments are now considered the norm in many African countries with 43 percent of Kenya’s GDP cycled through M-Pesa, the mobile phone-based money transfer service. Reportedly 80 percent of mobile phone users in Kenya used this service in 2014 to carry out their banking.
Not only that, but with the collapse of the Zimbabwean dollar, more people have been turning their attention to other forms of currency, namely the U.S. dollar in recent years. However, with a growing interest in the digital currency, bitcoin, it seems that this could soon be the currency of choice for many African countries in the future.
After all, this could help a lot of people, particularly in many African countries, and certainly those living in rural areas who may only use fiat currency at present where Cross-Atlantic fees can be high for sending or receiving funds.
Here’s hoping it helps the women farmers in rural Zimbabwe.
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